Globalisation has made architecture homogenous, says AIA 2022 Gold Medal winner

The internationally renowned and multi award-winning Australian architect Sean Godsell, who was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2022 Gold Medal, has embarked on his speaking tour, which will explore the impacts of globalisation on architecture and the importance of regionalism and environmentalism to his work.

The Gold Medal acknowledges architects who have served with distinction and designed or executed buildings of high merit, produced work of great distinction to advance architecture or endowed the profession.

Considered the Australian Institute of Architects’ highest honour, the Gold Medal was awarded to Godsell this year in recognition of a lifetime of work as a true master craftsman and for his commitment to excellence in design, detail and resolution.

Godsell’s notable portfolio includes Carter Tucker House, Peninsula House, St Andrews Beach House and House in the Hills. In 2015, he was shortlisted for the $450 million Art Gallery of NSW Sydney Modern project.

“Godsell’s work has contributed significantly by expressing, on a global stage, an architectural response to Australia’s unique landscape,” the jury noted.

Godsell has begun his Gold Medal Tour, which will take him to every state and territory in Australia. His lecture series will delve into the role of the architect in contemporary society, and the interaction between globalism and local identities.

“In the past twenty years or so, globalisation has caused architecture to become homogenous, where the very cultural considerations that make architecture possible – history and tradition and local conditions – have become abstracted and amorphous,’’ he said.

“We don’t subscribe to architecture that is desperately interesting for its own sake. We do strive to make each building somehow a little better than the previous one and, most of the time we manage to achieve this goal.”

Godsell’s lecture series also addresses the role architects will play in tackling global climate change.

“Throughout history, we have served the community by designing buildings that continue to evolve and endure as we do and now we stand at the frontline of the battle with climate change, ready and willing and able to continue to help make the world a better place.’’

Image: Supplied

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