Congratulations to the winners of the Emerging Architects Prize around the country. We present the recipients awarded so far.

Our friends at AWS are great supporters of emerging professionals as well as women in architecture. As part of this they sponsor the Australian Institute of Architects Emerging Architects Prize across Australia.

Meet some of the people who will drive the future of architecture in Australia. The following are abridged and edited versions of the prize citations.

ACT – Jessica de Rome

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Jessica graduated from the University of Canberra in 2007 and worked at Colin Stewart Architects for six years as an associate before founding de Rome Architects three and a half years ago. The practice has emerged as a design-focused practice with a reputation for creating efficient, well designed outcomes. Jessica believes that the value of architecture is best promoted through the successful execution of design and by a strong understanding of the architecture practice. She seeks to balance quality design, sustainability and buildability, while acknowledging the realities of business and practice, and aims to lift the quality of small multi-residential developments. She aims to educate developers of the importance of complete architectural services, as well as liaising with public stakeholders. Jessica͛ is also active in the Australian Institute of Architects and has sat on various award juries, including the ACT Architecture Awards, Professional of the Year Prize and the Emerging Architect Prize. Jessica has been involved with the University of Canberra for the last ten years as both a sessional tutor and jury panel member and is on the University Education Advisory Panel. Jessica has informally mentored a number of graduates, in particular female colleagues. Gender equality is a pertinent issue, which she approaches from the inside out to best understand the issues that exist at the core of the industry, while exploring and demanding avenues for recognition and improvement. Jessica is a credit to the profession, a passionate and intelligent architect, and a strong role model to her peers and aspiring architects alike.

ACT Chapter Special Commendation – Annette Pogas
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Annette graduated from the University of South Australia with a Masters of Architecture in 2009, a time of decline in the South Australian market. Unperturbed, Annette sought to expand her knowledge and open new opportunities by enrolling in a Bachelor of Building and Construction Management. Here she met Philip Nayda, a lecturer and director of Hodgkinson, who recommended she be interviewed for a graduate position in the practice. Annette then moved to Alice Springs as part of a three-person team for Hodgkinson. This presented a steep learning curve as Annette learnt first what needed to be done and then how to do it. She describes her time in Alice Springs was one of the best experiences in terms of her professional development. After two and a half years she moved to Canberra and opened the Canberra branch of the new joint venture firm ArPM, a joint venture firm between Hodgkinson and BPSM, a medium-sized firm from Tasmania. Annette has built up the firm over the last four years and has learnt a great deal about the business of architecture in the process.

Annette is involved with the Australian Institute of Architects and is an active member of several committees, including the Education Committee, Planning Committee, Design Canberra Committee. She was co-chair of EmAGN 2015–2016. In this role she encouraged wider construction industry connection through events such as Bring your own Consultant, which provided a networking opportunity between architects and other disciplines. For the 2015 Design Canberra Festival, Annette facilitated the ArchTeams discussions between architect, client and builder called and participated in the 2016 BEES Design and Build Your Dream House studio taking a group of school children through a studio session about how people live and what constitutes their dream lifestyle. Annette tutors at the University of Canberra in the Built Environment Technology unit. Annette is a tenacious, pragmatic and optimistic architect, volunteering her time generously to improve the connections between the profession, public and education.

SA – Esther Chew
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Esther graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2007 and registered as an architect in 2014. After graduating she worked at Mulloway Studio Architects for eight years before moving to Grieve Gillet Andersen where she has worked for the past two years. During her time at university she was the SONA representative, as well as serving on SONA’s National Committee as the Director of Publications and editor of TERRA. On graduating she participated in NAG activities and established a quarterly event called ‘15’, which created a platform for designers to share ideas. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Architects, National Australia Women in Construction and Open Architecture Network.

Some of Esther’s notable works include the Harts Mill project and the Anzac Centenary Memorial Walk. She is undertaking a Masters in Development Studies and is currently working with an NGO in Nepal master planning a girls Bible College. Esther has continuously shown a willingness to contribute to things that are not tied back to furthering her own professional position, but rather directly focused on delivering the benefits of her architectural knowledge more broadly.

As a contribution through leadership the jury thinks that Esther’s demonstration of a successful career, raising children, still contributing to pro bono projects and being able to lead high profile outcomes is a worthy exemplar to other young practitioners. We are pleased to be able to able to recognise her continuing contribution to the practice of architecture with this award.

NSW – Tomek Archer
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Tomek embodies many of the qualities recognised in the Emerging Architect Prize, while demonstrating competence and engagement far beyond his years. Archer Studio, the collaborative practice that he leads, has been awarded multiple projects through design excellence processes. Each of the practice’s projects enable a specific form of research, as the assumptions of architectural production are tested and interpreted anew, be it via material investigation, manners of representation, procurement processes, or enabled patterns of habitation. This evident agility in design thinking has been recognised through several international platforms. Tomek has demonstrated excellence in research and pedagogy thtough his association with the universities of Sydney. He has been a teacher in design and guest critic, most recently developing a studio to investigate various, systemically increasing scales of architectural production. Tomek’s endeavors extend beyond traditional notions of architecture, to operate at the periphery of contemporary practice. His engagement with furniture design has culminated in the establishment of a successful design, production and distribution company. More recently he has leveraged design thinking and his experiences across architecture, furniture and the music industry to present ideas and observations regarding intellectual property to the federal government. In doing so, he has influenced policy that could either enable or thwart this and future generations of innovators. Tomek is an emerging architect working with passion and commitment across the incredible diversity of roles architecture can embody in contemporary practice. Oh, and he was also a rock star.

Tasmania – Thomas Bailey

thomas-baileyThomas Bailey shows an ongoing commitment to design excellence within architectural practice, and his many contributions to education and his engagement with the broader community should be commended and celebrated. From an early age, Thomas has been a leader in the architectural community, not only within the Tasmanian profession, but also beyond, and he has produced an exceptional body of built work at Room11. While running a thriving practice, Thomas has shown an ongoing commitment to the profession by continuing his education at RMIT, undertaking a PhD, and he has also participated in a number of national and regional conferences, been a guest lecturer and tutor at several universities around Australia and curated a series of exhibitions seeking to engage with the public realm. The jury is pleased to recognise Thomas as the 2017 Emerging Architect in Tasmania.