The 2016 Australian Institute of Architects’ (AIA) National Architecture Conference will be themed How soon is now and will be directed by a magazine editor, a Director of Strategic Services of the NSW Government Architect's Office (NGAO) and an architectural theorist.

Cameron Bruhn (Architecture Media), Ben Hewett (NGOA) and Sam Spurr were announced as the 2016 Creative Directors by AIA National President David Karotkin at the 2015 Conference, RISK which was recently held in Melbourne.

The National Architecture Conference will be held in Adelaide from 28 to 30 April 2016.

In presenting their theme to the conference, the new creative team said:

“We want to explore the agency of architecture to make real changes in the world, empowering architects to participate in the massive transformations that are occurring to cities, to global as well as local societies and to the sustainability of our planet.

“The ceaseless appetite for the new means that architecture is constantly projecting, speculating and theorising. Instead of always looking into the future or back into the past, projects are already demonstrating the new ways in which architecture operates in the world. The future is right now and we want to present what it looks like.

“The challenge for architecture is to not retreat into itself and be ostracised from the extraordinary moment in history in which it finds itself. But rather to recognise its place in contemporary practice, and to stake a claim for its agency within that system.”

How soon is now will be an open, collaborative and discursive conversation that will focus on exemplary buildings and the experiences and knowledge of the people that fund, conceive, create and inhabit them.


Cameron Bruhn (Middle) is the editorial director of Architecture Media. Prior to his appointment as editorial director, Cameron was the editor of Architecture Media publications Artichoke and Landscape Architecture Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Queensland and is undertaking a practice-based PhD at RMIT University. In 2010 and 2013 he curated Australia’s contribution to the international architecture showcase at the London Festival of Architecture. He has twice been a member of multidisciplinary teams shortlisted for the creative directorship of the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture and in 2010 was a member of the jury for the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards.

Ben Hewett (Right) is Director of Strategic Services, NSW Government Architect's Office and Adjunct Professor Architecture, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). From 2010-2014, he was South Australian Government Architect and Executive Director of the Office for Design and Architecture SA. Leading SA’s nationally recognised Design Review Program, Ben was exposed to the large breadth and variety of design professionals, planners, developers, clients and stakeholders involved in delivery of our built environment. Ben was previously Executive Director of the Integrated Design Commission, Director of 5000+ (an Integrated Design Strategy for inner Adelaide) and has broad experience across academia and government as well as commercial and small practice.

Sam Spurr (left) is an architectural theorist and designer working across academia, art, journalism and curatorship. She is currently a senior lecturer at University of NSW (UNSW) Art and Design and a research fellow at the University of Adelaide. Sam received her doctorate from UNSW then taught architecture and design at UTS. She has exhibited at the Moscow Biennale 2013, Sydney Biennale 2012, Storefront Gallery NYC (2012), the Prague Quadrennial 2011 and The Gwangju Design Biennale 2011, as well co-curating the first SEAM Symposium (2009) on architecture, film and dance. 4

Photography by Peter Bennetts