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What makes The Luminary shine so bright?

The Luminary category at INDE.Awards 2023 Gala caused quite the buzz on stage. We look at who this year’s Luminaries are, and what makes them shine so bright – both in their day-to-day practices – and on the night!

What makes The Luminary shine so bright?

The Luminary category at the 2023 INDE.Awards pays tribute to the extraordinary contribution of architecture and design practitioners who have indelibly influenced their community, country, region and the world in which we live.

This year the category, partnered by Woven Image, celebrated four luminaries – individuals and pairs, that have made their mark on their particular area of design and continue to influence their spheres through their passionate voices.

INDE.Awards Gala with The Luminary recipients on stage.

At the INDE.Awards Gala, held at Sydney Modern in August 2023, we welcomes three of our nominees to the stage and the chemistry was magic! It was both a privilege to honour these revered practitioners, all expert in their areas of specialisation – and there were plenty of laughs and moments of camaraderie as they took to the stage to accept their trophies.

You can catch up on the highlights here from the INDE.Awards Gala 2023.

From left, Ewan McEoin of NGV, Jefa Greenaway of Greenaway Architecture, Simone LeAmon of NGV, Wendy Saunders of AIM Architecture, and Alan Heath of Woven Image.

Congratulations this year go to the following four Luminaries:

Jefa Greenaway, Director, Greenaway Architecture

Photography: Aaron Puls
Photography: Aaron Puls.

Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to talk with Jefa Greenaway knows that he is a special person. As a practitioner, a spokesperson for Indigenous design, an orator and advocate, Greenaway is the total package, wrapped in yellowtrace – architect style.

As a Wailwan/Kamilaroi man originally from New South Wales, Jefa Greenaway is helping to re-define architecture for all of us, especially the next generation of First Nations architects. Throughout his life, Greenaway has worked hard and stood up for his beliefs. He sees architecture as inherently political, explaining, “If we look at architecture and design more broadly, it’s often mediated through a dynamic which means those who have the capacity and the means can realise built form outcomes. Invariably, when we engage with notions of Indigenous design the question then becomes how do we facilitate true agency? And how do we actually empower Indigenous voice and ensure reciprocity as part of the process of design?” Read more.

Vincent de Graaf and Wendy Saunders, Principals, AIM Architecture

Image courtesy of AIM Architecture.

The AIM Architecture studio is led by two gifted practitioners, Wendy Saunders from Belgium and Vincent de Graaf, Netherlands-born, who both studied architecture and architecture/interior architecture respectively in their home countries then met in Amsterdam. As a couple, they were seeking adventure and so in 2004 they gave up their jobs and decided to take the train across country to Shanghai and, well, never left China.

It takes a certain openness to change, courage and an inquisitive nature to move to such a culturally different country but the pair fell in love with the energy and vibrant nature of Shanghai where it felt that “anything was possible” and set about finding work. Each commenced positions that gave them a taste of working life in China but there were limitations to climbing the ladder. After a year they decided to create their own destiny and left their positions to establish their own practice. With the patronage of a past client, a developer, AIM Architecture was born and off to a flying start. Read more.

Ewan McEoin and Simone LeAmon,
Hugh D.T. Williamson Senior Curator and Curator (respectively), Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture,
National Gallery of Australia

Photography: Aaron Francis.

When it was announced in 2015 that the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)was ushering in ‘a new era’ in Contemporary Design and Architecture, the ensuing buzz was palpable. The department would be the first of its kind for an Australian art gallery and people were genuinely excited at the prospect of a major cultural institution finally filling a long-empty hole. When it was also announced that Ewan McEoin and Simone LeAmon would be heading up the department as curators, the buzz skyrocketed even more.

Their combined experience, talent and knowledge sets a high curatorial precedent and their obvious passion is contagious. The weight of expectation was undoubtedly upon their shoulders from the outset yet they continue to deliver, surpassing all hopes. Then again, we shouldn’t be surprised, McEoin and LeAmon have always been movers and shakers, dynamic to the core. Read more.

Patrick Keane, Founder, Enter Projects Asia

Image courtesy of Enter Projects Asia.

Patrick Keane is anything but traditional, so to hear him admit he has an overtly conservative approach to living life seems curious. This could definitely use some clarifying and thankfully he can explain. “I met Frank Gehry once and to this day, I think he’s the most conservative person I’ve ever met, but such conservatism is not to be underrated,” Keane begins, in his characteristically thoughtful, articulate way.

“You concentrate so hard on creative endeavours, it seems intelligent when you’re winding down to have a conservative approach to, say, what you eat for dinner. It just helps to switch the brain off.” For someone who has pretty much always worked – and will continue to work – in full-steam-ahead mode, this makes plenty of sense. Read more.

Celebrating creativity, talent and tenacity

As partner of The Luminary, Woven Image supports the creativity, talent and tenacity of those nominated for this very special honour in 2023. As a brand, Woven Image provides expert products and, in being a leader in its field, recognises this in others. Congratulations to all the 2023 INDE.Awards Luminaries. Your work resonates with the architecture and design communities of the Indo-Pacific region, and indeed the global community, as practitioners of exulted standing.

Missed the INDE.Awards gala or just want to relive the highlights? Simply follow this link and sit back and enjoy the only regional celebration of architecture and design excellence. 

Watch the highlights from INDE.Awards Gala here.

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