Humans of RMIT: Jane Caught

Jane Caught, RMIT alumni (Bachelor of Architecture), founding member, Sibling Architecture, Melbourne

I came to RMIT in 2000 to the SIAL stream (Spatial Information Architecture Lab), which was then headed up by Mark Burry and staffed by academics such as Pia Ednie Brown, Paul Minifie and Gregory More, working at the forefront of a range of new tools for designing, imagining and conceptualising architecture and spatial politics. It was incredible to be working at the edge of technology within a global context; and the like-minded people I met.

Together with a group of friends, we started SIBLING as an informal architecture project around 2007, producing group works for exhibitions and small self-initiated projects.

In 2012, we formalised to take it on as a full time enterprise (along with teaching). Central to our practice is a critique of changing technologies and societal/cultural shifts; an analysis of how these might change the way we interact and in turn the spaces we inhabit.

We look for opportunities to give agency to people inhabiting the spaces we create to shape them for their own use, and encourage connections between people where we can.

We are currently involved in a range of public, art and educational buildings throughout Victoria and NSW (where we also have a studio). Interestingly, we have just been approached to design a co-working space in Madrid, which is incredibly significant within the context of COVID, in terms of both international project opportunities and spaces to house shared facilities.

We believe we are both obligated and inspired to contribute to greener, smarter, more inclusive and community-minded cities; and that as architects there is an urgent imperative to, especially in light of irreversible global warming and the economic devastation potentially wrought by the pandemic.

Architects are often the only party fighting for these principals on the project level; however the public advocacy for inclusive and sustainable spaces within our profession needs to be significantly developed, so that society at large understands the role we play and the importance of what we stand for.