David Holm is the Transport and Infrastructure Director at COX Architecture. David spent his time in lockdown on the Hawkesbury River in NSW.
His journal presents a series of watercolour landscape sketches and written reflections on the working-from-home experience and the lessons he hopes to carry forward to a new normal.
“I was lucky enough to be isolated at my place on the Hawkesbury River in NSW on Deerubbin Land, so my musings were of the strength, power and resilience of landscape and place to remain a guide for how we live.”
We asked David three questions about his experience of isolation, completing this journal and his hope for the future. These are his responses:
Describe the experience of the period of isolation for you.
Whilst concerned about the safety and welfare of family friends and work colleagues my experience has been one of reflection and at times enrichment…
The lack of commuting and the ability to think more clearly in isolation has allowed a period of contemplation for me. I have exercised more [kayak], drawn more, had a healthier diet and seemingly achieved most of the work goals whilst still seeing family and loved ones.
As things move back towards a “refreshed normal” I and my work colleagues believe it is paramount to retain lessons learnt to create a better more sustainable way of working and living…
What does your book represent and how did you approach the challenge?
The book for me represents place and reflection. I was lucky enough to be isolated at my place on the Hawkesbury river in NSW on deerubbin land, so my musings were of the strength, power and resilience of landscape and place to remain a guide for how we live. To reflect has been enriching, acknowledging that this is a unique event that allows us to ponder who we are and how we operate. That ability to reflect is valuable and should be captured to ensure better next steps.
What do you hope will change in Australia as a result of the pandemic?
Better work balance practices. Better respect for and use of our natural resources. Less rush: more thoughtfulness.
David is a Director of COX Architecture, leading transport and infrastructure projects in Australia and overseas.
David’s design focus is at the nexus of urban infrastructure, transport connections and public placemaking in the city. This is evident through key projects such as Western Sydney International Airport, Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 3, University of Sydney Master Plan, New Delhi International Airport Terminal 3, Sydney International Airport “Forum” and “Marketplace”, the Barangaroo Ferry Hub and the new West Metro in Sydney.
David is a recipient of the NSW Board of Architects Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship and a Churchill Fellow. He is passionate about drawing and has published two books, ‘Drawing Italy’ and ‘Drawing Paris,’ and regularly runs drawing masterclasses.
He is a former NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects Councillor, a New South Wales Board of Architects Registration Examiner and an Adjunct Professor of the Faculty of Design Architecture & Building at the University of Technology Sydney.
View David Holm's journal here:
Image: David Holm, Design/Isolate Journal (detail), 2020.