evoke – the art of architecture
Townsville, 8-11 September

Just as art stirs and appeals to our emotions, architecture has the ability to elicit human responses that move, touch and excite us. evoke seeks to draw upon this idea, not simply through integration, nor as a two-dimensional parallel, but rather, to coalesce architecture ‘as‘ art. Architecture that evokes emotion through the embodied experience of materiality, scale and light. This spatial, temporal and sensory art is much more than the spectacle of form.

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Perceived through our emotional sensibilities, sensing space has direct and indirect effects on human emotion. The immediate and spontaneous emotional response moves and pulls us into the present. Equally, these experiences are deep-rooted and linger in our memories, finding new life in the creation of our own work. This lasting inspiration is what evoke seeks to instill. Through rich conversation, speakers will share projects and philosophies that stimulate the fertile crossover between architecture and art. Positioning the architect as an artist of human emotion, an exploration into space as ‘atmosphere’ and ‘experience’ will unfold.

As we explore architecture that authentically and emotionally connects people with environment, either in nature or urban settings, we find the ‘regional’ emerge at the heart of these themes. As a regional conference, we look to those working, or with projects sited, in areas removed from urban centres who embed genius loci at the heart of their practice. We have vivid memories of Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp Chapel and Peter Zumthor’s Steilneset Witchcraft Memorial in Norway’s Arctic Circle, two regional works of architecture that touch, provoke, delight and nurture all of the senses, through their profound connection to place.

In the same vein, our direct experience 10 years ago of Kengo Kuma’s Horai Onsen set in the forest overlooking the ocean in Atami, Japan, holds for us a lasting impression of evocative space that celebrates authentic and emotional connections to place and contemporary culture. This personal connection to the art of architecture is the basis through which the speakers for evoke have been curated. Speakers, whose works, ideas and presence have moved us and shape our understanding of architecture today.

With regional, tropical Queensland as the backdrop for the conference, evoke draws keynote speakers from Scandinavia, Asia and closer to home, crafting diverse conversation. Viewed as an ‘experience’ itself, the conference will engage Townsville’s local arts and architecture communities through an exhibition and fringe events running in parallel. Townsville’s ‘spirit of place’ will be discovered by the senses through immersion and involvement.

Inspiring and evocative, evoke is a conference that will focus on architecture and ideas that surpass function; those that connect with the human condition as does art, through experience of light, place, landscape and time.

Lindy Atkin and Stephen Guthrie

Creative Directors

Stephen Guthrie (UK) and Lindy Atkin (Australia) are founding directors of the Sunshine Coast’s Bark Design Architects, a regional practice of eight people based in a ‘barefoot’ studio in Noosa.

Since 1997, Lindy and Stephen have led a collaborative studio approach to making residential, civic, boutique commercial, urban design and art projects throughout some of Queensland’s amazing coastal and hinterland environments. Read more

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In 2005, their studio was awarded the Beatrice Hutton Award for Commercial Architecture at the Australian Institute of Architects’ Queensland Architecture Awards. Bark was selected for the 2008 ‘Placemakers’ exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, which celebrated the work of 22 notable Queensland architects.

Following studies at the University of Queensland and University of North London, Lindy worked with Nicholas Grimshaw, Jan Kaplicky and Amanda Levete of Future Systems and Richard Rogers between 1989 and 1995. On returning to Australia, Lindy worked with Lindsay and Kerry Clare, and John Mainwaring on the Sunshine Coast and James Grose in Sydney from 1995 to 1997.

Stephen grew up in the Bahamas, studied architecture at the University of Tennessee, USA and RMIT, Melbourne, and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Queensland, Australia in 1993. Stephen worked with John Mainwaring between 1993 and 1997, prior to establishing Bark with Lindy, after winning a design competition for Caloundra Regional Art Gallery.

Together, Lindy and Stephen have delivered lectures at the Iceland Academy of Arts in Reykjavik, the State Library Queensland, University of Queensland, TEDx Noosa, the Australian Institute of Architects’ Sunshine Coast Region and most recently the at the IIID ‘Design Deliver’ conference in Hyderabad, India in February 2016.

Bark’s design approach carefully considers landscape, climate, inhabitants and unlocking the evocative ‘spirit’ of each site to reveal the essential and nurturing qualities of ‘place’. With collaboration at the heart of their practice, the ‘art of architecture’ is intrinsic to Bark’s architectural design and the exhibition work that they actively engage in with their art and research offshoot, Bark Lab.

Bark Lab’s art and installation projects include: the 2015 ‘Yarning Circle’ project as part of ‘Homesickness’ exhibition, Logan Art Gallery curated by artists Elizabeth Woods and Kevin Leong; ‘Coral’ at the 2014 ‘Sculpture by the Sea’, Bondi; ‘Growth’ at the 2013 Floating Land Festival and its subsequent interstate tour to the 2013 ‘Art and Science Soiree’ Powerhouse Sydney and the 2010 ‘Soup Kitchen Project’ Bordeaux, France, with artists Elizabeth Woods and Kevin Leong.

Bark’s curation of evoke draws on the personal connectivity, which is critical for regional architecture practice, through Lindy and Stephen’s experiences in architecture and life.