Spectacle & Collapse - Changing Landscapes AILA Festival - Perth October 2021

The AILA 2021 International Festival of Landscape of Architecture titled: Spectacle and Collapse: Changing Landscapes”, was held in Perth and online from the 13th – 16th of October this year. REALMstudios is delighted and proud of the role that Founding Director Damien Pericles had as a member of the Creative Directorate and for his curation during the event itself.


The Creative Directorate team and our festival theme, was chosen by AILA to deliver the 2021 Festival because of their combined backgrounds in academia and practice in landscape architecture and urban design. Damien was joined by Maria Ignatieva and Christina Nicholson (UWA), Hans Oerlemans (wOnder city+landscape, UWA) and Kat Stewart (Student Representative, UWA) who together brought their intellectual, creative and organisational skills to the role.


The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) represents over 3,500 members throughout Australia and overseas. The AILA Festival is designed to engage with practicing landscape architects, students, universities, governments and the public. This event is the highlight of the AILA calendar each year. The Festival included a two-day conference, the National Landscape Architecture Awards Presentation, site visits and tours and a student/graduate design competition.



The Festival was a great success with international, national and local speakers delivering high quality presentations that in some cases shocked but mostly inspired the audience. Damien’s personal favourite was Systems Analysist, Nicole Foss who presented a well-researched but at times dystopic projection of our future in post-capitalist communities – is this what we should start designing for?


The festival hosted over 400 attendees both in-person and online. The hybrid structure was a great success in part because of the significant reduction in carbon emissions given no interstate travel was permitted due to WA travel restrictions.


There has been a great deal of positive feedback from the landscape architecture community including; Jason Cuffe, the NSW AILA Executive Member, who wrote: “After a successful 2021 Festival of Landscape Architecture I hope that you are all energised and excited about the role that landscape architects can play in the negotiation and re-imagination of a world under the influence of globalisation, digitalisation, increasing mobility and social expectations” in the latest NSW AILA newsletter. Another participant, Andrew Thomas (immediate past AILA WA President) wrote to the Creative Directorate and said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to you all for the wonderful festival that you delivered. In the face of a two year preparation period, ongoing travel issues and the never ending threat of border closures I believe that you delivered a truly hybrid event that was a pleasure to be part of.”



The festival recording is available on line for attendees and a post-event digital access ticket is also available from AILA for those who missed the event.

Access the recording on the Virtual Attendee Portal.


Damien looks forward to an on-going conversation around core themes of the festival and to see impact and change across academia, government, practice, AILA and ultimately as individuals.

Thank you to all those who attended and contributed to the great success that was Spectacle & Collapse 2021.