Built, Unbuilt and Imagined Sydney is a humble collection of essays based on built and unbuilt works (residential, commercial, interiors, and so on) of interest in Sydney, inclusive of public art, object or furniture design, key invited or public lectures, studios, current projects in making, competitions, collaborations, exhibitions, installations, and outreach work. The focus is on the innovative and the original not the ordinary and the functional.
The purpose of this is to reveal the expanded field of architecture, and that the practice of architecture exceeds the work legally defensible under the title of the architect. The emphasis is placed on practice as an intellectual activity and on contemporary practice of architecture as the meaningful exercise of social, political, and critical knowledge, skills, and mindset in an urban, spatial, and tectonic condition. The book reveals that all or most architects either adopt as their own or have an interest in an(other) field, such as visual art, urbanism and landscape, virtual reality and three dimensional imaging, installation art and lighting design, and so on. The book aims to reveal therefore the multidisciplinary, urban orientations, and fluid forms of practice.
The essay format as opposed to a monograph or historical survey on a place or period in Australian architecture is deliberate. The aim is to capture not the formal outcome of the architectural practice but to capture the vitality and intensity of architectural thought behind it all. The collection will pick out the creative DNA of the city, as it represents a snapshot of the intensity that marks the critical and creative culture and enterprise informing the architectural scene in Sydney.