Australia and New Zealand architectural historians are leading a new thrust to densify scholarship on pan-Pacific modern architecture and design.
Beyond Taschen's three popular 'Tiki Style' monographs and 2014 Paris exhibition by Los Angeles 'urban archaeologist' Sven A. Kirsten, the antipodean academics are developing new themes and evidence on architects and buildings in Hawaii and sub-equatorial Pacific islands.
Recent advances include:
—Jennifer Taylor and James Conner, former architecture professors at the University of Sydney who retired to Brisbane in the mid-2000s, have launched a new survey monograph: Architecture in the South Pacific: The Ocean of Islands. This may include recognition of Snelling (who was overlooked in Jennifer Taylor's earlier publications on modern architecture in Australia). We have asked the publisher, Editions Didier Millet, for a review copy.
—Former Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) historians Andrew Leach (now Griffith, Brisbane) and Julia Gatley (now UniAuckland), are hosting a Pacific modern architecture session at the next conference of the Society of Architectural Historians (in Chicago, 15-19 April 2015). Leach and Gatley are among SAHANZ and Docomomo ANZ leaders who blocked recognition of Jackson's PhD research on Douglas Snelling; Leach being one of two VUW-educated examiners who recommended the thesis be failed. Their session, titled An Architectural History of the Pacific Basin?, is framed using 'The New Empiricism' of San Francisco's Bay Area as its key reference – not mentioning the more diverse and internationally influential works produced in southern California. Presenters will be James Weirick (UNSW), Jeffrey Oschner (UniWashington), Philip Goad (UniMelbourne), Arlef Setiawan (Southern Poly) and Christoph Schnoor (Unitec).
—Sydney-based writer Davina Jackson (Goldsmiths, University of London and editor of this blog) has contracted with British academic publisher Ashgate to publish her RMIT-rejected PhD research as a book titled Douglas Snelling: Pan-Pacific Modern Architecture and Design. She also authored the Australia-Oceania architecture and design chapter of Routledge's forthcoming World of Modernism (a multi-disciplinary history anthology). Both are due for release in 2015.