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The Orgasm of Built Ambition: I want what they’re having.

Can we please stop looking interstate overseas for projects to do or quote & instead be inspired by relevant & meaningful local context? Hey Sydney, funnily enough we’re not the same as Melbourne or New York, or any other city you’d care to mention. This is not a bad thing and it’s certainly not a competition, but to get all inspirational poster on you, let’s just be the best that we can be!

It’s fabulous to have ambition to improve our city through public projects, Sydney has a brilliant track record of this of late. For examples of brilliant and unique projects realised in Sydney recently you need look no further than Ballast Point Park, Paddington Reservoir Gardens or a family of projects at Cockatoo Island. These projects were not driven by a desire to match a project that had happened elsewhere, they were inspired by the recognition that something special could be achieved for these locations, along with a desire to create something truly singular and special.

That’s not to say we can’t be inspired into action by wonderful projects from elsewhere, we can and should. We must, however, also be driven by a desire and motivation to improve our public spaces rather than merely coveting and seeking to rehash another city’s achievement. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our urban design leaders were more pro-active and less re-active?


  • Nigel Messenger on Mar 07, 2016 Reply

    This is precisely my thoughts and particularly relevant to the art world …think The Japanese sculpture chosen by CoS
    and the Melbourne Sculpture for the Milkcrate. what happened to making a local statement!

    • Michael Lewarne on Mar 07, 2016 Reply

      Generally I’d agree with you, the Milkcrate certainly, but not with regard to Cloud Arch. I think Cloud Arch will be an extraordinary addition to the city and entirely contextual – having reviewed at the computer animations showing the changing views and character afforded by a change of perspective and time of day. It makes me think of the contextual and reflective works by Bert Flugelman, but entirely more powerful due to the sheer scale. As apposed the the Milkcrate, Cloud Gate has nothing in common with the Art One-Liner’s I write about here (

  • Kieran M on Sep 20, 2015 Reply

    Where’s the like button? Concise and punchy!

    • Michael Lewarne on Sep 21, 2015 Reply

      Thanks Kieran
      that’s exactly what we were aiming for.


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