And the 2015 Dulux Study Tour Winners are…

March 27th, 2015

The 2015 Dulux Study Tour winners were announced at the Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards on 19 March at the NGV, Federation Square, Melbourne.

We are delighted to introduce the winners:

The group will depart on May 22nd, and will visit Tokyo, London and Paris.


Nic Brunsdon | Spacemarket   Western Australia

1403769841-Nic_ANicholas Brunsdon graduated from the Curtin University of Technology with honours in 2004 and has since been recognized for his creative leadership and entrepreneurship within the profession. Nicholas first began as a sole practitioner in 2006 when he established his own practice, while also contracting at Nettle Architects. In 2007 he moved to Abu Dhabi, UAE to become the manager of a newly formed design division of construction company Force 10 UAE.

Rather than accepting the status quo, Nicholas is continually investigating new ways of engaging with the built environment. When he returned to Perth in 2009, he resumed his practice and in 2011 he launched perhaps his most significant contribution to date, Spacemarket.

Spacemarket is a not-for-profit, grass-roots initiative that “pairs empty urban spaces with potential tenants.” This program has begun to shape legislation through strategic partnerships and is currently proposing to develop a code and policy for the adaptive re-use of existing buildings.

Alongside Spacemarket, Nicholas has launched Post-, an architectural design and development arm that delivers the commissioned pilot projects for the initiative.


Casey Bryant | Andrew Burns Architects New South Wales

CBRYANT - PROFILE PHOTOCasey graduated from University of Sydney in 2010 with honours receiving the CHL Turner Prize, the Ruskin Rowe Prize, the Partridge Partners Prize and as a finalist for the Colorbond Steel Student Biennale. Casey worked in Melbourne with McBride Charles Ryan, before returning to Sydney to work with Andrew Burns Architects.

In conjunction with Andrew Burns Architects, Casey has been instrumental in the design and delivery of several significant residential and cultural buildings, not least of which includes the Australia House in Japan. Casey now works within his own practice Casey Bryant Architecture as well as maintaining collaborations with Andrew Burns Architects.

A passionate photographer with teaching connections at universities in NSW, Casey anticipates using these platforms to document and passing on the experiences of the Dulux Study Tour.



John Ellway | John Ellway, James Russell Architects Queensland

john_ellway_by_toby_scottJohn began his career as a graphic designer working internationally, before deciding to become a mature age student in architecture at the University of Queensland.

In his education, John has shown initiative in directing his own learning. He chose to attend the 2013 Glenn Murcutt Masterclass, and won the 2011 SONA Superstudio in Queensland. From his own interest, John undertook an independent study of the work of John Railton, digitising the archive and organising tours for the public for Brisbane Open House.

In the media, John is an active and positive contributor to print and online publications, as well as radio. He has lead the way in developing an online community via Instagram- he now has 1200 followers who are sharing work, ideas and experiences.

John has already shown a willingness to create his own opportunities and to contribute to the profession, and the jury hopes that the 2015 Dulux Study Tour can take him further along that path.

Bonnie Herring | Breathe Architecture   Victoria

Bonnie HerringGraduating from the University of Tasmania with First Class Honours in 2009, Bonnie Herring has been employed at Breathe Architecture since 2010, and was made an associate in 2011.

In this relatively short amount of time, Bonnie has become respected within the industry, and has positioned herself as a leader within the profession. Bonnie is pivotal in the development of Breathes ideals towards a sustainable and ethical built environment.

Bonnie has demonstrated a passion and commitment for architecture. As the project architect on The Commons – the 2014 Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing – social and affordable housing is where Bonnies focus and interests are strongly positioned.

Bonnie is adamant about making a significant contribution to the development of sustainable housing, by way of challenging industry and community perceptions, planning and building regulations, and developers preconceptions of inner city affordable housing.

Monique Woodward | WOWOWA Victoria

MG_WOWOWA_1368Monique graduated from RMIT in 2009, and has since progressed quickly in her career. Monique is a founding director at WOWOWA, having started her career working alongside John Wardle Architect, ARM and Cassandra Complex.

Improving the way architects communicate the value of good design, is key to the drive behind Monique Woodward. Monique is active in various Institute committees, as well as various extracurricular organisations including the, Creative Women’s Circle, Victorian Young Architects Group, and the League of Extraordinary Women.

Monique’s commitment to, and passion for architecture and design, is evident in the energy and focus that she has applied to these extracurricular activities. Monique is a passionate about advocating the role architects play making of our future cities. Campaigning local politicians prior to the recent Victorian State election, about the future quality of built work in the city is one example


2015 Stage 2 Shortlist….

October 9th, 2014

…and the shortlist is …..


Tomek Archer Tomahawk Studios
Megan Baynes room11 architects
Daniel Beasly Stukel Stone
Peter Booth Booth&Watts, Uni of Tasmania
Andrew Boyne Andrew T Boyne Architect
Michael Bradburn Cox Richardson
Nic Brunsdon Post- Architecture/ Spacemarket
Casey Bryant Andrew Burns Architect
Anthony Clarke Black Line One X Architecture Studio
John Doyle Index Architecture & RMIT University
John Ellway James Russell Architect
Kate Ferguson CoDesign Studio
Rosalyn Fraser tessellate a+d
Louisa Gee m3architecture
Bonnie Herring Breathe Architecture
Georgina Hoad Beca
Michelle Emma James Here Studio
Caroline Kite Allen Jack + Cottier Architects
Phuong Le MODE Design
Yuri Leong YL Architecture
Maryam Litkouhi Rider Levett Bucknall
Joseph Loh SJB Architects
Nikhila Madabhushi Pleysier Perkins
Carmen Masry Webber Architects
Madelaine McCombe Plus Architecture
Yvonne Meng City of Melbourne
Mick Moloney Moloney Architects
Joshua Morrin Lyons
David Neustein Other Architects
Joseph O’Meara BVN
Michael Ong MODO Architecture
Jet O’Rourke Architectus
Anthony Parsons David Boyle Architect
Sam Perversi-Brooks Self-employed
Alberto Quizon CHROFI
Chloe Rayfield Bureau SRH
Michael Roper Architecture Architecture
Andrew Schulze NA
Claire Scorpo Claire Scorpo Architects
Michael Smith Atelier Red + Black
Cassandra Stronach Group D Creative
Mark Szczerbicki Own Practice
Rebecca Whan Jackson Teece Architects
Monique Woodward WoodWoodWard Architecture
Dirk Yates m3architecture
Joshua Zoeller CHROFI


Entry closing time extended…

September 18th, 2014

Due to overwhelming demand – and my fear the system may have a conniption – the entry  system will stay open until midnight tonight, Thursday 18 September

Enter here now 


One Minute to 12 oclock


Entry Questions

September 4th, 2014

On countless occasions, the Dulux Study Tour has been described as a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. During the tour, recipients are immersed in architecture in every sense, from visits to global architectural firms, to tours of renowned buildings. Over the past seven years, 35 emerging architects have embarked on the Dulux Study Tour, which has helped mould them into the inspirational architects they are today.

Dulux is proud to support a program that facilitates such rich learning opportunities and aims to develop Australia’s young, emerging architects.

‘The Dulux Study Tour represented a rare opportunity to be totally immersed in an appreciation of the many facets of world architecture. Taking the time out of life to stop and visit great cities and experience great buildings has been hugely inspirational. The Dulux Study Tour accelerated my growing sense of the possibilities for future directions in architecture and I’m sure this will resonate with me for many years.‘ Mel Bright, MAKE Architecture, 2013 participant

Enter here now

Simply answer these four questions….keeping in mind the judging criteria is based on individual contributions to, architectural practice, education, design excellence, community involvement

  • What influences and inspirations contribute to your practice of architecture? 
  • What do you feel you would benefit from the study tour? What do you hope to gain? 
  • How will your involvement in the Study Tour contribute to the architectural community in Australia?
  • What is the most significant contribution you have made to date to an architectural project? 

Entries are now open…..

July 25th, 2014

Enter here now! 

Entries close 5pm AEST Thursday 18 September 2014.

The Dulux Study Tour recognises and rewards emerging architects for their contribution to architectural practice, education, design excellence and community involvement.

The Dulux Study Tour provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity through an intensive visit for young architects – who are clearly intending to be leaders in our profession – to gain exposure to leading architectural practices and visit recent projects overseas.


Entry is open to all architects and graduates of architecture of up to 10 years from graduation of the two-tier or five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree. It is only open to Australian citizens/residents and New Zealand citizens residing in Australia. It is not mandatory that entrants are Australian Institute of Architects members.

Entrants may be nominated by an employer or self-nominate if they are self-employed. The nominating employer must be an Australian Institute of Architects member. Self-nominees must be an Australian Institute of Architects member, and will be required to supply additional supporting documentation.

Judging Criteria

The prize will be awarded to five emerging architects on the basis of their individual contributions to:

  • architectural practice
  • education
  • design excellence
  • community involvement

2015 Jury

David Karotkin, Chair
Phil White, Dulux
John Dimoglides, Exsulite
Past Study Tour participant
EmAGN Chair
Australian Institute of Architects representative

Please download the 2015 Dulux Study Tour Terms and Conditions


2015 tour planning …off and racing!

July 18th, 2014

And so, it starts all over again!

Entries for the 2015 will open next Thursday 24 July, more information here.

Again, its a two stage process, we will be asking for questions, so take your time answering, and remember to think about the criteria.

The prize will be awarded to five emerging architects on the basis of their individual contributions to:

  • architectural practice
  • education
  • design excellence
  • community involvement

Good Luck!

Day 11 – The last day

May 25th, 2014

The last official day of the tour was epic and saw us embark on a jam packed itinerary, navigating our way around three of New York’s boroughs, touring four projects & visiting five exciting architectural practices – lucky thing we’ve developed a lot of stamina over the past 10 days – nothing like leaving the best til last!


An early start saw us in the lovely leafy streets of Greenwich Village visiting the emerging practice of Family NY. Best known for their pioneering and innovative use of architectural crowd funding for the ‘+ Pool’ project, Dong Ping Wong talked to us about the studios exciting entrepreneurial approach to developing their own projects and some of Family’s other exciting commissions … including a house for Kanye and Kim!

It’s hard not to be totally inspired by the ‘Plus Pool’ project which began as a self-initiated Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a speculatively proposed floating community pool in New York. Dong has an amazing passion and conviction in the project. Offering engraved pool tiles and ‘first dips’ as an inducement to support the project, two rounds of Kickstarter has raised over US$350,000, enough money for initial water filtration testing currently underway in the East River. Four possible sites are currently under consideration and the project has, perhaps more critically, gained strong public and community support including from local authorities and some key fund raisers in New York. We really hope this pool gets built!



After a short sunny stop for good coffee (!!) in the Bowery, we negotiated the stairs and made it to the office of Toshiko Mori Architects (TMA). One of the most exciting aspects of Toshiko’s approach is the diversity of work and typologies she undertakes. Pursuing a practice model of diversification Toshiko has four ‘arms’ to her practice – ‘TMA’ focuses on built architecture, ‘VisionArq’ is an urban think-tank, ‘Paracoustica’ a non-profit exploring innovative projects for the developing world, alongside Toshiko’s teaching and studios at Harvard. In her own words: “It’s productive to diversify … and I find it more fun.” A great architectural ethos.


Donning our hardhats we headed uptown to Hudson Yards, Manhattan’s largest current development project for a tour of a series of beautifully detailed and structurally expressive subway station canopies and public pavilions by TMA. In an enormous shift of scale we then ventured into the subway station under construction below, descending via many, many steps to the track level of what will be New York’s deepest subway station. Infrastructurally scaled escalators, mechanical systems and extraction fans dwarfed us and the climb out was quite a feat. Our guides from TMA then took us on a quick visit nearby to their Sean Kelly Gallery, a carefully composed conversion of an existing warehouse building – a sign of the changes happening in this NY neighbourhood.



It turns out some taxi drivers in Manhattan don’t know how to get to get off the island, and so after some delay we finally arrived in Astoria, Queens to meet the very generous (and patient) Thomas Leeser who took us on a detailed tour of his immersive ‘Museum of the Moving Image’. The museum contains a curious and expansive collection of moving image history – from Edward Muybridge films to Bladerunner cityscape models and conceptual projective art.

Thomas discussed the development of the project over a 6 year period, from the initial competition winning strategy, through how the project brief expanded from a small scale $2m foyer renovation into becoming a large scale $75m redesign and addition. The shared architectural highlight was the breathtaking klein blue felt lined theatre with its amazingly kinetic multi-coloured curtain – an incredibly cinematic space which is also apparently Martin Scorsese’s favourite spot for a private screening! …well that seems like a pretty convincing review.




Catching the subway from Queens to Brooklyn we arrived in DUMBO (yet another great New York neighbourhood acronym – Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). This area of NY is a creative hub (and therefore home to many architects!) in fact REX is located just a few floors up in the same building as Leeser Architects, with an enviable view of the Brooklyn Bridge and across towards the Manhattan skyline.


REX’s office was surprisingly quiet … having recently won a competition for the Mercedes-Benz Future Centre in Stuttgart, Germany a large part of the team had headed to Europe to kick start the project. We were able to take sneak peak at the so far undisclosed winning design proposal and also admire the whiteboard diagrams and sketches lining the walls.

The office is scattered in many models used extensively to both present, test and develop design strategies. We checked out proposals for a couple of the other key projects the office is working on … one a very large scale ‘necklace’ house (actually 5 houses in one) being constructed somewhere in America for a secret client, and the Five Manhattan West project, a large scale retrofit of an existing tower located near Hudson Yards, which is just commencing construction.


Our final stop was at SHoP – and inspiring it was. Rapidly expanding and recently relocated into the historic Woolworths Building in Downtown Manhattan, Director of Government projects Omar Toro-Vaca took us on a tour of their impressive new digs. The foyer space features the partner’s model aeroplane collection (the second largest in the US) which underscores the importance placed on architectural assembly.

Omar discussed how the practice had grown through an entrepreneurial approach, taking on development risk, more closely integrating consultants, becoming involved in project delivery and construction through forming SHoP Construction, innovating with technology – for example developing apps to streamline construction for the Barclay’s Arena cladding panels, or deliberately adopting a “swim down with the sharks” approach where developer objectives are co-opted for architectural ends such as FAR strategies adopted for their super slender West 57th Street Tower. We also met one of the founder ShoP’s founder Chris Sharples (the SH in SHoP) who almost seemed convinced for a moment to reveal their recent competition winning project in Melbourne for 441 Collins Street – but unfortunately we lucked out there and will have to wait!

No better way to end the day than a visit with Kathy and Jake from SHoP to Pier 15, part of their East River Waterfront redevelopment, for a project tour and to share some beers overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge.



Of course this wasn’t really the end … the last day kicked on with dinner at The Mercer Kitchen followed by drinks in SoHo, and the next day with some last minute dashing around New York. Since then we have scattered, some staying on in New York, some heading to the West Coast and others making it all the jetlagged way back home … I’m sure that wherever we all are right now we can’t help but reflect on what an amazing experience this has been, and what a positive impact this tour will have on us all. Thanks for following our travels!

Day 10 – New York practice visits 1

May 24th, 2014

Day 9 was Sunday, and Sunday was a free day in the itinerary. Ben and Cherry went exploring, including a visit to Four Freedoms Park via the cable car. Jenna had a ‘Jenna-day’ which appeared to involve an incredible amount of shopping and sightseeing over a very large area in a relatively small amount of time. Suzannah and Michael checked out some NYC classics including Grand Central, Seagram, Lever House and the Rockefeller Centre. Day 10 was the first of our New York practice visits.DSC_0440


Our first port of call was with ‘eleven hundred’ architects on 10th Avenue. We were greeted by Suzanne and Ed who gave us an overview of the practice. 1100 undertakes a wide variety of typologies placing the emphasis of their work on material quality and relationship to place. In a sense they are a regional New York practice, although the European influence of the directors is clearly evident and they also have an office in Frankfurt. Across all sectors, the work was incredibly controlled and thoroughly detailed and we discussed the research and documentation and staff structure strategies which made this possible. Projects included the MoMA design store, Queens Central Library and a houses in Florida and Long Island. We also lucky enough to meet principals David and Juergen towards the end of the visit who shared some views of the state of architecture in New York with us.DSC_0678


Stop number two was with Paul Lewis of LTL Architects in midtown. Paul is a principal of the practice together with twin brother David and long time collaborator Marc Tsurumaki. He is also active an associate professor at Princeton and Vice President of the New York Architectural League. Needless to say Paul is a busy man, and he shared insights and tactics into running a practice which incorporated academic and extra-curricular activities as well as publishing activities. Keep an eye out for his ‘Manual of Sections’ due out next year – a book about the taxonomy of building sections with over 70 drawn examples. The practice of LTL began with a series of inventive restaurant commissions and has evolved to take on larger scale public and institutional work. Paul encapsulated their approach with the word ‘intensity,’ a suitable word for such a dynamic young practice.DSC_0700


Third stop on this whirlwind tour was with Chris West of Foster + Partners in the Hearst Tower designed and completed by Foster in 2006. The Hearst Corporation is an enormous media and information company owning US newspapers and international magazines including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan and Oprah. The building is their national headquarters and they occupy the entire building save for half of the 26th floor where Foster has retained an office space (and stunning views). Chris gave us the corporate overview of the Foster practice which employs a staggering 1,100 people with an average age of 34, in 20 offices around the world. In terms of local projects, we were shown the Yale School of Management in New Haven which collected a series of individually expressed teaching spaces around a modern version of an Oxbridge courtyard.DSC_0714


Next we met with Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto of RUR Architecture across on 59th Street. Reiser + Umemoto began in 1984 and have grown slowly over the past thirty years combining intensive teaching with speculative practice. Paul is now Professor at Princeton and Nanako is a Visiting Professor at three other universities. After steadfastly pursuing their ‘argument’ or ’thesis’ through the competition procurement model, the practice has recently won first place in two major international competitions – the Kaohsiung Port Terminal and the Taipei Pop Music Centre, both in Taiwan – which has changed the trajectory of the office. We discussed their O-14 tower in Dubai and the realities of delivering such a building through digital documentation and scripting. Jesse and Nanako also shared their thoughts on the use of academic publishing as an apparatus to push ideas forward.DSC_0744


Our final visit for the day was with the office of Diller Scofidio and Renfro in the Starrett-Lehigh Building, a commercial building slash freight terminal occupying an entire city block in Chelsea. Luca Farinelli showed us around the office and introduced us to Matt Ostrow who discussed a number of new projects with us including he Broad Art Museum, Columbia University Medical Centre and the Hudson Yards Culture Shed. We talked about the programmatic particularities and innovations of each project, but broadly on the focus on material innovation and the the use of CATIA in the design process. Our extended tour concluded with a site visit to the nearby High Line project accompanied by Dustin Tobias who had been working on the project for the past three years. We were treated to an in depth explanation of the project, both in its conception and realisation. The High Line quickly became a unanimous favourite. One and a half miles of elevated design.DSC_0919

Day 8 – a trip to The Glass House

May 22nd, 2014

Our first Saturday in New York first involved a visit to a TriBeCa apartment designed by Nexus; where our hosts took us through the design process and their impressive collection of art. (Just a side note – one thing that we found particularly interesting is the naming of NYC neighbourhoods – ie TriBeCa = triangle below canal st. Brilliant.)

From the TriBeCa apartment, Phil our Dulux sponsor skillfully managed to manouvre and navigate us through the city in a rented minivan out to New Canaan for a visit to Philip Johnson’s Glass House. Having first visited Mies’ Farnsworth House back in Illinois, we were somewhat skeptical if the Glass House would live up to expectation. Our car trip involved much discussion surrounding the way in which we understood Johnson to be a bowerbird of sorts – not displaying a distinct consistent style within his architecture.

However – despite these thoughts; the Glass House was definitely impressive. In comparison to the Farnsworth house, it was a very grounded building due to the dark red brick flooring sitting within the landscape, and the connection back to the Brick House which is sited adjacent to the Glass House. One thing we noted on our post-visit trip home critique was the Farnsworth House has a greater horizontal emphasis, in which you are always looking outwards. This isn’t the case within the Glass House. It may be due to solid the cylindrical brick service core which pierces the volume, or it may be due to the horizontal window mullions.


One thing we weren’t completely expecting was the other buildings on the Johnson estate. It was evident that Johnson’s wealth and connection with the who’s-who of the art world (notably Andy Warhol) allowed for him to experiment within his architecture.


We decided our favourite building on site was actually the underground art bunker. Entered via a slight decline down into a door set within a mound in the landscape, the art gallery’s clover leaf plan held three large rotating double carpet clad panels of art, with many leafs of panels hiding behind the current fixed installation. After some coaxing, we were allowed to one-by-one tuck our heads around the corner to view a lesser known Andy Warhol piece – similar to his postage stamp pieces yet in muted tones.


The site itself had many follies and small experimental buildings on it, including his library – being on the site itself reinforced Johnson’s seemingly disparate stylistic approach to his work. What did impress us however, given our previous thoughts that he was just ripping off his contemporaries, was that Johnson admitted in some video footage we were shown that he was not as great an architect as Frank Lloyd Wright or Mies or other ‘giants of the day’ and he outrightly admitted that he was a ‘sniffer-arounder’.


Ultimately – he was an experimental architect with the propensity to test both his ideas and ideas of popular stylistic trends of the time – becoming famous due to his connections at that time. We do also have to mention our night out on Saturday – due to an indecisive bunch of very hungry study-tourers we spontaneously selected a restaurant to eat at in the Lower East Side. Cue our foray into a world of crazy aka the Russian Cabaret Tapas bar. Seriously hilarious, and involving many loud sing-a-longs and even more Sun Goddess cocktails, the Russian cabaret tapas bar set the tone of the evening which culminated in a dance off to 80s classics in an underground bar – and finally falling in to bed at 5:30am. Fortunately Sunday was our free day…

Day 7 – The city that never sleeps…

May 22nd, 2014

The tour’s first day in New York began with yet another episode of the amazing race. While the metro card system hindered one group’s departure, team Jenna and Cherry (this time joined by Michael and Ben) were once again leading the way; fearlessly navigating the subway to the southern most tip of Manhattan. It was here that we met Bettina, our guide from Guiding Architects New York. Being the first to arrive, there was time to grab a quick coffee from a somewhat intriguing yet run down pavilion. Bettina later informed us that this was in fact the New Amsterdam Plein Pavilion completed by Ben van Berkel / UNStudio in 2010 which had unfortunately never functioned as it was intended due to delayed completion of the adjacent Staten Island Ferry Terminal and damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The 4-hour walking tour started in Battery Park on the west side where we battled the wild winds and learned of the irregular spread of New York City northwards until the Commissioner’s (Grid) Plan was overlaid in 1811. From here we walked over to the East River Waterfront Project by SHoP Architects, which was completed in collaboration with Ken Smith as part of former Major Bloomberg’s green city initiatives to reconnect the city to the waterfront. Despite the cold, windy weather keeping the sensible people away, it was fantastic to experience the level of thought that went into the design and the diverse ways that people can interact with and occupy public space.


En-route to the World Trade Centre and Memorial Site, the group obstructed the sidewalk as we cranked our necks to view the overwhelming scale and bulk of the Equitable Building designed by Earnest R. Graham in 1915. It was interesting to learn the public outrage to overshadowing caused from this early skyscraper led to the introduction of the cities zoning and setback laws in 1916.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

The timing for our visit to the World Trade Centre could not have been better as it was the very first day that the National 911 memorial had been opened to the public without restrictions. The strength of Michael Arad and Peter Walker’s memorial design shone through despite the hoards of tourists; the four walls of water cascading down into the endless tower footprints leaving us with a lasting impression.


The walking tour concluded with a brief pause at The Beekman, Gehry’s first residential tower from 2010 and then onto China Town for some well-earned dumplings. A trip up the Empire State Building had been scheduled into our 18-page itinerary however this was postponed due to the cloudy weather and replaced with free time to explore. Ben, Michael and Suzannah made a B-line straight to the New Museum by SANAA and had raving reviews of the vertical circulation and current exhibition featuring music by Sigor Ros. Jenna and Cherry meanwhile spent the afternoon visiting boutique retail fit-outs in SoHo and NoLIta.

Reconvening once again at ‘The Centre for Architecture’ we met with Rick Bell AIA New York Chapter and heard about the many ways the Institute is reaching out to it’s members and collaborating with other architectural organisations across Manhattan. The information came at us thick and fast – perhaps too fast for our weary selves. It would soon become evident however that we’d have to ditch the jet-lag excuse and ‘lift our game’ if we were to keep up with the pace of the ‘city that never sleeps!’