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Enrico Taglietti: celebrating a legend of design

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From the foundations of Walter Burley Griffin’s visionary plan, Canberra has flourished as a living laboratory of innovative design.

Putting Canberra on the global map, the annual DESIGN Canberra Festival returns for its fifth year this spring, bringing the city’s burgeoning design community to the forefront.

Off the back of record attendance last year, the 2018 program boasts over 100 events, talks, tours, markets, artist studios and open homes. Of particular interest to local budding designers, this year’s festival will pay homage to living architectural legend, Enrico Taglietti.

Enrico Taglietti. Courtesy of NLA.

With impressive credits from the city to the suburbs, Taglietti’s contribution to design is one of the most Identifiable and beautiful to be found In Australia’s national capital. This Is a significant claim in a city which Is considered to be one of the most ambitious and most successful examples of twentieth-century urban planning in the country.

If you’ve spent any amount of time wandering the streets of Civic or driving around town, you’re likely familiar with Enrico’s fabled work. Notable buildings include the Dickson Library and adjoining Dickson Health Centre, Bunda Street’s Centre Cinema and the Australian War Memorial Annex.

Australian War Memorial Annex (1979) Enrico Taglietti. Photo Darren Bradley.

After studying under the likes of luminaries Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, Bruno Zevi and Pier Luigi Nervi at the Milan Polytechnic, Enrico first came to Australia to design an Italian promotional display for David Jones in Sydney.

He went on to make his national capital debut when the Italian Government invited him to look for a suitable Canberra location for their embassy. He would prepare the elegant building’s working drawings and supervise Its construction, then go on to design the embassy’s Chancellery, a dramatic design of concrete and horizontal lines.

From featuring in the Museum of Modern Art’s 1979 exhibition Transformations in Modern Architecture to being award Australia’s most prestigious architecture prize, the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) Gold Medal for Architecture, it’s no surprise Taglietti’s coveted career is the talking point of this year’s festival line up.

Embassy of Italy. Photo: Anthony Basheer.

With a curated series of events and exhibitions dedicated to Enrico’s life and work, DESIGN Canberra celebrates the architect’s important contribution to Canberra’s built landscape. At the heart of these celebrations, a symposium will be presented at the National Gallery of Australia to reflect on the award-winning designer’s lasting impact.

“We are honoured to be presenting a series of dedicated festival events, which will feature the work, poetics, personal style and contribution of Taglietti as part of the DESIGN Canberra Festival 2018,” says Rachael Coghlan, Artistic Director and CEO of Design Canberra’s parent organisation, Craft ACT.

Apostolic Nunciature. Photo: Anthony Basheer.

Engage with the past, present and future of design on a deeper level as the symposium hosts speakers from around the globe. Hear from some of the world’s most celebrated design professionals, including Milanese design journalist and independent curator, Annalisa Rosso; renowned architect and colleague of Taglietti, Gianmatteo Romegialli; and international authority on modern Australian architecture, Philip Goad in this exclusive event.

Other speakers include international and national architects and designers, architectural historians, curators and scholars and some of the many people who have been touched by Taglietti’s designs.

Giralang Primary School. Credit: From the collection of the NAA.

“We’ve sought new perspectives from Australia and the world to assess the significance of Taglietti’s work and better understand its value for the future,” says Rachael.

An in-depth look at Taglietti’s contribution to Canberra’s landscape, people and future, this is an unmissable feature of the 2018 DESIGN Canberra program.

While much of the festival is free to access, major festival highlights, such as the Taglietti Symposium and bus tours, are ticketed. Registration to the symposium includes admission to the conference sessions as well as complimentary lunch and afternoon tea.

The Apostolic Nunciature Canberra. Credit: From the collection of the NAA.

Better yet, early bird tickets are available until Friday 5 October, offering the design-inclined $100 off full price registration. Eager to nurture the next generation of upcoming designers, DESIGN is also offering bursaries to students on application.

if you’re lucky enough to live or work In a Taglietti building, DESIGN Canberra Is seeking one more building to round out the Festival program. If you can help with this, you are encouraged to contact Artistic Director and CEO Rachael Coghlan at rachael.coghlan@craftact.org.au.

the essentials

What: Enrico Taglietti Symposium
Where: James O Fairfax Theatre, National Gallery of Australia, Parkes Place East, Parkes
When: Friday 16 November from 10 am – 5 pm
Tickets: Here
More information: Here

HerCanberra is a proud supporter of DESIGN Canberra

Feature image: Embassy of Italy. Photo Anthony Basheer.

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