AIA to AIA – SONA & One:One
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by the Australian Institute of Architects’ Student Organised Network for Architecture (SONA). This event, One:One, is hosted annually across the country and is conducted with local architects as mentors for the day. Sponsored by WoodSolutions, the Melbourne event was held simultaneously with the One:One events in Perth, Newcastle, and Brisbane.
The event is a design-build opportunity for local students to interact with and receive guidance from great local architects. The locally interpreted theme for this year was Re:claim, and was evident in Melbourne’s built installations through elements such as reused theatre chairs, PVC piping, and even old twin mattress box springs. While the rainy, cold autumn weather in Melbourne didn’t seem to cooperate for the day’s events, you wouldn’t know it by the quality of work produced by the five teams at Melbourne’s Testing Grounds. Testing Grounds was an ideal location for the event; the site is an open-air public art space in the heart of the arts and cultural district of Melbourne.
There were five installations constructed at Testing Grounds in Melbourne, and while they were untitled, here’s a brief description of each; a bike rack of reused theatre seating, a light partition structure made of PVC piping, a bar and partition wall of reused wood and box springs, an overhead wood mobile, and a seating and bar niche with rubber net partitions. I thought it was particularly amazing to speak to the local architects at the evening celebration. They were excited and proud of the completed work and I think it was quite commendable that they dedicated an entire day of their weekend to design and construct with these students, despite the tough weather conditions. From what my counterparts at the Australian Institute of Architects (Loren Bates & Georgina Greenland) shared with me, the SONA and EmAGN volunteer representatives that the Institute works with really take a strong lead in planning, coordinating, and executing the event. They did a great job in Melbourne – I’m looking forward to seeing the outcomes in the other cities.