There has been considerable interest recently in architecture and the migrant experience, typified in publications such as Drifting: Architecture and Migrancy (2004) with its broad range of discussion on architecture and displacement. This paper proposes to use the immigration and work of ltalian born architect Enrico Taglietti to shed light on aspects of Australian cultural identity. ln contrast to arguments proposing an essentialism of sorts that characterises migrancy, we argue that it is in the specifics of architectural migrancy that the most illuminating lessons are to be learnt. The reception of the migrant architect and the acknowledgement or otherwise of their work powerfully illustrates prevailing architectural norms and historiographic ideologies in the country of destination. Although the limited acknowledgement afforded the work of migrant architects has been raised by Harriet Edquist, Myriana Lozanovska, Julie Willis, Philip Goad and others in the Australian context, we argue this is not a matter of omission but rather a consequence of a cultural response to post-war non-British immigration. Paul Carter's concept of placism is a referent for this dynamic: the work of migrant architects is culturally scanned for points of possible attachment, as it were, to a nationalist narrative of identity. Predictably, such points prove elusive as a matter of definition.
SAHANZ Melbourne 2004: 21st Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand. Limits: Proceedings from the 21st Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand (Melbourne 27-29 September, 2004) p. 313-318