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Talking about Iconic Houses

Talking about Iconic Houses

What do we get out of an architecture or design talk? Nicky Lobo asks the speakers from Sydney Living Museums’ Iconic Australian Houses series.

Engaging in community events has the potential to inspire and teach us about the past, present and future.


Sydney Living Museums has put together a program of talks that do all of these, focused on Iconic Houses – how to live in, design, make and protect them. This last topic brings together Professor Philip Goad, who lives in a 1929 Eric Nicholls home (full story in Habitus 20); Ian Innes, Assistant Director of Heritage & Portfolios at Sydney Living Museums; and Annalisa Capurro, designer, design educator, speaker and writer.


The talk will explore the “Difficulty of houses from 1950s and 60s in terms of their inherent fragility,” Philip describes. “Now many houses are not in terrific state,” he continues. “It requires enlightened patronage to keep and furnish, but not over-sanitise.”


Annalisa is one such enlightened patron. The owner of the Sulman Award-winning Jack House, she feels a “Huge responsibility, less as an owner, more as a protector of an extraordinary house for future generations”.


“Australians have the biggest houses in the world,” she continues. “It’s important to educate the community that bigger is not always better.” That’s not the only reason to engage in these kinds of discussion. “In architecture we see the aspirations and ambitions of a society and culture expressed through built form,” says Ian. “Looking at and trying to understand buildings from the past, whether 500 years old or 25 years old helps us to appreciate peoples’ interests, motivations and ways of life, enriching our appreciation of our own lives and place in history.”

The talk includes viewing of the Iconic Australian Houses exhibition, refreshments and book signing. “It’s far more engaging to see different points of view, spontaneous response among experts,” says Philip. And if you’re lucky, perhaps even some healthy disagreement and debate.

Follow us on social media to win a double pass to the talks!

General $35
Concession/Member $30

Iconic Houses Talks Series