Surfacing beyond the veil of speculation, speakers assembled in suffocation of both audience and admirers for the Conference Opening Party. Held in Published Arthouse; Adelaide’s third most derelict side door entrance (and no, I wont disclose the two which pipped it), the opening party provided a chance for locals and visitors to meet, mingle and meander. Drinks and stories were shared, and food trucks were queued upon.
The Industrial setting of Published Arthouse, a former printing works, now innovative events venue dappled with graffiti artists and heroin-house lighting (blue and green and red in-between) provided an architectural symbol of what Adelaide continually does well; Adaptive Reuse. Along with the burgeoning Gallery on Waymouth precinct nearby, the venue showcases the potential opportunities available to former industrial sites in the city in becoming key tenants of the cultural calendar.
The atmosphere resolved itself in an eclitic mix of food trucks, Italian Mariachi bands and Bluescope branded alcohol infused sugar cocktails, complete with sponsor tag. But like all these events, the real entertainment lay in the recognition of friendly faces. No doubt, the success of the event lay in the ability to spot someone who usually resides in a photograph, journal or set of working drawings — and pull them aside for a chat.
More notably, this year’s Opening Party lowered the price of entry to students (to $40, including drinks). Designed to elicit changes within the political milieu of architect/student interactions, the price change no doubt contributed to some of the vibrancy of the night. Despite its gestural nature, it does make a practical difference and speaks towards the conferences themes of challenging existing orthodoxies within the profession in the pursuit of actualised transformation. For things to be open to change, challenged they must be.
And I guess that all means the conference has begun.