The Awning Project

Date 30.03.2022
Location Abstract Thoughts, 197 Oxford St, Darlinghurst


As a contact point between the outside and inside, Awnings relate closely to not only architecture but to the Australian climates and lifestyles of communities around them.

The Awning Project is a public architecture exhibition that will raise awareness and stimulate discussion over the important role that sun shading structures have in activating the shared public space of the Australian footpath. Through presenting a selection of images, drawings and models, it will tell the story of how these ‘street verandahs’ evolved into the medley of horizontal surfaces we see across Australia today.

The research and ideas presented in this exhibition use Sydney as their backdrop – presenting the common tale of a modern city that prioritized the automobile in its planning, and how this in turn impacted the location and human experience of these structures over the footpath. This contextual study of a national vernacular, which connects conversations over egalitarian access to shade public shade – with a global audience. It will question the heritage and regulatory guidelines that shape and locate them today, and share speculative designs that highlight and reconsider the public value of this ‘Architecture of the street’.

The project is intended to provoke discussions around the future of these structures, and the role of ‘shade’ and loitering in the experience of our shared public spaces. It aims to form connections with local practitioners and their international counterparts, with the design of global cities in the face of rising temperatures.

About the organisation

How About Studio is a creative practice founded by architect Nick Wood that works at the intersection between Art and Architecture, to imagine, design, and build highly-detailed, immersive spaces and structures that tell rich and engaging stories.

We believe in the power of Architecture to transform the dormant potential within all spaces, and to delight the people that interact with them. Our wide-ranging portfolio of work is connected by an interest in how temporary (and mobile) architecture can explore a broad material palette that transcends the rigorous requirements and regulations of permanent buildings.

Our early projects were created for UK festivals where limited means combined a need to scavenge and reuse, with an ambition to elevate the unexpected and reclaimed. This inspired our approach to sustainability as one focused on legacy and lifecycles – a belief that is captured in our ongoing research into single-use plastics, where large tidal surfaces are used to communicate the scale of the problem.

Our work with leading cultural institutions and organisations in public galleries and urban spaces has seen us commissioned for projects that span from Paris to Texas.

Pitt St, How About Studio

The Awning Experience, How About Studio

Awning discussion, How About Studio