Give SA graduates a chance!

John Held , 6 October 2016

South Australia produces some great architecture graduates. ACA – SA argues that they should also have the chance to design buildings for their universities as they proceed with their careers.

Universities each have their own priorities when time comes to designing new buildings for their campuses. Sometimes recently it has felt like an arms race – who has the biggest and best buildings? Well-known architects are often brought in to add some ‘sparkle’.

Each university has different ways of procuring services. UniSA, for example, insist on contracting with a local architect, even if an interstate or overseas architect is involved. In contrast, the University of Adelaide seems to directly appoint many of its architects without calling for expressions of interest, and recently many of these direct appointments have gone to interstate architects.

The University of Adelaide has an architecture school with a proud history. What message does appointing interstate firms say to its graduates? ‘We’ll happily train you, but you won’t ever be good enough to design our buildings (unless you move interstate)?’

The Association of Consulting Architects believes that our universities have produced talented, dedicated graduates of architecture who we are proud to employ and mentor as they start their careers. Don’t tell them they aren’t worthy of working for the very institutions that educated them. Give them a chance.

John Held is the ACA – SA President and a director of Russell & Yelland Architects.