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Australia’s cities and suburbs are experiencing a development boom unlike any before. In the mad scramble to go upwards and outwards, our architecture of the last 60 years is being destroyed in the process. In this year’s Griffin lecture, comedian and self described “design nerd” Tim Ross will declare his love for Australia’s Modernist legacy and explain why we should value it. Why as a nation, Tim asks, are we hellbent on erasing the past? What is it in our national character that makes us think that it’s ok to do so?
Tim Ross will give the 2018 Griffin Lecture titled ‘Pick a Town and Break it Down’. The Griffin Lecture aims to address the big issues in architecture and design and examines national matters of interest in the built environment. Since its first delivery in Canberra in 1961, this public lecture has been presented by eminent individuals including Gough Whitlam, John Gorton, Roy Grounds, Manning Clarke, Clover Moore and Philip Adams.
Best known for his work on TV and radio (he has the rare distinction of hosting both a number 1 drive show and breakfast show in Sydney) Comedian Tim Ross has a long-standing passion for architecture and design.
Over the last six years, he has performed his live Man About the House show exclusively in architecturally-significant buildings and homes that he turns into temporary theatres. He has performed to literally sold-out houses across the country in buildings designed by a Who’s Who of Australian architecture including Harry Seidler, Robin Boyd, Glenn Murcutt, John Wardle, Clare Cousins and Roy Grounds.
The show has also toured overseas including seasons in the United States and New Zealand, the Venice Biennale and the London Festival of Architecture where it was included in the ‘must see’ events by the New York Times. In 2014, the show was awarded the National Trust Heritage Award.
Tim has passionately supported the architecture industry, with particular focus on fighting alongside the community on the ‘Save Our Sirius’ campaign. In 2018 Tim was awarded the National Trust Heritage Award for Advocacy, for his activism on modernist architecture and promoting its conservation.
Tim’s interest in architecture has led to speaking engagements at The ‘50s and ‘60s House Symposium (Museum of Sydney), Home Series talks (Government House), Sydney Design Week, and he is an ambassador for Sydney Open. In 2012 Tim became a member of the Creative Services Advisory Committee for Sydney Living Museums.
He has written on architecture for various publications including a regular column in Real Living, Habitus, The Saturday Paper, The Smith Journal and The Guardian. In 2017, Tim launched his second book, The Rumpus Room, capturing nostalgic short stories about life in Australia’s suburbs in the 60s, 70s and 80s. The Rumpus Room is now in its third print run.
Tim’s two-part series on Australian Architecture, Streets of Your Town premiered on ABC TV in November 2016 to rave reviews, and quickly became the most watched arts program on the ABC for the year.
The Griffin Lecture is organised by the ACT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects with the generous support of GHD Woodhead.