We’re living in the “Asian Century”. Brisbane sits on the edge of the booming Asia-Pacific region, which – along with culture, trade, politics and manufacturing – is beginning to alter design in ways many of us don’t even know.

From this weekend, the Asia Pacific Architecture Forum gives us a chance to engage deeply with architecture and design from the region, with events, talks and exhibits across Brisbane exploring how architects and planners are shaping the world around us.

APAF director Cameron Bruhn shares his five picks to make the most out of the program.

Scenes of our City
“This is a free exhibition at the Museum of Brisbane that runs until July 16. It features a series of works from the museum’s own collection … [and] describes a history of Brisbane’s landscapes and architecture through the works of artists from the last 100 years – from quite traditional to more contemporary. It’s a very accessible exhibit for the public, and the Museum of Brisbane is such a great space for people to visit and discover, if they haven’t already.”

Tapestry Design Prize for Architects
“This is a first for Brisbane – a chance to see an extraordinary tapestry work by John Wardle from Melbourne, which won the Tapestry Design Prize in 2015. This exhibition, at Artisan in Fortitude Valley, will also feature 13 finalists in the 2016 competition. It’ll be a rare chance to get close to these tapestries – they’re the kind of thing that hang at opera houses and parliaments around the world – and to see how the medium of tapestry is interpreted by contemporary architects.”

PechaKucha Night Brisbane
“PechaKucha nights started in Tokyo in 2003 and have been held all around the world ever since. They’re forums where people can present discussions of any kind in the PechaKucha format: 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide. This is one of our events that’s about engaging the wider public and other industries in conversations about architecture. Anyone can get up and talk – so you might hear from anyone from a poet to a graphic designer to a planner to a visual artist. It’s a simple and exciting way to see how an artist or designer works.”

Ancient Architecture of the Asia Pacific
“This is a really amazing opportunity to see a series of photographs from John Gollings, who is considered the premier architecture photographer of Australia. On the side of his commercial work photographing buildings for architects, he’s also been photographing ancient cities and landscapes all across the Asia Pacific: in China and India and Cambodia, as well as places like Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. What he’s going to show is a series of 10 images across the 50 years of his practices. Some are of deserted and ruined cities and landscapes, and some show places that are very much alive. These are large-scale photographic works exhibited at the State Library.”

Gap Filler Christchurch: Linking Urban Tactics to Strategy
“Gap Filler do really interesting, small-scale, co-design spaces to make design accessible to the community and foster community ownership of public space. This project comes out of work from Christchurch. It focuses on how the community, government and private sector can come together to work out how urban spaces can be reactivated after disaster, which Gap Filler have been doing since the devastating 2011 earthquake. They’ve fostered an inclusive approach to design where there’s a high level of community participation. This is a workshop targeted at anyone in city-making activities: local council, community groups and so on, as well as planners and landscape architects.”

The Asia Pacific Architecture Forum runs from March 18 to 31 at multiple venues around Brisbane.