Based in Sydney Australia, MiArchitects (formerly Mac-Interactive Architects) is an established architectural practice with a strong but understated belief in the fundamental concerns of architecture, nervous of manifestos, utopias and ‘the grand gesture’. Process, Participation, Perception and 1st principles are what interest us the most. These tenets could be summed up by the word SYNECTICS, which has been central to director Andy Macdonald’s beliefs since the early 90’s. Every project/exploration we embark on is based on these tenets rather than being style-based or derivative. That is not to say that everything we do is a claim to complete originality, as we believe that not only is this impossible – it is not something to be strived for - as there are many lessons to be learnt from others. Previous incarnations that reflect this, include collaborative ventures such as teaching as part of a group called 4-track philosophy, and working with a multi-disciplinary design group in Amsterdam called Elastic Skeleton.
MiArchitects’ work so far, has been a mix of Residential and Commercial, with Art/Theatre/Installation work to keep us agile. The practice draws on experience gained whilst working for larger practices, in fields such as leisure, large scale commercial, and civic projects, including master-planning, urban design and government offices. These projects have ranged in value from AU$10million to AU$280million.
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Andy Macdonald was born in Scotland in 1965. He studied Architecture at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, graduating in 1989 with First Class Honours; and receiving The William Bell Memorial Scholarship (for best student). Both his written thesis and design thesis were considered ground-breaking and were submitted for the R.I.B.A. Silver Medal.
Extensive travels led Andy to live and work in San Francisco, rural Spain (restoring fincas/farmhouses) and eventually Amsterdam, where he was one of the founding members of multi-disciplinary group: Elastic Skeleton (a collaborative group of architects and artists). Andy subsequently spent 3 years in London working as a project architect for GML Architects who were mainly doing multi-unit residential work. The Lexington (a block of 91 residential units that Andy was the project Architect for) was completed early 1997 AND took out an award for London’s best new housing in 1998.
Arriving in Australia in early 1998, Andy cut his teeth initially with BKH (working on the Republic) and then working for Michael Davies & Associates as the project architect for a JV with NSW Police and Auburn Council for a new new Civic Centre and HQ (valued at $20m); eventually forming mac-interactive in late 1999.
Andy has taught in both Australian and British Universities and been involved in a series of 5-day workshops with a group called 4-track Philosophy (a loose collective of musicians, architects, dancers and programmers)
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