A new Foundation has been launched by the Australian Institute of Architects to promote the benefits of architecture and design to the wider community through a national program of initiatives.

Chaired by former director of the art gallery of New South Wales, Edmund Capon AM OBE, the Foundation will focus on architecture and design projects that positively impact Australian communities, including exhibitions, scholarships and education programs.

“A Foundation supporting the development of architecture is a fresh concept for Australia,” said Capon. 

"Previously, other art sectors have been the major recipients of cultural philanthropy, however architecture, having the capacity for direct and positive impact on the future of our cities and urban spaces, should also be nurtured through philanthropic assistance.”

The Foundation’s fundraising initiatives will include a Patrons program, which seeks to develop and draw architecture and design to the forefront of ‘Australia’s creative consciousness’, while educating the wider population about the benefits of good design.

“Architecture and design is a vital pillar of community wellbeing, and to ensure continued improvement of the quality of our built environments, we must develop outreach programs and initiatives to generate purposeful conversations about the benefit of good design,” said David Parken, CEO of the AIA.

“It will also make architecture accessible to a more informed public – this is the guiding mission of the Foundation.”

Already underway, the Foundation’s first initiative is an architecture residency program, the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The AIA’s Droga Architect in Residence will encourage the exploration of new approaches, exchange of ideas, internal collaboration and cross fertilisation. This is done by inviting international architects to participate in a three-month program in Australia.

Cultural philanthropist and support of the Institute, Daniel Droga, has gifted his award-winning Droga Apartment for use by the Foundation as an architect residency.

The apartment, designed by Durbach Block Architects and winner of the 1998 Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture will accommodate the inaugural architect in residence, Dr Carmen Fiol-Costa.

Dr Carmen Fiol-Costa