Architects at frontline of climate change battle: ‘Ready, willing and able’: Sean Godsell

Internationally acclaimed architect and Australian Institute of Architects’ 2022 Gold Medallist, Sean Godsell, will embark on a national speaking tour next month with climate change key to his agenda.

Mr Godsell will begin his Gold Medal tour at the National Gallery of Australia in the ACT on 16 August, before touring capital cities around the country.

The Gold Medal is the Australian Institute of Architects’ highest honour. It recognises distinguished service by architects who have designed or executed buildings of high merit, produced work of great distinction resulting in the advancement of architecture, or endowed the profession in a distinguished manner.

Mr Godsell’s lecture series will delve into the role of the architect in contemporary society, and the interaction between globalism and local identities.

“Architects have always engaged with the issues of the day, from building temples to our gods and palaces for our kings and queens, to improving quality of housing and how we live, to producing centres for commerce and education and government and culture and health,” he said.

“Throughout history, we have served the community by designing buildings that continue to evolve and endure as we do and now we stand at the frontline of the battle with climate change, ready and willing and able to continue to help make the world a better place.

“As a profession, our global response to climate change is most meaningful when handled locally rather than by cure-all panaceas that, in the case of architecture, more often than not, result in formulaic outcomes.”

Mr Godsell was awarded the Gold Medal in May for a lifetime of work that the Jury said demonstrated “an extraordinary commitment to excellence in design, detail and resolution, allowing us to experience the expression of an intense master craftsman”.

In particular, the Jury noted Mr Godsell’s contribution to expressing a significant architectural response to Australia’s unique landscape.

His distinguished portfolio includes Carter Tucker House, Peninsula House, St Andrews Beach House and House in the Hills. His RMIT Design Hub (in association with Peddle Thorp) received the 2013 Victorian Medal.

Born in 1960, Mr Godsell graduated from the University of Melbourne with first-class honours in 1984 and, after travelling overseas, began working for eminent English architect Sir Denys Lasdun in London from 1986 to 1988.

As part of the tour, a fringe breakfast event will also be held in each capital city for members of the Institute’s Emerging Architects and Graduates Network.

The Gold Medal tour is supported by the Institute’s National Corporate Partner, Bosch.

For the dates of the 2022 Gold Medal Tour with Sean Godsell and ticket information, please visit

For interviews, please contact:

Rosanne Barrett on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects

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