“Advertisements for Architecture” @ OpenHaus – Melb 2009 / Syd 2010

“Advertisements for Architecture” @ OpenHaus – Melb 2009 / Syd 2010

On the first of November 2008, The Age newspaper (Melbourne, Australia) described architects as the “canary in the coalmine of the economy”.

In light of the unstable global economic condition at the time, OpenHAUS Exhibitions invited design professionals and design students to create an ‘Advertisement for Architecture’.

Architects do not just create buildings – they are iconographers and cultural interpreters. Architecture itself is a means of communication beyond the built form. It is the product of converging and diverging desires and architects are the interpreters of those desires. In turn, these interpretations give shape to our cities. “Advertisements for Architecture” attempts to showcase these issues and to create an awareness of the fact that just as architecture shapes our cities, cities also shape our everyday experience.

The Advertisements for Architecture exhibitions inspired a wide range of responses from architects, architecture students and graphic designers. The advertisements engage with the concept of the architect as visionary and place maker, the passion required to study and practice architecture and the promotion of the use of a trained professional to coordinate the complicated design, documentation and construction process. The advertisements did not promote individual architectural firms but rather architecture as a ‘big idea’.

Melbourne 2009  –  Competition Winner  –  Minko Dimov

Design Statement – It is a tale of secrets stolen and rules broken that is history.

“Every space is a rich experience, a never-ending story told time and again. Buildings by their nature form a rapture, a firm disturbance in the natural environment, like gates into an enhanced reality, they introduce new worlds. Architecture is a personal experience of passage and crossing, one that has the power to transform—with every entrance we dare into a new anticipation, rewarded we linger over every door step; with every exit we long for the next encounter. Re-invigorated our desire refines our senses as we are moved by every curve or every turn, into pleasure. Perhaps that luscious feeling, that sudden weakness, so familiar and yet unknown, is architecture.

Like chocolate—a burst of life still slow, awakening with every taste. Renewed and cleansed we feel rewarded for daring to scoop out of the forbidden: a different world with every step as we reveal the folds of our innermost—pixilated, apart, undone and lost only to find ourselves again at the doorstep of a new adventure, into a life.”

Read on ( Continue ) to see the exhibition presentations and the selected competition finalist entries …… 



OpenHAUS asked the participants of these exhibitions to create an advertisement responding to the following issues:

• Where we would be without architecture.

• The status of architects as cultural iconographers, determinants of the built environment, image-makers and visionaries.

• The changing role of the architectural profession over the 20th century and into the present millennium.

• The creation of desire for architecture and a greater awareness of the role of the architectural profession culturally and socially.

The exhibition offered an opportunity for architects and designers to reflect on how the architectural profession is evolving, how architectural ideas are disseminated and conveyed and to generate creative and innovative ways of communicating the strengths of the architectural profession to a wider audience.

Melboure 2009 Exhibition

The most outstanding of these entries were exhibited at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia from September 28th until October 2nd 2009 and were published in an accompanying catalogue. The Advertisements for Architecture 2009 exhibition subsequently won the Bates Smart Award for Architecture in the Media: State at the Australian Institute of Architects, Victorian Chapter, Awards Presentations, 2010.

Melbourne 2009 Competition Entries


Advertisements for Architecture – Sydney 2010 Competition

Following the success of the Melbourne exhibition OpenHAUS was approached by DARCH (the Australian Institute of Architects New South Wales chapter’s emerging architects and graduates network) to reopen the exhibition for the 2010 Sydney Architecture Festival. These works were exhibited at the the award winning Surry Hills Library and Community Centre, Sydney, from October 20th to November 7th.

Sydney 2010 Competition Exhibition

Architecture communicates ideas not simply by solidifying them into cultural forms but by creating spaces where ideas come to life. In today’s dynamic exchange of sensory overload and utilitarian attitudes beauty is no longer mere decoration, it doesn’t even just follow function — it becomes every time we are engaged in mutual interpretation. So where would we be without architecture?

Sydney 2010 Competition Entries

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