Jiri Lev first established his atelier as a multidisciplinary design practice in 1998 in Prague and since 2005 in Australia. He focuses on residential, public, and disaster-relief building and urban design and associated research.
Jiri speaks passionately about architecture and the environment, “seeking to identify and practice what is good in both traditional and contemporary knowledge, philosophy and ethics.” He proclaimed the majority of contemporary architecture “characterless, bland, lazy, egotistical and destructive to genius loci”. In his own work, he strives to utilise the appropriate design language of the region in which it is placed or, if absent, seeks to define it. His buildings rely heavily on natural and local materials and construction methods.
Jiri advocates for sustainable, resilient and ethical architecture in his writing, lectures and workshops. He is the founder of ArchiCamp, an irregular grassroots gathering of accomplished architects and architecture students, focused on learning, networking and invited architectural intervention within disadvantaged or disaster-stricken rural communities.
In response to the 2019-20 bushfires, Jiri founded Architects Assist, in a bid to create a “platform for equity of access to architecture,” as according to him, “like healthcare and legal representation, sustainable and resilient architecture is not a luxury. It is a condition of our future survival and a human right.”
Architects Assist currently represents a collective effort of over 530 architecture firms across Australia, dedicating their resources to pro bono work, as well as 1400 students and graduates of architecture.