This is the 5th year in what has become an annual exhibition curated by TERROIR for the Australian Architecture Association (AAA) at Custom’s House. In the first two years of the series, the work of over 20 young architects was revealed to a wider audience. This was followed in 2007 by an exhibition of 2 greats – Col Madigan and Max Dupain. In 2008, we mounted an exhibition of Bruce Rickard’s work alongside contemporary residential architecture in Sydney to suggest how influential it has been.
In 2009, 5 years after the first exhibition, titled Young Architects, we are revisiting this theme but with a different focus. Over the last five years, the "young architect’s" scene in Sydney has been transformed by a growing number of exciting young practitioners who are exploring the potential for digital technology in architecture and urban design practice and installations. Over the same period, Customs House has developed and refined their exhibition program with an emphasis on digital media work in a range of disciplines.
This new wave of technologically savvy young architects is an interesting phenomena, particularly so given their location in Sydney scene where a certain traditionalism and conservatism has defined architectural practice. The use of digital tools in the conception of architecture and its production has been a growing tendency internationally over the past few decades, but to see a group of vanguard practitioners collecting in Sydney is an unexpected development. Many of these practitioners have come to us from afar, including Germany (Chris Bosse), East Coast USA (Patrick Keane and Anthony Burke), Pittsburgh (David Burns) and Russell Lowe from New Zealand. The overlap between the work of this diverse group and the developing interest of Customs House in digitally produced art and architecture has meant that some of those exhibited here have already been involved with this key venue in Sydney’s cultural life.
Four years ago, many of these people were not in Australia or had just started out. Now, their presence is well felt and their future impact on our city should be significant. Thus the culture of architecture in Sydney is witnessing a phase-shift and this exhibition at Customs House is one of many signals that the new wave is here.