What makes up a nation? In the 21st century, nationalist frames are giving way to new interpretations of the global.
Dr Jennifer Ferng speaks with Professor Vikram Prakash and Professor Julie Willis about the Encyclopedia of Australian architecture, national identity, and the obstacles to capturing selected moments of history. Prakash and Willis speak about the tensions between the national and the global. They share personal experiences about how they each came to study Australian architecture and India’s architecture as well as how their roles in universities have come to shape their trajectories as academics and intellectual leaders.
Vikram Prakash is the Director of Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Programs in the Office of the Dean, College of Built Environments, University of Washington and founding board member of GAHTC – the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative. He is a fellow podcast host himself – in fact, he hosts ArchitectureTalk in the US – a bi-weekly podcast with curated conversations on contemporary architecture and architectural thinking. His books among others include Chandigarh’s Le Corbusier: The Struggle for Modernity in Postcolonial India and A Global History of Architecture (with Francis DK Ching & Mark Jarzombek).
Julie Willis is Dean of Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the Melbourne School of Design. She is an authority on the history of Australian architecture 1890-1950 and has undertaken significant projects researching modern hospital architecture in Australia. She has also examined the importance of public buildings in community, civic and national identities; architecture during wartime and its subsequent impact on practice and production; and equity and diversity in the Australian architectural profession. Her current research includes writing a new short history of Australian architecture; the transmission of architectural knowledge through professional networks in architecture.