School of Architecture

  • Architecture and Commerce

    Explore architecture’s role in commercial development and global consumer culture. Learn to work with the quantitative language of financial speculation and, in parallel, the terms through which architecture’s relationship to commerce has been theoretically considered, from the populism of ‘Learning from Las Vegas’ (1972) to corporate branding and ‘starchitecture’. Design proposals are expected to critically balance the expectations of commercial development against broader societal needs for sustainable and accessible cities. Designing with the material technologies of commercial developments is an integral part of this course.

  • Institutions and Ideology

    Negotiate the ideological underpinning of existing and future institutions in the design of buildings and precincts for governance, justice, diplomacy, education or culture. Learn the dynamic and contested nature of exterior and interior public space and be challenged to develop compelling architectural expression for organisations that play a significant role in public life. Design proposals engage with the political structures and processes that drive regional infrastructure and the regulatory context for building. Designing with the complex briefing and planning requirements for institutional and public buildings is essential to this course. 

  • Adaptive Capacities

    Operate on, in or alongside existing built fabric, analysing its heritage and material qualities, and formulating architectural proposals for its re-use, adaptation or conservation. The historical legacy of places is considered broadly, embracing the modern and industrial, cultural heritage and memorialisation, as well as designated heritage sites. The design process takes in past and present uses of the site, as well as regulatory parameters, conservation policies and methodologies, stakeholders and economic viability. An expanded range of technologies, such as digital scanning, is used in the documentation of the site and the communication of proposed interventions. 

  • Dwelling and Density

    Pursue diverse solutions to the challenge of accommodating rapidly growing, urban populations in Australia and Asia. Based in research and fieldwork into formal and informal housing in cities, issues such as density and amenity, privacy and community, climate and cultural appropriateness, affordability, disability, ageing, and changing household demographics are considered in the design of innovative housing. The relationship between individual housing projects and their effects at the urban scale in increasing or decreasing segregation, gentrification and suburban sprawl are explored. The design of individual dwellings as well as the design of common spaces is expected. 

  • Landscapes and Architecture

    Design fixed or mobile architectures that sustain or shape familiar or unfamiliar landscapes. The idealisation of wilderness, agrarian and (post) industrial landscapes through historical concepts such as the picturesque, as well as contemporary ideas about nature as a casualty of human activity, are the conceptual backdrop for revisiting the relationship between buildings and their environments. Design research in this course includes extensive fieldwork, documentation of natural processes and systems, and reference to other genres in which landscapes and nature are portrayed. You will explore active and temporal relationships between architecture and its environment. 

  • Masterclass

    Engage critically and intensively with the distinctive formal commitments, theoretical position and modus operandi of a leading practitioner or practice. Their example is used as a springboard for advancing new directions in which you can formulate and demonstrate a related but independent position responsive to your own time, place and culture. Studio activities are typically conducted in an intensive mode to enable significant national and international guests to lead the studio. 

  • Utopian Urbanism

    Anticipate future scenarios for the city and develop architectural responses to forecast global challenges, such as climate change, population increase and diminishing resources. The impetus for positing alternatives to the present is treated seriously through critical review of the history of utopian proposals in architecture and urban design. This research grounds the formulation of future scenarios and is the basis for the design of alternative visions for cities. The course emphasises the agency of architecture in effecting change. Studio activities may include field trips to cities in Australia and abroad. 

  • Material Experiments

    Experiment with emerging and known materials and fabrication technologies to address challenging conditions and programs. Prototyping, 1:1 resolution, digital fabrication and robotic assembly, prefabrication and lightweight structures are topics addressed in these studios. A focus on innovation at the level of the construction detail is a key driver for design speculation, approaching buildings as the aggregation of numerous decisions about material and assembly. Studio activities are primarily undertaken through detailed material modelling and prototyping, along with computational analysis, and drawing and intensive workshop components.