Street Furniture Australia, as a corporate partner of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), supports the declaration of a Climate and Biodiversity Loss Emergency. The company plans to set ambitious new targets, to be announced in 2020, alongside ongoing environmental efforts. “Street Furniture Australia is wholeheartedly behind this visionary step from AILA, in taking a leadership role to accelerate action against climate change in our industry,” says Co-Founder and Director Bill Morrison. “We are putting together a list of strong targets, informed by sustainability experts, to ensure immediate and effective action. “We hope to collaborate with AILA, AILA members, our customers and suppliers, and other AILA corporate partners, to see where joint efforts can make large impacts.” Street Furniture Australia will continue to: Maintain an Integrated Management System including …
In Profile: Craig Czarny
Craig Czarny, a Director of Hansen Partnership, has worked for almost 30 years across major public projects, including urban improvement and regeneration initiatives in Australia and overseas.
As an Urban Designer and Landscape Architect based in Melbourne, he promotes a special brand of ‘strategic design’ to projects in far-flung regions of Asia, with project work in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos and China.
Can you give us an insight into your thinking about Australian design knowledge as an export?
As a young Australian practitioner in the 1980s, I recall looking principally to the US and Europe for inspiration. Having worked in both these regions in the early nineties, and observing the maturing of the landscape architecture discipline in Australia, I think it’s due time for us to export our skills to the broader ‘region.’ Namely, Asia.
Many of Asia’s rapidly developing cities want to know what it takes to create great places: Australian cities are renowned globally for their great public projects. Look at Melbourne’s designation as the world’s most liveable city for a sixth consecutive year, to 2016. The regional market is hungry for this knowledge.
I have been working in South-East Asia now for more than 20 years and treasure the opportunities to collaborate with international counterparts and share our fantastic design knowhow.
We steer away from just calling it design; often we’re promoting a more holistic proposition we call ‘urban management,’ that is, strategy-design-delivery-operation.
Can you expand on this?
Over the last decade I’ve completed many projects with International Aid agencies such as the United Nations (World Tourism Organisation) and World Bank on urban improvement in Indonesia, China, Vietnam and Laos where these ‘urban management’ skills are sorely needed.
We don’t fly in and fly out, but often frame a project over years with an intensive capacity building process – where local counterparts learn about how we go about solving spatial design problems.
Of course, it is a two-way process and great care is taken to learn about local places and customs. In the end, our international counterparts become part of our working multidisciplinary team and the results are both locally relevant and globally inspired.
Recently we turned the tables and brought a group from Vietnam’s Ministry of Construction to Melbourne for an Australian cities tour and urban training programme.
What are some of the two-way benefits of working with different countries and cultures?
I have been very fortunate in my international work to have forged great professional relationships with collaborators, and over time learnt much about their local cultures, lives and in particular their interdisciplinary processes and administrations.
On one hand, this makes me appreciate the qualities of some Australian cities, and the relative ease that our public projects are procured, realised, delivered and used.
But there are also so many wonderful attributes of evolving Asian centres, like the chaos of Vietnamese streets and their ‘inventive and creative’ use of public spaces. Understanding the value of these kinds of lively spaces has really informed our continuing work in Melbourne.
Can you tell us about your work in Da Nang City throughout 2016?
Following on from our work in Surabaya, Indonesia, in 2014, I was seconded to the World Bank in 2016 as project manager to lead a major national railway relocation and inner urban regeneration initiative in Da Nang City in Central Vietnam.
As with our other projects, I was assigned a team of 10 local engineers, planners and architects – Landscape Architects are rarely found in Vietnam – and initiated a training regime to introduce simple concepts of analysis, mapping, concept development and design in context to inform the final Masterplan.
The 10-week programme was spread across six separate missions, of two or three weeks each, in Da Nang. The project ran for 12 months and it was a delight to experience the lush landscape and lively urban life of Vietnam’s Central Region, and nearby UNESCO World Heritage sites at HoiAn and Hue, across its many varied seasons.
How did you arrive at this international career?
I’ve always had a passion to work in ‘the world,’ as opposed to being cooped up in a single place in Australia, thankfully my former employers were accommodating of this interest.
Since joining Hansen Partnership in 2002, who at that early stage had the only Australian practice in Vietnam, my co-directors recognise and contribute to the exporting of Australian planning and design expertise in the Asian region, particularly through our capacity building processes.
While this all sounds like a well set out strategy, I admit that there has been no grand career masterplan – I’ve simply run with the projects.
If you could, would you instate a Hippocratic Oath for Built Environment Professionals?
I’ve often quoted the Nobel Prize-winning Economist Amartya Sen, who spoke of such a “Hippocratic Oath” for Built Environment Professionals.
“You have to show me how [your project] relates to human life, how it relates to their well-being and the freedom to be well. And the freedom not only to be well, but the freedom to lead the kind of life they value leading.”
In Profile is a Q&A series featuring Australian influencers of the public realm.
Interviewees are players in the public sphere with compelling stories, not always landscape architects or affiliated with SFA.
To nominate a subject, please contact the editor via firstname.lastname@example.org
The AILA Festival, more officially known as the International Festival of Landscape Architecture, is our favourite event of the year. Every year the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) works to deliver memorable experiences for its members through four days of discovery, knowledge exchange and opportunities to connect with design, nature and public realm experts. This year’s theme, The Square and the Park, carefully curated by Cassandra Chilton (Rush Wright Associates), Jillian Waliss (University of Melbourne) and Kirsten Bauer (ASPECT Studios), will explore how we conceive, design, fund, construct and manage urban open space in our contemporary context. Street Furniture Australia proudly sponsors our sixth annual festival, which will run from 10-13 October in Melbourne. Here are some must-see events and experiences. Book your tickets at the AILA website. 1. …
Timber? Aluminium? The answer may surprise you. Comfort sitting outdoors can depend on many factors: position, view, shelter, microclimate, social comfort and more – see our Gehl cheatsheet on how to place seats in the city. The temperature of the seat under you can also contribute. Metal, for example, is commonly thought to be hottest in summer and coldest in winter. Street Furniture Australia’s inhouse engineers ran a study, dubbed the Goldilocks Batten Project, to get to the truth. Access the full Goldilocks Report (730KB). They tested anodised, powdercoated and woodgrain aluminium, and oiled hardwood (Jarrah) battens. For comparison, they also looked at raw aluminium – a material we do not use in seats. The battens were placed in the sun, and the temperature recorded regularly. The engineers noted how …
7 park hacks for an aging population: Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology have engaged with older people living in high-density Brisbane, to come up with key design considerations for more usable and comfortable public spaces. Here are seven: A wide variety of places to sit, to enjoy being out in public and watching people. Usable, universal design seating – rather than having to sit on the grass – is especially important for older people as rest-stops or destinations. Hand rails on stairs and steep paths for safety and confidence. Drinking fountains and trees for shade and comfort. Plentiful and clean public toilets. The lack of such facilities can be debilitating and an obstacle to some older people’s enjoyment of the public realm. Wider paths and safer buffers between pedestrians and high-traffic roadways. Safer …
Six women passionate about landscape joined the International Women’s Day breakfast table with Street Furniture Australia, to discuss equality and this year’s theme, #BeBoldForChange. Industry veteran Oi Choong says landscape architecture encouraged her to be bold from the start – to her, it was a “joy” of the profession. “It was a new profession, so you were able to reach your tentacles everywhere. We were allowed to extend our vision and be bold. We experimented, we tried to integrate with other disciplines. We claimed our territory,” she says. With more than thirty years of practice in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, China and the UAE, the current Consulting Partner with Context says offers to work internationally were joyously formative in her early career. “They gave me the opportunity to leap in, almost blindly, …
By Winnifred R Louis. Parks that ‘feel’ unsafe can become trapped in a vicious cycle fuelled by underuse, writes psychology professor Winnifred Louis for StreetChat, but these public spaces can be saved. WL: This is a write-up of a presentation that I gave for the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), and I want to credit their event which was very interesting and fun. If you are wondering why we need to think about fear in parks, my answer is that it is important on two fronts. One, for managing actual risks for park users, and two, managing their risk perceptions. There are a heap of guidelines and standards that address the first task, and one reason for the AILA event was to raise awareness of new guidelines (about mitigating the …