Landscape Architecture Australia
2021 Jury Chair Report
We acknowledge and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia as the traditional custodians of our lands, waters and seas. We recognize their ability to care for Country and their deep spiritual connection with Country. We honour Elders past and present whose knowledge and wisdom ensure the continuation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. (Constitution of the AILA, 2019)
The past 18 months have certainly reminded the broader community of what our profession has always known: the irrefutable value of green spaces in strengthening community connectedness and maintaining mental and physical wellbeing. This year’s diverse award entrants demonstrate the leading role that landscape architects play in delivering innovative responses to complex issues and making positive contributions to our regions and cities. The variety of submissions illustrates the passion and drive of our AILA members to influence the way we work, live and play.
Many of the awarded projects display a deliberate effort to facilitate environmental stewardship while delivering exemplar design outcomes. It is inspiring to observe green infrastructure being embedded in projects as the norm. In a time of increasing urbanization and climate variation, these projects demonstrate sensitive, considered and ambitious responses to repairing and improving natural systems unique to Australian landscapes.
The jury applauds the continued journey with Traditional Owners, with many practices developing Indigenous-led design approaches. More than simply interpretation and dialogue, these approaches represent a living history, looking to the future while respectfully acknowledging the past. Inserting contemporary and living history sensitively into the design is part of our journey to cultural sustainability. These projects set new benchmarks as we continue to build knowledge as a profession.
One shift observed this year was the altered definition of a garden, with projects not traditionally associated with this category being considered. We see elements of the garden being applied in novel ways, in recognition of the mental and physical wellbeing that green infrastructure provides.
It has been a privilege to chair the 2021 AILA National Landscape Architecture Awards jury and I thank and acknowledge my fellow jurors – Barrie Barton, Dennis Eiszele, Tessa Leggo, Jen Lynch, Taryn Milroy and Mark Saint Põl – for making the process such a positive and energizing experience. Collectively, we believe that the standard of awarded works sets an exciting precedent for built outcomes now and into the future. Demonstrating leadership and advocacy for approaches outside of the norm, the award recipients have succeeded in enhancing local landscapes so that they are an impetus for greater wellbeing and shared understanding within the community.