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Australian Architecture and other Aims

9 January, 2011

Ever since joining Red Bubble, my heightened awareness for all things Australian has become deliciously inquisitive. Often I am pulled into a refreshingly vibrant wilderness or an example of a seeming otherworldly urban landscape, leaving me enthralled yet glum to the stark reality of a “mere viewer, removed”. How curious it all seems to me though, and to quote a book title from Dr. Seuss: Oh, the Places (I’d) Go! I might be in a romantic state of bliss, but Australia is admirable and it has turned into a good romance for sure.

Today there was a link in my Twitter feed, which led to a page titled Minimal Melbourne on the Behance Network. There are lots of great pictures around, and here I found a handful more. What I like about this particular series of shots is the focus on new-age architecture. There is a great mix of authentic history so obviously embraced. Many of the flavors of architecture I’ve seen from Oz feels unparalleled here in the States.

I am not widely traveled but much of what I see in America is bland and utilitarian. While there are examples of artsy-architecture (I know no terms), much of it is pointedly concentrated yet sparse in dispersement. Does anyone have a different opinion on American architecture? Generic-ism and conformity seem prevalent, but there might be a change on the way. Personalization and uniqueness could take on a more broad spectrum if there can be function and permanence. Some of the new green-tech consortium examples are giving us living roofs, ambient natural light, and utilize renewable materials, which by design *are* all non-conformist.

I should state that change can be good, but the tried and true can be just as well. I would love to live in an old farmhouse in the “middle of  the nowhere”, but the nowhere is becoming harder and harder to find, at least in the urban and suburban environments. Many of the examples of ‘vintage’ are torn down and replaced with wasteful hodgepodge. There are some restoration efforts that preserve the preservable but most of America’s history is deemed unfit, unsafe, and is subsequently destroyed. I have a future article in mind that shall explore the melding of America’s major metropolitan areas, essentially resulting in “mega-tropolis”. My city of birth is becoming larger and larger as the distance between the next major city becomes smaller and smaller, all happening as I speak.

I don’t know what Australia is like and I am only able to formulate my opinions based upon what I see. My slight perception of the idiosyncrasies of Australian citizens is based on those I have spoken with, and I’m not sure if my ‘sample’ would be an accurate cross-reference of the general public. Regardless of all this, though, my position stands firm: I like Australia and now I want some Vegemite.

© dasSuiGeneris 9 Jan 2011

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 12 January, 2011 15:11

    Now you mention it, I guess we do have some interesting architecture in Australia. It is like the country itself, diverse. It’s not unusual in the suburbs of Sydney to see a 1960’s red brick bungalow alongside a modern sleek rendered house painted blue. Your reference to Dr Seuss may be very appropriate.

    Rendering is all the rage here at the moment. Then you have the traditional Queenslander houses (houses on stilts) to weather the floods (75% of Queensland is flooded right now).

    The thing that I am very proud of is that Aussies generally love their trees. The streets are lined with trees, even in the heart of the city. In some urban landscapes, the first thing you notice is the trees. I haven’t been to America, but many of the television shows from America depict concrete landscapes with minimal vegetation. Our love of trees however does not serve us well in times of bushfire.

    An interesting post, thank you.

    • 19 January, 2011 02:49

      Thank You, Hakea, for your great comment (and sorry for my extensively delayed reply). I like the sound of the diversity in your neighborhoods. In my area, it is the neighborhoods themselves that are diverse. Though they all form a larger city, each area seems to be defined by certain styles of buildings. Much of this is due to population growth, and the era of expansion can be seen in the construction of the dwellings, making everything (in each neighborhood) seem drab, uniform, and redundant. I have been to areas with diverse structures and they seem much more alive than the standardized locales.

      Re: the trees in Australia… wow! I couldn’t imagine there being trees in our urban areas. I mean if there are any I haven’t noticed. In some places it seems like trees have been banned… which can be depressing. Trees are great, but I guess when fires are concerned I imagine they might become an issue of concern. The one good thing about the concrete forests of America: mostly flame-retardant, lol. Thanks again Hakea!

      PS: I’d been following the floods a little, and I am sorry to hear about all of the news regarding the disaster. Do take care.

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