Through the work of our consultancy, we have sought to raise the level of cultural thinking and planning in Australian cities. We have been fortunate in the range of opportunities to work as part of multidisciplinary urban design teams. At times we have focused on developing public art outcomes but, increasingly, we are working to raise awareness of the implications of urban development on local cultural life, and how cultural considerations can influence design outcomes.
Contributors to this edition on ‘Culture and the Built Environment’ come from across disciplines and areas of practice, including articles by leading academics and thinkers in the field, policy makers, and practicing planners, artists and designers. The notion of thinking culturally is the strong message in the articles by Helen Armstrong, Catherin Bull and Vinayak Bharne on the cultural underpinning of design practice.
The challenge of building cultural thinking into government policy and programs is explored by Sally Gray, Wendy Sarkissian and Peter Browning. Brisbane City Council is making a major commitment to integrating culture and creativity across Council’s projects and programs. In 2002 Brecknock Consulting was engaged to develop the Creative City Policy and is now leading the Cultural Literacy project, in association with Sue Shaw from Ibis Consulting. This project, initiated by City Design’s chief architect Judy Kraatz, is providing an opportunity to integrate cultural thinking and understanding into a wide range of infrastructure projects through the City Design team.
No exploration of culture and the built environment would be complete without discussion of the role of art in the public realm. The contributions from Louise Lavarak, Jose Da Silva and Bronwen Coleman provide an insight in to public art and public art projects from the perspective of the artists, arts administrators and academics.
We believe it is timely to bring together this discussion and insight into the influences of culture in urban design, and believe that UDF is an ideal place for such a dialogue. We hope you will find the collected articles both informative and stimulating.