UNSW Built Environment: Society for Responsible Design Change 11 Exhibition

2 08 2011

Three UNSW Built Environment Graduate Designers, Kate Stanistreet, Lily Tandeani and Anthony Papas have secured places in the ‘Society for Responsible Design (SRD) Change 11’ Sustainable Design exhibition, 1-12 August.

Inspire. Promote. Change, is the compelling theme for the graduate sustainable design exhibition presented in an iconic new venue, Coca-Cola Place, 40 Mount St, North Sydney (formerly known as the Ark).

SRD presents its eighth annual graduate exhibition series with over 25 exhibits challenging conventional thinking and showcasing sustainable design solutions across all creative design disciplines and areas of life, from visual arts and communication, architecture and industrial products to high-end fashion and including issues relating to Third World health.

Be inspired with Visual Trajectories by Kate Stanistreet (MArch, 2010) who has successfully dealt with the challenges of design for high rise buildings, while still creating a comfortable and energy efficient working environment.  This has been done by paying particular attention to efficient sustainable measures with air, light, heating and materials which increases the functionality of the space while at the same time alleviating its impact on the environment.

Embrace change with the high density living that comes with Sustainable Vertical City by Lily Tandeani (MArch, 2010). Lily has provided an example of a solution oriented design that deals with our burgeoning population growth in a sustainable way.  Showing how a 48-storey mixed-use tower can be transformed to incorporate strategically arranged office vertical villages, a retail ring, a sky garden and residential units.

Communal Remediation by Anthony Papas (BLArch, 2010) deals with a post‐industrial urban renewal concept developed for Central Canberra, in which his design seeks to resolve the conflict of interests existing between local community identity and the need for urban densification alongside the growing need for regional environmental sustainability.

Come and see these great exhibits from UNSW BE graduates, who join the talented young designers from many other Sydney University Design Schools and selected National Universities.

SRD Change 11 National exhibition, is a must see special project of the SRD and part of Sydney Design 2011 presented by the Powerhouse Museum. Entry is free and open Monday 1st to Friday 12th August. Review the exhibits, speak to the designers and be inspired about positive change for the future.

Click here for more exhibition details.

UNSW Built Environment: Utzon Lecture “Sydney 2030 Vision” now on UNSWTV

19 04 2011

The second installment of the 2011 Utzon Lecture Series “Sydney 2030 Vision” by Clover Moore MP, Lord Mayor City of Sydney is now available for viewing on UNSWTV.

The lecture can be viewed by clicking the icon below.

UNSW Built Environment: SRD Change 11 Graduate Sustainable Design Exhibition

8 04 2011

Entries for SRD Change 11 Graduate Sustainable Design Exhibition are now open.

SRD Change is a unique exhibition of graduate sustainable design that directly challenges conventional expectations. Exhibits are selected from a diverse range of design areas from all of Sydney’s top Universities. They feature innovative visual and 3D works, multimedia and even high fashion garments. The exhibition started in 2004 and continues annually. It aims to promote fresh ideas and solutions, through which society can be more sustainability aware and responsible.

The exhibition will feature as part of Sydney Design 11 presented by the Powerhouse Museum.

Entries close at 5pm on April 15, 2011.

For information on the exhibition and how to apply, click here.

UNSW Built Environment: The Challenges of NSW’s Planning System

25 03 2011

Authored by: Eli Geschiet

The Faculty of the Built Environment in conjunction with the City Futures Research Centre recently hosted a planning forum with guest speaker David Broyd, Group Manager, Sustainable Planning, Port Stephens Council.

David has recently prepared a paper titled “Where to Planning?” which was formulated to generate discussion on pressing urban planning issues in New South Wales.

Download David’s paper here.

With the advent of the 26 March State Government elections, the organisers took the opportunity to shed light on the real issues to inform the audience and the wider community.

The forum took place at the Hugh Dixson Theatre at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) campus on Wednesday 16 March. The audience was comprised of primarily planners from all age groups and across a range of fields including government, consultants, and there was also a young planners contingent. The audience had the privilege to hear the views of planning experts in response to the issues presented from David Boyle’s paper.

The line up of panelists included;

Malcolm Ryan, Director of Planning and Development Services at Warringah Council

Tony MacNamara – Director of Planning at Canada Bay Council and NSW President of the Planning Institute of Australia

Ken Morrison- CEO at the Property Council of Australia

John McInerney– Architect, town planner and City of Sydney Councillor

Why is planning so hard?

As an introduction to the forum, David Boyle outlined the main issues he believed to be influencing the current planning system. These included;

  • No national planning policy
  • Need to prepare a National Settlement and Infrastructure
  • There is too much focus on development assessment, rather than on strategic planning
  • There is too much fragmentation of the state agencies which inhibits forging strong relationships to achieve sound planning outcomes

The focus of the discussion evolved primarily around the inabilities of the planning system to deliver a pragmatic approach to Sydney’s geographic and social constraints.

Ken Morrison from the Property Council of Australia emphasised there is an evident lack of funding available to implement effective changes for the planning system. Representing the peak body of the development industry, he also referred to the housing supply issue, where only half of the required homes are being build to meet the demand for a growing population.

More transparency in the planning system is a pressing issue according to PIA President Tony MacNamara. One of the fundamental flaws in the current legislation is that there are two systems operating concurrently. According to MacNamara, The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act is being underminded by other planning loopholes including Part 3A, which provides incentives for developers to use a ‘back door’ approach in obtaining approval for major projects.

John McInerney from City of Sydney also emphasised David Boyle’s view that the Commonwealth Government should have a more intimate role and influence in the planning processes on the state and local government levels. John suggested there be an overhaul in the Department of Planning, which should be implemented as soon as the new Minister for Planning coomences his term.

During the course of the forum, the audience had opportunities to express their viewpoints.

Chris Johnson, from the Department of Planning concurred with Broyd’s position that the Federal government needs to play a more central role in the development of our cities.

Also, Gary Shields, Director of GSA planning, highlighted a fundamental flaw in the assessment process when an application is determined by Councillors. The Councillors are politicians and not “overnight decision makers”.

Planning Insights

The forum was primarily focused on the negative aspects of the current planning system. However towards the conclusion of the evening, a member from the audience raised the question to the panelists; “Are there any positive aspects that the planning system has contributed?”

Other audience members chuckled, but the panelists found it hard to provide sound responses. Panelist members suggested that Part 3A assessment for major projects and the introduction of the Joint Regional Planning Panels were effective functions of the planning system.

The night ended with a message to young planners on how they can get involved in improving the planning process. “Don’t give up” were words expressed by a panel member. Indeed all planners need to be vigilant, while also attempting to fix the mistakes of the past.

About the Author

Eli Gescheit is a Bachelor of Planning (UNSW) Alumni from 2008. Eli currently works at Waverley Council and is the Director of The Planning Boardroom website, an online portal and resource for urban planners, architects and developers. For more info visit; http://www.theplanningboardroom.net

UNSW Built Environment: Utzon Lecture Series returns in 2011

15 03 2011

On the 23rd March 2011, UNSW Built Environment will be launching the 2011 Utzon Lecture Series at 7.00pm. This year the Faculty will be host to a series of national and international speakers that include Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, Clover Moore MP, Lord Mayor of Sydney, Carol Willis, Professor of Urban Studies at Columbia University and Director of The Skyscraper Museum; and many other experts who will address local and global built environment concerns, issues and perspectives.

The series will commence with a lecture by Peter Mould, NSW Government Architect and Visiting Professor  at UNSW Built Environment, titled “Islamic Architecture”.

Date: Wednesday 23 March, 2011

Refreshments: 6.15pm-6.45pm Red Centre West Wing Gallery, UNSW Kensington campus

Lecture: 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Venue: Keith Burrows Lecture Theatre, UNSW Kensington Campus

Cost: Free


Peter Mould, NSW Government Architect and Visiting Professor at UNSW BE

Peter Mould is a graduate of the University of New South Wales. He is a practising architect and worked in the private sector in Australia and overseas before joining the NSW Government Architect’s Office. His work in the public sector has included the design of schools, court houses, colleges and urban projects at Circular Quay, Taronga Zoo and St Mary’s Cathedral.

He has received numerous awards for architecture, urban design and adaptive reuse. Peter is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and past Vice President of the NSW Chapter. He sits on the Central Sydney Planning Committee, the Heritage Council and the NSW Architects Registration Board and many Design Review Panels. He has recently established and now chairs the Eminent Architects Panel to advise the Sydney Opera House.

His lecture will look at regional styles in Islamic Architecture by examining the traditional mosque and tomb. It will examine the way the plan form reflects regional influences and the relationship between functions, form, structure and decoration. It further investigates the way functional elements became symbols and structural responses evolved to become decoration.


Please click here to see the 2011 Utzon Lecture Series program in detail. Or for  more information please visit our events page on the Built Environment website.

UNSW Built Environment: 2010 Excellence in Research Initiative

1 03 2011

The University of New South Wales has been ranked the 4th highest university in Australia for Research excellence by the 2010 Excellence in Research (ERA) Initiative. Overall, the UNSW Built Environment was ranked highly against its competitors, receiving a high average score of 3 out of 5 for its combined Built Environment disciplines.   Among the separate discipline areas, Property and Construction Management research and Urban and Regional Planning research were both ranked in the highest scoring group of Universities in these two discipline areas, each scoring a 4.

The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative assesses research quality within Australia’s higher education institutions. It provides a comprehensive overview of the quality of research undertaken in higher education institutions across the country in an international context.

The outcomes of the ERA 2010 process are available on the Australian Research Council (ARC) website .

Please see the below article, published in The Australian Newspaper for the thoughts of Les Field, UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor and others involved in the higher education industry regarding the 2010 ERA outcomes.

The Australian – Excellence in Research for Australia lays bare research myths

UNSW Built Environment: Professors Ken Maher and Deo Prasad interviewed

26 11 2010

UNSW Built Environment Professors and architecture authorities Ken Maher and Deo Prasad were recently interviewed on sustainable property and news forum, The Fifth Estate.

In separate interviews, Ken Maher speaks about his views on the capacity for architecture, and design in general to change the way we live. Deo Prasad is interviewed on the use of  green buildings.

Click the links below for access to the full interviews.

Ken Maher – a design eye on everything

Deo Prasad – a man with a mission

If you are interested in reading more about Professor Maher and Professor Prasad, we have detailed profiles of them on our BE staff page.

Ken Maher

Deo Prasad