For the sixth consecutive year, the Asia Pacific Architecture Festival (APAF) will make its return to Brisbane from 13-26 March 2021. A collaboration between Architecture Media and the State Library of Queensland, the festival is a mix of exhibitions, installations, symposia, lectures and workshops that promote and celebrate the architectural impact on wider culture, sustainability and the economy of the Asia-Pacific region.

The 2021’s festival theme is titled ‘How new is now?’ will encourage the critical thinking of participants, to ponder whether there is such a thing as a new idea, given the cyclic nature of the world that makes it difficult to distinguish innovation from iteration.

In response to testing times, including a global pandemic, economic crisis and climate emergency, architectural and design agencies must be applied in groundbreaking ways, and participants will be encouraged to craft ideas to combat these issues throughout the festival. 

The festival will include a range of events, such as a behind the scenes tour of the Queensland State Archives, a hands-on terrazzo-making course led by Five Mile Radius and a climate and crisis exhibition titled ‘On Fire’.

APAF 2021 will challenge attendees to simultaneously learn from the past and optimistically look forward to the next decade of design with a careful balance of vision and pragmatism.

State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald AM says the State Library is a key placeholder for architectural history and importance, both on a local and international scale. 

“Our proud partnership with Architecture Media helps play a key role in exploring the latest design thinking around the globe. The 2021 Asia Pacific Architecture Festival will reveal how the profession responds to challenging times.

“We look forward to welcoming the best minds in design and architecture back to State Library for another year.”

Architecture Media editorial director Katelin Butler says the festival is an open invite to architects and community members willing to look towards the future.

“APAF 2021 will appeal to anyone interested in being part of a conversation about the future planning and design of the Asia Pacific. We’re excited to bring APAF back to Brisbane, and to make the most of the opportunity presented by virtual and hybrid events which will allow us to expand the conversation through satellite events in other parts of the Asia Pacific region.”

Returning for its sixth year, APAF has established itself as an important event on Brisbane’s cultural calendar. The full program will be announced shortly, and is curated by a panel of industry representatives, including Cameron Bruhn, dean and head of school at the University of Queensland’s School of Architecture, and Stuart Vokes, director of Vokes and Peters and a member of Brisbane City Council’s Independent Design Advisory Panel.

For more information regarding the festival, visit 

Image: Supplied