Not an expert
Presented by Parlour and convened by Sarah Lynn Rees, lecturer at Monash Art, Design and Architecture, join this lively online discussion about Cultural Authority and collaboration with Danièle Hromek and Francoise Lane, as part of the Asia Pacific Architecture Festival.
The concept and practice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Authority has existed since time immemorial. Now, slowly but surely, the built environment is evolving to embed processes that respect this Cultural Authority. We find ourselves in a transition period where Western and Indigenous world views are not yet aligned with respect to the roles we play throughout the architectural process. A world view of the architect or consultant as ‘expert,’ and stakeholder as someone to be managed and satisfied without compromising design vision does not represent Cultural Authority in practice.
More fundamentally, we need to ask, who holds the Cultural Authority within community? Many Indigenous communities are matriarchal societies with clear gendered societal roles, the structure of which does not align with the patriarchal systems most Australians have grown up with. The impact of this misalignment of world views has resulted in a lopsided experience of our existence, stories and voices. So, how do we ensure we walk the talk? What does Cultural Authority actually mean in practice? How do we respect gendered roles and their respective authorities within communities? And who really are the ‘experts’? (Hint: it’s not us).