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 current unstable global economic condition, OpenHAUS Exhibitions invites design professionals and design students to create an ‘Advertisement for Architecture’. The most outstanding of these entries will be exhibited at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia from September 28th until October 2nd 2009 and published in the accompanying catalogue.
These advertisements should examine and reflect upon:
- 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.
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. Architects are the interpreters of those desires and these interpretations give shape to our cities. Advertising, although not a medium traditionally utilised by architectural professionals, has often been engaged with, by architects, in creative and innovative ways – from the subliminal (1) and the celebratory (2) to the avant-garde (3), architects have been fascinated by advertising. Advertisements for Architecture 2009 allows the architectural profession to explore and communicate the potential of architecture unencumbered by the timeframes of architectural work.
The advertisements will not promote individual architectural firms but architecture as a ‘big idea’. This is a chance to promote the architectural profession and engage with the public. It is a chance to reflect on how the profession has evolved during the last period of economic growth and to generate creative and innovative ways of communicating the strengths of the profession to a wider public audience.