studio catherine griffiths


mapping Australia in architect/density terms: Perth (left), Alice (centre), Sydney ...


full height wall typographics abstracted: WHAT DOES AN ARCHITECT LOOK LIKE? overlaid and fragamented by the Italian translation in italics A COSA ASSOMIGILIA UN ARCHITETTO? surrounds the space.






images © 2015 / Parlour and team


A brief overview of ParlourLIVE!

Parlour — Justine Clark, Naomi Stead, Maryam Gusheh, Catherine Griffiths and Fiona Young — has been shortlisted for the role of Creative Director of the Australian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. In March, Justine, Naomi and Fiona presented our Stage 2 proposal to the Venice Biennale Committee. The successful team will be announced on April 21st, 2015. Parlour will publish the full proposal in due course. Below is an extract from our submission:


ParlourLIVE! is a contemporary snapshot of the human story of Australian architecture — a powerful documentation of who the profession is, how it works and how it might become more robust and inclusive.

ParlourLIVE! is an instrument for collecting, exhibiting, and discussing live research. It generates a new picture of the profession and helps debate what it might become.

ParlourLIVE! is a forum for advocacy. It draws on the collective imagination of the entire Australian architecture profession to project a better future for all. It builds on existing Parlour research that shows that a more diverse and equitable profession is also stronger, more inventive and more sustainable.

ParlourLIVE! is research in action. It is also research that demands action. It prompts the viewer to ask “What about me?”, “Where do I fit?”, “What do I contribute?” and “What can I do?”

ParlourLIVE! asks the audience: what is the shape of the profession? How might you like that to change?

Visitors leave ParlourLIVE! with the knowledge that Australia is a leader in the campaign for equity in architecture. They take with them new knowledge, new resolve and practical tools for advocacy and action.

Exhibition strategy

MEET the architect — what does an architect look like?

Every Australian architect has the chance to have their 15 seconds of fame at the 2016 Venice Biennale.

ParlourLIVE! is radically inclusive. It challenges stereotypes of who can be an architect and what the profession looks like through the collection of tiny ‘real’ architects, accompanied by their individual stories.

Celebrating the often-unrecognised diversity of people and roles that already exists in Australian architecture, these miniatures fascinate the audience — local and international, architects and others — building empathy and connection.

REFLECT on the profession — beautiful data

Data and infographics provide a fascinating, detailed reality check, rewarding both a glance and a long examination.

ParlourLIVE! builds on a base of compelling, carefully prepared research. It asks: Who are the people of Australian architecture?, Where and how do they work?, What do they look like?, What motivates them and frustrates them?, What might the future of the profession be?, How could it be more equitable? This rich picture of how architects work, think, and practice in Australia is transported to Venice, where it is extended by new, comparative international data. This provides a collective picture — statistics and infographics are complemented by accumulated stories and images.

ACTIVATE change — a space to speak

ParlourLIVE! transforms the Australian pavilion into a live workshop on altering architecture for the better — as a workplace and a profession. There are numerous ways to participate: visitors leave energetic, optimistic, and armed with the impetus for change.

Exhibition design

A raked circular platform hovers within the square plan of the Australian pavilion. 3-D printed models of Australia’s architectural community cluster on the edges of the platform, mapping the location of major cities (all fall onto the arc) and of smaller towns and regions (Alice is in the very centre).

On the walls, fragmented floor-to-ceiling typography asks: WHAT DOES AN ARCHITECT LOOK LIKE? A COSA ASSOMIGILIA UN ARCHITETTO?

The typography challenges the legibility of the question, while also providing a frame for the answer. This is found in the detail — the information and data, the stories, projected visualisations, the narratives — that complement the elevated clusters of tiny figures in the centre of the room. The walls of the pavilion are an active three-dimensional site for the presentation, collection and dissemination of data and stories.

Over the life of the Biennale, visitors add their own information, and take away new tools, resources and data — the walls act as giant pin/peg boards. Dashed markings indicate places to hang, peg or slot information and objects, while the solid shapes, positive and negative, provide space for texts.


Australia is a leader in the campaign for equity in architecture, and ParlourLIVE! will use this position to empower visitors with the knowledge, the resolve and the practical tools for advocacy and action anywhere in the world.


ParlourLIVE! ParlourVIVERE! / March 2015

*for more information on the submission and selection, visit Parlour



05 a corporate world


exhibition: A bespoke display system for New Zealand Institute of Architects

exhibition: Point of Distance
Venice Architecture Biennale 2014 submission

exhibition: Diverse Practice
School of Architecture, VUW

exhibition: ParlourLIVE!
Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 submission

film: Making Waves with 20...

id: Athfield Architects
id: KAREN Network
id: KTA
id: Logan Studio
id: The Oxygen Group
id: Parlour
id: Sharon Jansen Architect
id: Stevens Lawson Architects

online: Interstices Journal

print: A+W•NZ
print: BRAIN magazine, JP
print: Desktop magazine, AU
print: Adam Art Gallery
print: Kristy Gorman
print: Creative New Zealand
print: TypeSHED11

poster: A+W•NZ
poster: A Cadavre Exquis, TS11
poster: Fête du Graphisme 2015
poster: Blue Oyster Art Space
poster: Like This, Like Us
poster: Man-Made
poster: Salted:Singlet
poster: Things That Move Me
poster: Wonder-Land
poster: Window

wayfinding: Athfield Architect
wayfinding: Distance Markers
wayfinding: Fran Wilde Walk



submission: Venice Architecture Biennale 2016, Australian Pavilion

In February 2015, Parlour (women, equity and architecture in Australia) formed a project team and responded to the call for Creative Director of the Australian Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.

The Parlour team — Justine Clark, Naomi Stead, Maryam Gusheh, Catherine Griffiths and Fiona Young — proposed the concept of ParlourLIVE! and was subsequently shortlisted, with four other teams, for the role of Creative Director.

In March, as part of Stage 2, Justine, Naomi and Fiona presented our developed proposal to the Venice Biennale Committee. The announcement of the Creative Director will be made on April 21st, 2015.

For more information about our submission, visit Parlour.

Thanks to our team of supporters and advisors: Karen Burns, Gill Matthewson, Rory Hyde, Leonardo Sonnoli, and the team at BVN.


The shortlist:

POST – John de Manincor, Sandra Kaji-O’Grady and Misho Baranovic

The Pool – Aileen Sage and Michelle Tabet

ParlourLIVE! – Justine Clark and Naomi Stead with Maryam Gusheh, Catherine Griffiths and Fiona Young

Wide Open – Ed Lippmann, Dr Anne Watson, Susan Freeman and Michael Hill

Objects – Andrew Burns and Mark Gowing


related links

Australian Institute of Architects

also see:

logo: Parlour
exhibition: Diverse Practice

2000s selected

Athfield Architects
REANNZ Research & Education Advanced Network New Zealand
The Oxygen Group

1990s selected/archived

Creative New Zealand
Victoria University
Wools of New Zealand


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