Architectural photography

Awards, panels, exhibitions and a long overdue update by Julian Rutt

Once again, it's been too long between posts. With two projects due to begin on site shortly, its been a busy time of late.

The Billabong Houses are once again (most likely for the last time ever) being opened to the public on Sunday the 23rd of October as part of the Space Open House tours, a national day. Bookings are essential: Eventbrite link

The AIA awards were held back in July, and once again I had the honour of being a juror for the sustainability category, entailing a full day of presentations from architects and clients on the design philosophy and sustainability merits of their projects, followed by a day of site visits of those shortlisted and interesting discussions. All up an interesting, thought-provoking process celebrating excellence in architecture. You can see the results and winners of the various categories here with beautiful images and jury citations: AIA SA Awards


As a precursor to the 2016 Sustainable House Day, I recently had the opportunity to speak on a panel in a forum hosted by the Adelaide Sustainable Building Network (ASBN) regarding zero energy homes along with representatives from Sustainability House and Solar Quotes for the ASBN's mini-expo. A podcast of the discussion is online HERE.

For the first time in 20 years, April saw the AIA National Conference held in Adelaide, curated by the former State Government Architect Ben Hewitt, Sam Spurr & Cameron Bruhn. Another fantastic event with a myriad of intriguing global speakers, well attended by delegates from all around the country.

And the Billabong Houses picked up another award in the City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters Excellence in Urban Design Awards 2016. Held once every 4 years or so, the award aims to foster excellence in the public realm through design and thoughtful regeneration, other award winners included Troppo for their Maylands House and Williams Burton Leopardi for Base 64 in Kent Town. NPSP EIUDA

On the photography front, I've had the pleasure of exhibiting again with Skrambled Eggs, this time being run as part of the Shimmer Photography Biennale held by the City of Onkaparinga in September. Skrambled Eggs is the brainchild of photographer Ben Liew, having established photographers exhibit works taken purely by smart phones - my contributions being typically architectural in nature. For something a little different I was asked to document various Indonesian batiks and fabrics for an exhibition run in conjunction with Flinder University and the Oz Asia festival and held recently at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

First post, a sign of things to come, creativity and an upcoming event by Julian Rutt

Welcome to my first post!

Here in this blog section, I aim to provide a little bit of a point of discussion about Adelaide architectural, design and urban happenings, built-environment sustainability issues all local  national and global, architectural imagery (given indoors is where we spend most of our time and as increasing amounts of people move to urban centres) and of course only the most interesting of happenings at Lumen...

Cities are often seen as the scourge of the environment, taking up arable land, promoting car use and resource consumption, but they shouldn't necessarily be seen so negatively - given much of the world's population now live in cities, cites are now the crucible for environmental change, where the biggest bang-for-buck can occur and where architects and urban professionals working in the built-environment can make the biggest change. Lately, Adelaide has been witness to some kind of design/urban/transport renaissance that was so sorely needed. With a very large ecological footprint per capita and a very car-centric transport system in favour for decades, recent years have seen elements of the creativity of the Dunstan era when Adelaide stood out as the place to be living in Australia - following Melbourne's revitalisation of its laneway links, testing Copenhagen-like bike infrastructure and an outcome/design-led focus being given to city developments over the bottom-line bean-counting driven process of times past - Adelaide is at somewhat of a crossroads, between those who want Adelaide to become more of a globally relevant city, and those who would seek the status quo keeping the car as our primary source of transport (despite the looming issue of peak oil).


In any case this is about quality over quantity and leads me into the guts of this first post... So I'm helping to give a talk to members of the Institute of Architects soon about the reasons architects should use professional photography to document and showcase their work. As someone who has spent a few years on architecture award juries, it is quite noticeable when architects use non professional photographers/themselves to photograph buildings. While there is debate on where South Australian architecture fits within national fee rates, considering the time spent designing, documenting and then administering a building's construction, there is little reason that there should not be the effectively tiny proportion of the total fees put aside for professional images of the work. Photography at times seems even worse hit by the 'everyone is a professional' issue that architecture suffers (with everyone watching anything from Grand Designs to The Block) in that many buying a Digital SLR camera often feel like a professional they once wouldn't have dared when it was all captured on much-more expensive and less-forgiving film. So combining two of my great loves, architecture and photography, I'm aiming to help show architects why they need professional photography, and how to take better photos of architecture when they travel with well-known Adelaide Architectural photographer David Sievers presenting the seminar, at the SA Chapter of the Institute of Architects, Thursday 19th June. Drinks and refreshments provided!