Architects Declare

Angelina Pillai , 30 July 2019

Hundreds of Australian architects have signed up to the Architects Declare movement, which aims to raise awareness of the climate crisis and the urgent need for action in the built environment.

Earlier this month, ACA National President John Held asked us what keeps architects awake at night, and how could we ensure our profession remains relevant and vibrant. With the construction industry dominating headlines across the nation, architects and architectural practices are thinking deeply about the situation and proposing sensible solutions that could improve the quality of the built environment – above and beyond what is happening today, but for future generations.

On Thursday 25 July, a group of 30 Australian architects and practices joined the global Architects Declare movement. The group is committed to raising awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action among their clients and supply chains, as well as advocating on strengthening work practices to create architecture that has a more positive impact in our world. High on the agenda is the need to collaborate with engineers, contractors and clients to further reduce construction waste. At the time of writing, 407 additional architects and practices had signed on.

Australia is the third country in the world to launch Architects Declare, but the first to include reference to Indigenous peoples, recognising “the cultural, social, economic and environmental benefits embedded in the holistic relationship of Caring for Country”.

If we are to stay relevant and vibrant, careful consideration of the sustainability of our built environments must also be a priority. We must also learn from the generations that have maintained a strong and deep connection with the Australian landscape and the communities built to thrive on it.

The ACA aims to support this important response to the climate crisis through creating awareness and promoting the benefits of taking action. We will consider the development of tools and resources to support best practice in prioritising climate change effects and loss of biodiversity.

Angelina Pillai is the CEO of the ACA.