Alumnus Emma Letizia Jones is a founding member of Zurich-based architecture collective TEN, an association of young architects, teachers and researchers from all over the world. The group have recently won a prestigious Swiss Art Award, for their installation titled Study, exhibited in this year’s Art Basel.
The prize-winning sculptural installation takes the form of four monolithic slabs, appearing as an incomplete, ancient structure. The work illustrates different stages of a structure moving through the building process and are cast in furan resin sand, a material used in the mass production of metal objects. This material is traditionally used to make moulds, rather as a sculptural material to be moulded itself. This inversion is something the group sought to emphasise through the structures’ powerful black surface hues.
The Swiss Art Awards recognise outstanding contributions to the fields of art, architecture, art criticism and design. Established in 1899, the awards are part of Switzerland’s oldest art competition. This year’s jury named 11 winners from a total of 370 submissions, each of whom receives a prize of 25,000 Swiss francs.
Emma Letizia Jones completed her Masters of Architecture at the University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning in 2009.
“Its been a very non-linear path from studying architecture at Sydney University to setting up our practice in Zürich and winning the Swiss Art Award, but I think it shows that an architecture degree is incredibly versatile,” she said.
After working in Sydney and London, she completed a Masters of Arts at the Architectural Association and then moved to Zurich to undertake a Doctorate at the University of Zurich in 2013. On living and working as an Australian architect in Europe, Emma said,
“As much as there are more and more Australians practicing and teaching in Europe; there are increasing numbers of Europeans coming to Australia, and informing local architectural culture in the process. I think maintaining an openness to this global dialogue is no longer about a 'cultural cringe', or about us feeling inferior to architectural movements in Europe. Now, it's the opposite: it’s a sign of our confidence."
Emma now teaches design, and architecture history and theory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Lausanne and Zurich), alongside collaborating as a member of TEN. As a collective, TEN’s design practice includes both theory and making and the group also produce public events and symposia, teach programs, and contribute to publications and exhibitions.