Occupy 22, Brisbane

August 30, 2022

The Biennial Australasian Student Architecture Congress, known as ASAC, has influenced the early careers of many Australian and New Zealand architects. Starting off in the 1960s as a series of informal mass gatherings of students, ASAC has since become an established conference, visiting cities in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. In September 2022 the Congress will return to Brisbane for the first time since 1993.

The theme of this year’s Congress is ‘Occupy’, a platform for dialogue on what it means to be an architect today. The Congress will explore Context as a lens for achieving good architecture. Its leitmotif is taken from Henri Lefebvre’s 'When we think about cities, we are always thinking about something else.'

Cany Ash and Robert Sakula have been invited as keynote speakers, and we plan to focus on two recent projects:

  1. Chatham Intra - Letting the Cat out of the Bag. Architects can create their fan base of the future by imagining embodied worlds... rather than empty stage sets. We can imagine places and we can also imagine not only a huge diversity of people but what they might say to each other and how they might champion the places we want them to love. Is this manipulation? Is this the arrogance some people see in the aloofness or more often shyness of architects? Or is this just an architect standing up and shouldering a creative vision? If you can imagine a metaverse close to ours it could happen. You will certainly provoke more conversation and competing visions… and that breaks the silence and lets the cat out of the bag.
  2. Anglia Square, Norwich - A David and Goliath Story. It’s time to challenge the juggernauts of the property industry with outdated ideas of value generation. Time to talk back with the tools we have and make convincing alternative proposals… even if it seems crazy and all too late to have an impact. How many embarrassing scenes do you need to slowly change the culture? How do we start to measure investment in terms of its opportunity cost, the development of a local economy and the people who have made a place tick over time?