The Practical Outsider - Exhibition – Design Canberra Festival

John Andrews, Callam Offices. Photo: Greg Davis
John Andrews, Callam Offices. Photo: Greg Davis
Past event Free event

The Practical Outsider


In 1957 Sydney architect John Andrews began his Masters course at Harvard University, embarking on an odyssey that would see him design a series of acclaimed buildings across North America, including the CN Tower, Scarborough College at Toronto University and Gund Hall at Harvard.

Hailed as the new face of Modernism, he returned to Australia in the 1970s and took on a huge body of work that included the Cameron and Callam Offices in Canberra and the American Express Tower in Sydney.

While his overseas work has been lauded, his local contribution to architecture hasn’t received the same reception, with many of his buildings being demolished or substantially changed for the worse.

In this compact exhibition for the DESIGN Canberra festival (4-24 November, 2019), Tim Ross, the creator of the award-winning ABC series Streets of Your Town, begins an examination of Andrews’ legacy through an interview filmed with the architect at his home.

Tim finds John a straight-shooting pragmatist, a man who ran his own race and who humbly views his architecture as a means of “problem solving”.

The Practical Outsider explores this aspect of Andrews’ work through Tim’s short documentaries, directed by Andrew Garrick, archival photography and original artwork by designer Mark Stott.

DESIGN Canberra acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the ACT and surrounding areas. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. We aim to respect cultural heritage, customs and beliefs of all Indigenous people.