Pay Attention!

Advertising is so ubiquitous in our urban environments that it’s almost invisible. Until it really isn’t. Adverts have crept into some of our most treasured public spaces. With the rise of digital advertising competing for our attention, there are fewer spaces safe from adverts than ever. How do we want to control the reach of […]

Places of Welcome

What stories should we share in our places of welcome? How can visitor centres serve the needs of local communities, as well as tourists? What exactly is interpretation design?? Towards Small Things editor Jordan Silver talks to ABC’s Kia Handley about the design of our regional visitor centres.

Burial Rites

You might not know it, but cemeteries have a considerable environmental impact. Modern burial practices require cleared land, put toxic chemicals into the ground and cost a fortune for families. These practices are not actually that old. Urban cemeteries were originally created to provide some green relief within the dense, smoggy cities of industrialised England. […]

The Future of Zoos

Zoos are great. But are they good for animals? We often hear about the conservation efforts of zoos and how much they’ve changed from the menageries of old, but how different are they really? What if we included amenity for all species in our urban environments? Can our cities stop driving animals out, and start […]

What to do with our Historic Asylums?

The term ‘Asylum’ might not conjure the most positive images today. However these buildings and gardens are some of our most beautiful urban spaces. Built at a time of immense optimism around new mental health treatments, they now stand abandoned. Their prime positions along waterfronts makes them vulnerable to development unless we can find new […]

Our Love for Old Shacks

For some reason, in this country, we love an old, rundown, no-frills shack. If it’s on the beach, even better. In the age of high-rises and McMansions, these humble weatherboarded and fibro buildings provide welcome visual relief. But how accessible is the ‘shack on the beach’ dream to the average Australian? Jordan Silver, editor of […]

Big Things

Have you ever noticed that our regional highways and towns are littered with a collection of enormous ageing beasts? Affectionately known as Big Things – a Big Banana, Big Pineapple, Big Ned Kelly – these structures were once our best answer to how to boost tourism in our towns. These days, our Big Things are […]

Maggie’s Centres

What do we know about architecture and its effect on healing? As a matter of requirement, our hospitals are not the warmest or most inviting spaces. The buildings that heal us can also make us feel small, uncomfortable and uninspired. This may be fine for a routine surgery or emergency treatment, but what about when […]

Designer Dunnies

If you haven’t noticed already, the public toilets in our towns and cities have changed. No longer the site of seediness, these small buildings have become prized commissions for leading architects. Towards Small Things editor Jordan Silver speaks with the ABC’s Kia Handley on World Toilet Day.