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    The most read opinion pieces of 2016

    The comment section of the Architecture & Design website is a place for our audience to contribute opinion to topics pertinent to the Australian building design industry.

    The top 10 was selected by the number of times it was viewed by our audience.

    To contribute an opinion piece please email [email protected] for more information. 

    1.jpg1. In 2017 let's pledge for no unpaid overtime: NSW architect

    Clinton Cole, managing Director of Sydney architecture and construction outfit, CplusC Architectural Workshop writes a scathing review of the current working and wage conditions for architects in Australia. His article, which has since been read, shared and supported all over the nation, exposes a culture of unpaid overtime and exploitation in the architecture profession that is often swept under the rug and overlooked for other important issues. 


    2.jpg2. Are shipping containers really the answer for affordable housing? Time for a reality check

    Housing affordability issues in Australia have resulted in people looking for alternative ways to build accommodation more cheaply. A recent worldwide trend has been to convert shipping containers to liveable accommodation. However, some real challenges lie behind the rosy picture of turning shipping containers into homes. Vidyasagar Potdar of Curtin University reports…

     

    3.jpg3. How to get the best value for money out of the coming home battery boom

    Home power storage batteries are coming to a house near you as the game-changing technology – which promises to let you store solar energy for later use when the sun isn’t shining – begins appearing across Australia’s suburbs. Jemma Green and Peter Newman of Curtin University offer insights on how you can get the best out of your battery.  

     

     

    4.png4. Five Australian architecture blogs every architect should follow

    Architecture & Design Editor Nathan Johnson shares his top 5 architecture blogs from Australian producers which have been a source of information and inspiration for him over the past 12 months.

     

     

     

    5.jpg5. The return of the breeze block

    Breeze blocks are having a moment in the sun, says Naomi Stead of The University of QLD. Having been painfully hip in the architecture of the 1950s and 60s, they were used so extensively, in both houses and commercial buildings, that they became ubiquitous anywhere in the world where it was hot – including throughout Australia.

    Now their fortunes have turned again and architects, for the moment at least, can’t get enough of them.

    6.jpg6. In conversation: Dr Ian Weir on designing bushfire-responsive housing

    Architecture & Design Editor Nathan Johnson sat down with consulting research architect with the Queensland University of Technology and director of Ian Weir Architect, Dr Ian Weir, to discuss the major challenges and misconceptions associated with designing bushfire-responsive housing and explores design strategies for achieving compliant housing in high Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) areas without the need for incessant vegetation clearing.

     

    7.jpg7. Why doesn't China want any more 'weird' buildings?

    The Chinese State Council is seeking to curtail the construction of “oversized, xenocentric, weird” architecture. This kind of “weird” architecture first appeared in China after further economic liberalisation in the 1990s. Today, examples include the National Theatre, the Olympic Centre and the China Central Television Tower, among many others. As well as being visually striking, these buildings signify China’s transition from a planned economy to a market economy, and its re-emergence as a world superpower.

    So why then are they trying to stop construction of these flamboyant buildings? Yue Zhuang, University of Exeter and Feng Qing, Tsinghua University tell us why.

    8.jpg8. Designing the school of the future — Going up: the future is vertical

    Hamilton Wilson, Education Specialist, Wilson Architects, shares his insights into the future trends of education architecture and why vertical schools have a big future.

    He says that the vertical school is a viable response to the challenges of education design in densely populated areas. However, he also believes that other schools can also gain benefits from considering the same strategies to increase their efficiency and build a stronger community. 

    9.jpg9. Zaha Hadid: an exceptional, complex, and inspirational person to work with

    Paul Crosby of Nottingham Trent University worked for Zaha between 2011 and 2013, as general manager of her practice. In that time, he came to have a greater understanding and appreciation for her and her work. He also quickly learned that Zaha was unconventional and exceptional, both as an architect, and as a person.

     

     

    10.jpg10. Despite the hype, batteries aren't the cheapest way to store energy on the grid

    The Australian government is reviewing our electricity market to make sure it can provide secure and reliable power in a rapidly changing world. Faced with the rise of renewable energy and limits on carbon pollution, The Conversation has asked experts what kind of future awaits the grid. Roger Dargaville from the University of Melbourne weighs in on the debate. 

     

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