With the unmistakeable signs of urban development punctuating its unseasonably grey skies, Brisbane has welcomed a bevy of local and international talent for the 2017 Asia Pacific Architecture Forum. This series of distinct but complementary events is a collaboration between founding partners Architecture Media and the State Library of Queensland. The forum has returned to the River City for its second year and runs from 18 to 31 March.
Participants took part in a rich variety of exhibitions, tours, speaking sessions and workshops, which shared the common theme of architecture in the Asia Pacific region. The signature event was the ArchitectureAP Symposium, a full-day showcase of excellent speakers from a diverse range of practice backgrounds, held at the State Library of Queensland on 24 March.
Pritzker Prize laureate Shigeru Ban was the headline speaker for the symposium, in which he discussed his disaster relief projects. Spanning two decades, Ban’s portfolio of humanitarian projects chiefly responded to the aftermath of seismic events in the Asia Pacific, both earthquakes and tsunamis. As he shared his structural and material innovations with paper and cardboard, several commonalities and divergences became apparent, in regards to the needs that disasters provoke within different sectors of the Asia Pacific. The similitudes and variations of the climate, economy, density and culture of neighbouring nations formed a significant component of the dialogue that emerged in response to the presentations.
Other high-profile speakers included Ivan Harbour of Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, Thingsmatter duo Savinee Buranasilapin and Tom Dannecker, and John Denton of Denton Corker Marshall. Providing the perspective of an Australian studio with…