Awarded to Tectvs Director Francesco Bonato
At the South Australian Institute of Architects Awards, Tectvs Director Francesco Bonato was awarded the 2016 Sir James Irwin President’s Medal.
The Sir James Irwin President's Medal is awarded each year to a member or industry collaborative considered by the President to have made a significant contribution to architecture. It was established in 1992 through the generosity of the Irwin family in memory and in recognition of the services to architecture of Sir James Irwin. Previous recipients include John Morhphett AM, OBE, LFRAI, John Schenk LFRAIA, Susan Phillips and Michael Pilkington.
The Sir James Irwin President’s Medal is the highest accolade offered by the Australian Institute of Architects within South Australia.
The award was presented by SA Chapter President David Homburg, who noted in his speech that Fran “exemplifies the idea of advocating for and delivering great design" before delivering the highest praise: "If the things that we are trying to achieve as a Chapter could be captured in one person, that person would be Fran Bonato."
What follows below is the official citation text.
Recipient Name: Francesco Bonato LFRAIA
Practice Name: Tectvs
Award given: Sir James Irwin President’s Medal
Awarded by: Chapter President David Homburg
Over the last year, the SA Chapter has been focused on increasing the relevance of the profession in the wider community, but what we have been doing is not without precedent.
This year’s recipient of the Sir James Irwin President’s Medal Francesco Bonato exemplifies the idea of advocating for and delivering great design. Bonato is a founding Director of Tectvs, a collaborative architecture and design practice that has received 17 Institute Architecture Awards and over 40 other Awards since its inception in 1989, he has demonstrated this beyond dispute.
"If the things that we are trying to achieve as a Chapter could be captured in one person, that person would be Fran Bonato."
But beyond the projects, he epitomises the role of the public professional - having a public opinion about architecture and design, teaching design to up-and-coming generations of architects, and embracing our colleagues from allied design professions.
The most striking aspects of his contribution to the profession, include:
- Stewardship of the SA Chapter publication Architect SA and then Place Magazine
- leading the South Australian Collaborations Steering Committee in 2001, bringing together a group representing 12 of the major design and arts professional organisations in South Australia
- Co-Chairing the organising committee for the Asia Pacific Space Designers Alliance 2016 Congress to be held here in Adelaide in September
- being a former State President and National Councillor 2003 – 2004
- Awards Director for the Institute’s SA Architecture Awards program from 2007 - 2008 and in 2011
- and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide
Bonato understands that good design and great architecture comes from hard work and dedication. Summed up by the three P’s of Practice, Profession and Perseverance that were cited in the opening paragraph of his Life Fellowship nomination for the Institute.
And he understands that our efforts need to extend beyond the confines of our own discipline. In a world where exemplary outcomes increasingly rely on collaboration with our allied design professionals and others, Fran is as they say “ahead of the curve”.
But above all, behind his energy and commitment is a passion and drive to promote the relevance of what we do as design professionals, and in particular as South Australian design professionals.
If the things that we are trying to achieve as a Chapter could be captured in one person, that person would be Fran Bonato. So it is with great delight that I award him the 2016 Sir James Irwin President's Medal.
A pdf version of the citation is available here