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. 

Looking Back at ‘Distance Looks Back’

Andrew Leach and Lee Stickells look back at Distance Looks Back, the 36th SAHANZ Conference in conjunction with EAHN, held in Sydney, 10-13 July 2019, in a Position Paper in Architectural Histories: The Open Access Journal of the EAHN.

“It could never have occurred to us that distance might become the question of the moment to follow.”

Leach, A. and Stickells, L., 2020. Looking Back at Distance Looks Back: Reflections on the First Combined Meeting of EAHN and SAHANZ (Sydney, 10–13 July 2019). Architectural Histories, 8(1), p.9. DOI:

The conference’s report will be published in a forthcoming issue of Fabrications: The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand.

SAHANZ Membership Portal now open

The time has come for SAHANZ membership renewal. The SAHANZ Committee is very grateful to those who have supported the Society over the years. Your support has enabled it to continue operating as a vehicle for communication and exchange on architectural history and the history of the built environment more generally. While we understand that COVID-19 has had many unforeseen impacts upon the lives and finances of our community, we sincerely hope that those who are able will renew membership for the coming year. We would like to welcome back people who might have let their membership lapse for a while and hope that you enjoy a renewed relationship with the Society and, of course, we are always delighted to welcome new members and look forward to meeting you and learning about your interests.

Membership to the Society includes an annual subscription to the Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Fabrications, and a subscription to the monthly SAHANZ newsletter which contains announcements and information about the Society’s events as well as other matters of interest.

The Society offers the annual David Saunders Founder’s Grant (AUD $3000) as a way of supporting research by emerging researchers in the disciplines of architectural history and theory. The sustainability of this grant depends on funding generated through membership renewals and at this time we are needing to re-build the reserves for this. This year we have introduced the option of two-year ordinary and student memberships at a discounted rate. Further information on memberships and the 2020/21 rates can be found here. Please click here to proceed to the registration portal.

Once again, we thank current members for their ongoing support, we warmly welcome back previous members and extend a hearty welcome to those who might be joining the Society for the first time.

Yours sincerely,

The SAHANZ Committee

Call for EoI to join the Society’s Editorial Board

The Editorial Board of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand calls for Expressions of Interest for up to four new members. The Editorial Board oversees the publication of the proceedings of the Society’s annual conference, and the Society’s refereed journal, Fabrications: JSAHANZ published in three issues each year by Taylor & Francis.

Members of the Board will be appointed for a term of six years, with all terms deemed to begin 1 July in the year of appointment. Members of the SAHANZ’s Editorial Board are expected to be financial members of SAHANZ, and to operate under SAHANZ’s Editorial Board policies, which can be found at Prospective candidates should have an established or emerging publication record and be active researchers in the field of architectural history. 

Expressions of Interest are open until the close of business on Thursday 25 June. Those interested should send a short CV and covering statement, detailing any editorial and publishing experience to Paul Walker, Chair of the Editorial Board, < > using the header “EoI SAHANZ Editorial Board.”

Applications for David Saunders Grant now open

SAHANZ annually offers The David Saunders Founder’s Grant in memory of the founder of the Society, to support research by emerging researchers in the disciplines of architectural history and theory. Applications can be made to apply for funds to assist in field-work, archival assistance, printing and reproduction costs in preparation for publication. The award cannot be used to fund conference travel or registration. The Grant amount is AUD $3000. The deadline for 2020 applications is 26 June 2020. Click here for more information and the application form.

SAHANZ-organised session at SAH 2021

Diasporic Architectural Histories

Architectural historiography is challenged by the architecture of migrant communities and migrant individuals. Framing this architecture as nostalgic for the homeland or as aspirational status symbol dehistoricizes the discourse, embedding it in a mythic past and an illusionary future. Equally as often this architecture is not perceived as different to the architecture of its context or its difference is diminished as ornamental aesthetic. Positioning diasporic architecture within ‘sameness’ or ‘similitude’ has resulted in limited examinations. Migration scholars criticise the use of migration and the migrant figure as narrative trope, arguing that a conflation between migration and mobility displaces the historical determination of unprivileged migration. The use of mobility and transnationalism as tropes in twenty-first century architectural historiography can unwittingly erase migration histories.

Pioneering scholars in this field point to the multiple situatedness of migrant architectural production – destination sites, homeland hinterlands, dotted along migration trajectories – as well as processes of procurement and construction. Migration studies complicate the boundaries of agency, normativity, and performativity/desire of the human subject. For example, what does late nineteenth century architectural history look like from the perspective of trans-cultural labour migrations of the first industrial revolution? This session draws on a current momentum of scholarship at the interface of migration/architecture and aims to explore architectural historiographies of the diasporic conditions. 

The session invites investigations including –

  • The potential de-centring/re-centring of what is taken to be architectural culture as spaces are/have been adapted/transformed by changing cultural demographics.
  • How migration and movement of peoples (or movement of ideas/technologies onto peoples in place) leads to re-making/re-imagining/disrupting ideas of national/local spaces and places
  • Borderline spaces and subjectivities caused by conflict, human displacement and material degradation, and the affective and resilient practices by which those affected adapt and recover these spaces for varied forms of occupation and dwelling.

Session Chairs: Mirjana Lozanovska, Deakin University and Anoma Pieris, University of Melbourne

The Society of Architectural Historians is now accepting abstracts for its 74th Annual International Conference in Montréal, Canada, 14–18 April 2021. Read full CFP and instructions to submit your abstract before 10 June 2020 (EXTENDED) here.

Image courtesy of Tourisme Montréal

Review? Review


I’d like to start this month’s newsletter section of ‘Review? Reviewed.’ by thanking all the many SAHANZ Newsletter readers who wrote to me interested in reviewing specific titles and more broadly for Fabrications. Id also like to thank those of you who write suggesting titles. Your ideas are contributing to a terrific list of future books for the journal. Keep an eye out next month!

For those of you who missed the launch of this newsletter section, I am the Book Reviews Editor for Fabrications, the journal of the SAHANZ Community. ‘Review? Reviewed.’ is a new section in the regular SAHANZ Newsletter.

We all enjoy reading book reviews. These short, but valuable critiques are part of the process of peer recognition and academic discourse. Book Reviews can also outline progress in the field, highlighting new areas of research and offer guidance to novice scholars.

In the spirit of great book reviews, each month I will be listing books we currently have available for review. For reviewers, the benefit is a free copy of the book. If you would like to review on of the books below, just send me an email. I will contact the publisher for a free copy of the book. In return, I’ll ask for a thoughtful review of around 1000 words. Due date negotiable.

  • Australia Modern by Hannah Lewi, Philip Goad, 2019.
  • Is the Tehran Bazaar Dead? Foucault, Politics, and Architecture by Farzaneh Haghighi, 2018.
  • Complexity and Contradiction at fifty: Studies toward an Ongoing Debate, edited by Martino Stierli, 2019.
  • The Routledge Handbook on Historic Urban Landscapes in the Asia-Pacific, by Kapila Silva, 2020.
  • Capital Designs: Australia House and Visions of an Imperial London by Eileen Chanin, 2018.

I am also seeking the SAHANZ Community’s suggestions for books you would like to have reviewed in Fabrications. Whether you fancy reviewing it yourself, or just think it should be reviewed, please send me new titles that are key to our field.

I look forward to many emails, till next month,


Survey on National Standard of Competency for Architects

The SAHANZ Committee strongly encourages members to participate in the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) survey that is currently open, and to voice support for the role of architectural history and heritage as critical aspects of architectural education and professional competency in Australia. The national competency standards (NSCA) could, for instance, recognise the importance of skills in the study of precedents as part of the foundation of design conception. They could also be more explicit in recognising the significance of an understanding of heritage in thinking about design and sustainability.
The survey closes on 27 February 2020Take the survey now.