We are bringing together Elders, Traditional Custodians and First Nations designers, artists and practitioners, representative of the diversity of Country across Australia, and the varied philosophical approaches to understanding, being with and caring for Country. COUNTRY will be an experience that builds on the important work and ongoing conversations that have been happening within and adjacent to the discipline, about connecting to, caring for and designing with Country.
The Creative Directors have been yarning with Elders, First Nations designers and the AILA Connection to Country Committee to align COUNTRY with parallel conversations. A local working group, of First Nations emerging Landscape Architects, has been integral to the philosophical approach, experiential design and curatorial direction of COUNTRY.
COUNTRY will follow six conversations, led by an all Indigenous panel. Each conversation will be followed by a more intimate discussion, which will be facilitated by a First Nations lead. Conversations will range from furthering our understanding of Country to unpacking design thinking, to applications for design practice. Participants will need to be prepared to join in the conversation in a reciprocal way, practicing deep listening and engaging in the discussion.
After much debate and deliberation, the creative directorate have decided that COUNTRY will not be offered in an online format. We believe that it is important for participants to be present for the conversations, in mind and in body, engaging in deep listening and reciprocity. We believe that while an online format can have many positive aspects, this cannot happen if we are not in the same space.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Attendance at COUNTRY will require participation. Participants will need to be prepared to join in the conversation in a reciprocal way, with respect, practicing deep listening and engaging in the discussion.
Participation at COUNTRY will require some pre-work. Participants will be required to read, listen to, or watch a set amount of material and there will be further material encouraged to make the most of the COUNTRY experience.
Participation at COUNTRY will require presence. No pens, paper, phones, devices will be permitted, and it is expected that participants are fully immersed in the experience of engaging with COUNTRY.