Andrew Murray awarded the David Saunders Founder’s Grant 2020

The David Saunders Founder’s Grant 2020 has been awarded to Andrew Murray for his project “Phi, Aedicule and Aspect: The journals of the Architectural Students Association of Western Australia 1950-1960.”

Murray is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne.

This project aims to undertake the first scholarly assessment of student journals produced by West Australian architecture students between 1950 and 1960. During this period there were three publications produced by members of the Architectural Students Association of Western Australia (ASAWA), Phi and Aedicule, along with a guest edited issue of the Aspect, the National student body journal. In the tradition of contemporary student journals like Lines and Smudges in Victoria, these were intended to both unify the student body and as an outlet for dialogue with the wider profession. All three publications were initiated and staffed by young architects who would go on to become leaders of the profession, including Gresely Cohen, the founding editor of Phi who would go on to be a national president of the RAIA. 

Through an analysis of these publications, the student association, and the environment which produced them, this project will make a significant contribution to the history of Australian architecture. In particular it aims to further an understanding of how architecture was debated, understood and disseminated by the student body in the immediate postwar period. The production of student journals in the postwar period remains an under explored area nationally, and this project aims to add to existing literature on this subject, providing both a West Australian voice to the national discourse and further revealing the interconnected nature of student networks across Australia in this period. The David Saunders Grant will enable me to undertake an in-depth exploration of these journals, their position within the profession and student body, and the mechanisms which supported their production. It will also go towards the documentation and digitisation of these periodicals to be placed in State Collections, many of which remain in private archives.

Photo credit: Phi issue 1, 1950. AIA WA collection.