Thursday, October 01, 2009

Art museum as urban panacea

Richard Francis-Jones, Design Director of Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt) will speak on "Identity Crisis: Dilution of public domain & the rise of the art museum as urban panacea of our time", 1 October 2009, University of Sydney. It is a little had to work out exactly what he will be talked about from the description give, but it seems to be about museums being more commercial.

In 2005 I spent a week in Samoa teaching web design to museum staff from across the pacific for a UNESCO project. One aspect of this was that many of the museums represented were commercial and craft workshops. They did not just display old objects and high art, there were contemporary items on display. These museums also held cultural events, with dance and music as well as provided facilities for works to be produced and sold. In this way they were far in advance of museums and art galleries in Australia, as well as being much more interesting. I ended up learning as much from my students, than they learnt from me.

ps: Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt) appear to be having an identity crisis of their own, with a poorly designed web site. This home page depends on the use of Flash, making it of limited value. The web site doesn't appear to have provision for those with Flash to use the web site, nor for those with disabilities. The home page scored only 62/100 on the W3C mobileOK Checker. However, the page appears to consist mostly of a link to Flash content and would be difficult, if not impossible to use without it.

Identity Crisis: Dilution of public domain & the rise of the art museum as urban panacea of our time


1 October 2009

2009 Wilkinson Lectre
Identity Crisis: Dilution of the public domain and the rise of the art museum as urban panacea of our time
RICHARD FRANCIS-JONES, Design Director of francis-jones morehen thorp
Introduced by Professor Alan Peters, Chair of Urban & Regional Planning

Richard Francis-Jones will discuss the nature of the public building as a social representation and fundamental transformations of the public realm within a contemporary condition where identity is blurred with consumption. Within this blurred context he will present recent Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp investigations into the nature of the art museum and public building.

Brief Bio
Richard is the Design Director of francis-jones morehen thorp (fjmt), a practice noted for its commitment to the enhancement of the public domain. He has led the design of many international competition and award-winning projects. Commissions have won the highest Australian Institute of Architects awards: the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings; the Sir John Sulman Medallion; the Lloyd Rees Award for Excellence in Civic Design; the Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage; and the Greenway Award for Conservation.

Recent completed projects led by Richard include the University of Sydney Law School, the Surry Hills Library and Community Centre, and the Mint. Projects currently in construction include the Auckland Art Gallery, Chatswood Civic Place and the six GreenStar Darling Walk commercial campus.

Richard is a Visiting Professor at UNSW and has taught architecture at many universities in Australia and abroad. He is an editor of Content, a critical journal of architecture, has written theoretical papers for several journals, was President of the AIA (NSW Chapter) from 2001-2002, and was Creative Director of the 2008 AIA National Architecture Conference: Critical Visions.

He studied architecture at the University of Sydney, receiving the University Medal for Architecture upon graduation. He subsequently completed a masters degree in architectural design and theory at Columbia University in New York. He is a registered architect in all Australian states and New Zealand.


Time: 5.30pm drinks, 6.30-7.30pm lecture

Location: Faculty of Law Lecture Theatre 101, The University of Sydney

2 comments:

fjmt said...

Tom

Thanks for your comments about Richard's lecture. Hope you went along and enjoyed it.

You might want to check your html code as the W3C mobile checker actually links to an ANU web page and not ours. The current fjmt website actually scores 62/100 - not bad given it is actually 6 years old!

In any case, our new website is almost ready to go live.

Matthew Todd
(Associate, fjmt)

Tom Worthington said...

Matthew Todd wrote October 08, 2009 6:54 PM:

>Thanks for your comments about Richard's lecture. Hope you went along and enjoyed it.

Yes, I attended the lecture and found it thought provoking.

I was less impressed with the new University of Sydney Law building, which seems to be designed for an obsolete form of education. But this may be the fault of the client, not the architect.

>You might want to check your html code as the W3C mobile checker ...

Apologies, yes I checked the wrong page. The fjmt home page scores 62/100 on the W3C Checker. This is still not a good score (80% would be good). Also the page does not seem to work without Flash turned on. This will greatly limit access.

>In any case, our new website is almost ready to go live.

I suggest you run an accessibility test on the site.