Shedding the Shed

The University of Canberra
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
UnAustralia: Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia, 2006, pp. 1 - 8
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The vast geographic size and climatic diversity of Australia, not to mention the heterogenous character of its population, makes a mockery of any singular idea of a national architectural identity. But that has not stopped many from wishing and looking for one. In this respect, the way that the architect Glenn Murcutt s work has been received, both locally and internationally, is instructive. As the most highlyawarded architect in Australia s history, Murcutt s influence looms large over the local scene. Australian architecture in general, and Murcutt s work in particular, is often framed as a direct, unfussy and authentic response to specific qualities of landscape, climate, local traditions and materials. We might call this the tradition of refined sheds. But it is also interesting to examine what is excluded by this tradition, what it passes over, what might be its dialectical opposite what might be, in short, an unAustralian architecture, a shedding of the shed.
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