Visual Sociology of Architects project
This project began at 'Extra/Ordinary', the 2010 national conference of the Australian Institute of Architects, in Sydney. Thanks to everyone who took part - it was great fun and also very interesting. These are all the photographic portraits taken over the two days - they appear here in raw, unsorted form, in the order they were taken.

We have attempted to identify every person and email their portrait directly, but if you have not received yours please email me with the file number. Plans are afoot to publish the collection in a book or exhibition, so watch this space. A selection of the images will be published in the July 2010 issue of Architecture Australia magazine.

The project set out to collect an archive of documentary-style photographic images of participants at the conference. Drawing upon objectivist serial art practices established in the 1960s, the project proposes a visual sociology of architects, observing visual traits, patterns and distinctions, towards a visual sociology of architectural culture at this particular historic moment.

In this sense the project is a counterpoint to the exhibition ‘Portraits and Architecture,’ mounted at Canberra’s National Portrait Gallery in late 2009, which highlighted seven Australian architecture practices through commissioned photographic portraits, explicitly linking creative practice to visual identity. By contrast, this project follows the objectivist strategies of the Dusseldorf school of photographers, gathering visual data towards a portrait of the profession as a collective, rather than an emphasis on portraits of individual architectural ‘authors’. One aim of the collection is to comprise a historic record, as well as reflecting the ‘extra/ordinariness’ of the profession back to itself in a new way.

Our intention with the images is to tag and arrange them in clusters, organised according to visual similarity. The project asks, what are the visual markers or expressions of professional and creative identity in architecture?

The photographer was Nick Bassett, assisted by Omar Roxas. The project was initiated by Naomi Stead, Sandra Kaji-O'Grady, and Kate Sweetapple. For enquiries email n.stead [at]
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