Australian art acolytes know Darren Wardle as the Melbourne painter who marked the first years of the twenty first century by exploding, melting, defacing, deconstructing and decaying several internationally famous icons of high modernist architecture. Examples include Harry Seidler’s 1949 Rose Seidler house in Sydney and Pierre Koenig’s Case Study (Bailey) House #21 in Los Angeles.
Phaidon, American publishers of prestigious art editions, invited me in 2004 to help them identify and promote the next 100 stars of world architecture. Following outstanding sales of their ‘category killer’ tome 10 x 10: 10 Critics, 100 Architects (2000), they planned a second volume to launch in 2005.
Phaidon’s then architecture editor, Virginia McLeod, annointed me as the sole southern hemisphere commentator, to balance nine distinguished supra-equatorial thought leaders, including Zaha Hadid, Deyan Sudjic and Kurt Forster. We each contributed a brief dissertation about architecture in the new millennium.