i2C has launched its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), joining a network of more than 1,100 corporate, government, and not-for-profit organisations that have made a formal commitment to reconciliation through the RAP program.
i2C Architects’ Reflect RAP will enable i2C to deepen our understanding of its sphere of influence and the unique contribution it can make to lead progress across the five dimensions: race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity; unity; and historical acceptance.
Founder and Managing Director Anthony Merlin said the Reflect RAP is the first step in the company’s commitment to learn and grow, while contributing meaningfully towards Australia’s reconciliation journey.
“We acknowledge that we design and create places on the unceded lands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. There is a huge opportunity to incorporate real meaning, inspiration and connection to place within all of our projects.
“This will happen through collaboration with First Nations peoples from the very beginning of our project involvement,” he said.
The first steps that we are taking to achieve our reconciliation goals include raising awareness and fostering respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, peoples and lands; building relationships with the local land councils in every area where our studios are located; providing pathways and opportunities for Indigenous designers and creatives to work at i2C, and working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander design consultants to ensure projects reflect and communicate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective of the lands on which the project takes place.
As part of its RAP, i2C recently worked in collaboration with Matthew Fellingham, proud Awabakal Artisan, Consultant, and Creative Designer, Fellingham Consultancy and Design (FCAD) to create the layered artwork presented throughout the RAP document, as well as a separate art installation for i2C’s studios.
“The artwork for i2C’s RAP document is called ‘from the ground up’. This is i2C working collaboratively, from the ground up. From little things big things grow, the flowers show you working with new teams and supporting them, like flowers in bloom. The Symbolism of Aboriginal voice from under the ground, and being connected to voice, to country and the journey. Circles are yarning, discussing and working in collaboration. The greens of new life and new beginning. We are one,” says Matthew.
As a way of holding space for the RAP journey in the local studios the installation artwork, titled Unity, which was co-created with Matt Fellingham and the i2C team, uses the process of applying handprints to symbolise oneness, unity and tying together.
Constructed from raw copper, the i2C team will each place their hands in natural, acidic solutions before placing them directly on the artwork. The resulting chemical reaction leads to a multi-layered, collaborative and ever evolving artwork. The many layers come together to produce a lasting effect, to symbolise the unity within the team. The artwork will spend part of the year in each studio location ensuring each team member will have an opportunity to sit with and experience the artwork.
When you read through our Reconciliation Action Plan, take a moment to sit with the artwork and read the words. Let the words land. Sit with them. Reflect.