inDETAIL with guest speaker James Loder, John Wardle Architects
Architecture

inDetail Event with James Loder

On the 25th of November 2021, Brickworks launched their latest architectural speaker series event, inDetail, which welcomes award winning architects to engage in knowledgeable conversation as well as share insights into iconic projects and design networking. The latest iteration of inDetail was hosted by Daniel Moore, Architect and Director at Open Creative Studio, who spoke with renowned architect, James Loder, from John Wardle Architects (JWA).
Project Name
Nigel Peck Centre for Learning & Leadership
Architect
John Wardle Architects
Project Name
Spire Residences
Architect
John Wardle Architects
POSTED
01.12.2021

James Loder studied Architecture at Deakin University and RMIT in Melbourne and received his Master of Architecture in 2021. During this time, he was employed at John Wardle Architects, maintaining a taste for digital production and graphics. Working for JWA for nearly 14 years, James Loder is now a partner of the firm. He leads the integration of new technology aligning with JWA’s focus on material excellence and attention to detail. 

Established in 1986, JWA has a strong focus on architectural craft and the design of places that matter. They have won awards across varying scales, from small residential spaces to larger institutional buildings, including the National Australian Institute of Architecture Awards for Educational Architecture and Interior Architecture, as well as the RIBA Award for International Excellence. James notes his deep investment at JWA and his appreciation of the firm’s culture of sketching, drawing and model-making. 

Nigel Peck

During this chat with Daniel Moore, James shared insights around the impact of the pandemic on his design process, the implications of advancing technologies within the industry and the mentoring system at JWA. Discussing some of his favourite and most fulfilling projects, James places emphasis on an installation piece from the Somewhere Other Exhibition in Venice, as well as the University of Tasmania project.

Being involved with JWA from a young student to now a partner of the firm, James recognises the importance of collaboration and mentoring. He explains that JWA engages in direct mentoring between young designers and experienced design leaders. With young designers offering knowledge of the latest technological platforms and an inherently fresh perspective, James notes the dual advantages of this program. He says, ‘There’s this funny cross-pollination coming up of new skills that young graduates are bringing in from university; software and technology that’s even beyond me. The way that they’re able to iterate and output design content is extraordinary, even paired with the analogue form of model making.’

Nigel Peck

With virtual platforms, like Miro, being at the forefront of JWA’s working from home experience, there has been an unprecedented increase in the participation between designers of all ages and experiences within the firm. James notes, ‘Bringing more technologies of different systems into the practice allows certainly a broader participation, which has been the biggest benefit … gone are the days where if you can’t draw, you can’t be a part of the design process.’ From this, James says that within the analogue vs digital sphere, one has not replaced the other. But that there is a developing harmonious relationship between the two that ensures a cohesive and high calibre design solution. James emphasised that ‘the biggest takeaway (of digital technology) for me is the blurring of authorship among a broad diversity of experiences and thinking processes from each individual’.

Spire Apartments exterior shot from road

Ultimately, James notes he judges his success from the unexpected moments within a built form. He recounts an experience from the Somewhere Other Exhibition installation in Venice, where the timber elements had to be sealed with a Eucalyptus oil finish. Naturally, this caused a eucalyptus aroma to linger around the installation, causing an unanticipated and serendipitous sensory experience, nostalgic of the Australian landscape. James explained, ‘The idea of this piece was to connect you with Australian landscapes through a series of films of our work and it also just viscerally had the smell of a eucalyptus forest, which was completely unintended … but its moments like those of the unexpected, that are the real success points within a project.’

This was a conversation not to be missed. To watch the inDetail speaker series with James Loder, click here.

“The biggest takeaway (of digital technology) for me is the blurring of authorship among a broad diversity of experiences and thinking processes from each individual.”

inDETAIL with guest speaker James Loder, John Wardle Architects

“The biggest takeaway (of digital technology) for me is the blurring of authorship among a broad diversity of experiences and thinking processes from each individual.”

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