07 Mar 24

Meet the jury for the Australian Institute of Architects’ SA Chapter awards

Two Woods Bagot leaders from the Adelaide studio have been selected as jurors for the South Australian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2024 awards program.

The SA Architecture Awards enable public and peer recognition of the innovative work of Institute members within the state. Winners at chapter level will progress to the Institute’s National Awards program later in the year. 

Woods Bagot Director Thomas Masullo has been named a juror for the “Public Architecture” category, judging projects of a public or institutional nature across the South Australia region. Associate Anthony Orlando will be judging projects across the categories of “Commercial”, “Heritage” and “Small Project Architecture” as part of a combined jury. 

Read what our jurors have to say about the value of industry recognition and the greatest challenges facing architecture today. 

Thomas Masullo, Director, Juror – Public Architecture 

In your opinion, what is the value of programs like the AIA awards?

TM: The value has may dimensions, but for me, the major benefits of the AIA awards fall into three main areas. Firstly, there’s the benefit to industry and the wider public from being able to see and hear about the value of design beyond bricks and mortar. Secondly, the annual program resets the status quo, each year raising the bar and challenging us to continue to evolve as a creative industry. Finally, it’s an opportunity to celebrate innovation, ideas, and experimentation.

What are you hoping to see from entrants in your category?

TM: Projects in this category are predominantly of a public or institutional nature, so I’m interested in how they contribute to the broader community, whether in a regional or urban city context. I’m interested in buildings that are enriching the user experience beyond functionality, providing dignified, inclusive services for the patrons they serve.

Social infrastructure projects are typically publicly funded or backed by private investors. That said, projects should demonstrate value beyond dollar value; showcase sustainability beyond ratings; champion innovation beyond business as usual; and design for Country beyond purely symbolic gestures.

What are the biggest challenges facing this sector in Australia today?

TM: Public projects such as libraries, sporting facilities, health facilities and community/visitor centres are not selling products, but provide essential services for the community. Balancing operational, recurrent and capital costs is vital to ensuring their commercial viability, which can be challenging when also considering qualitative and experiential outcomes. A major challenge I have witnessed is when brief aspirations and budgets don’t align and the projects can only go partway in delivering the outcomes they aspired to.

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.

Anthony Orlando, Associate, Juror – Commercial, Heritage, Small Project Architecture

In your opinion, what is the value of programs like the AIA awards?

AO: Programs like the AIA awards provide an opportunity to celebrate projects across a wide range of categories while also recognising the best in field. The awards serve as a benchmark in architecture, setting new standards and pushing the boundaries within our industry. These programs play a crucial role in promoting excellence, fostering innovation, and contributing to the continual improvement and advancement in architecture and impact on people and place.

What are you hoping to see from entrants in your categories?

AO: I want to see connection to the project’s narrative and how this has been carried throughout the design journey. This entails projects that demonstrate innovative and creative solutions to complex problems and showcase how the design prioritises the needs and experiences of users. The project should show consideration of its impact on local community – whether through social, cultural, or economic contributions – and factor how well it integrates with its surrounding built environment or urban context. 

What are the biggest challenges facing this sector in Australia today?

AO: On a broad scale, our industry is hampered by economic uncertainty, sustainability challenges, and issues around cultural sensitivity and inclusivity. These challenges require architects and the industry as whole to adapt, innovate and collaborate to find sustainable solutions. As architects, we have duty to respect place, and we can play a pivotal role in making positive contributions to people, communities and cities across all building scales.

Read the thoughts of our jurors for the NSW, VIC and WA chapters


Media enquiries
Isla Sutherland
Content and Communications Specialist (Australia & New Zealand)

Latest from the Global Studio