In February 2019, The Guardian Architecture and Design Critic Oliver Wainwright visited Australia and stayed at The Robin Boyd Foundation’s iconic Walsh Street residence.
Oliver was in Australia to give the Robin Boyd Centenary address at the Melbourne Design Week, presented by the National Gallery of Victoria, the Robin Boyd Foundation & the Australian Institute of Architects.
His lecture Form Follows Finance noted that every major city in the world now faces a housing crisis and presented facts and queries such as the UN calculates that 68% of the world population will live in urban areas by 2050, but where and how will they live? The 21st century has seen the relentless financialisation of housing: homes are no longer just places to live, but places to park capital, commodities to be bought and sold on the global stage. What effect is this having on our cities, and what are the solutions? Who controls the housing market? How do different societies solve their own housing conundrums? What is the role for architects is addressing the housing challenges ahead?As one of the world’s most influential architecture critics, he traced how form follows finance, and examined housing from diverse perspectives.
Throughout his time in Melbourne, he was hosted by the Foundation and Boyd’s iconic Walsh Street residence in South Yarra. Upon his return to the United Kingdom, he was inspired to write a piece for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).