Welcome to the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney.
Not only are you joining Australia's first university, but also the first Faculty of Architecture. We are one of the nation's – and the world's – leading institutions. As well as undertaking a particular course of study or candidature, you are joining a community – a collegiate body – that is a central part of the 'Sydney experience' and a source of great pride for students and staff. It is through this that you obtain a true university experience as opposed to just studying a course. I believe that the quality of this life at Sydney and in the faculty is matched by very few other institutions.
The faculty is a community of students, researchers, technical and support staff, practitioners and lecturers who are here because they are curious about the human habitat and the creative and analytical methods to improve it, in order to make life better for people. While your initial experience here may be in the studios, lectures and the faculty's social life, I hope that you will progressively engage with our underlying culture, commitments and enthusiasm. We want you to come to believe in the value of our disciplines as much as we do.
This handbook sets out the diversity of the faculty's disciplines and activities. You may begin your journey as an undergraduate in the architecture or design computing programs or as a student in the combined architecture and engineering degree or architecture and law degree.
Our professional Master of Architecture qualification is open to qualified graduates not only from our own undergraduate architecture program but also from similar programs across Australia and overseas. Your postgraduate options extend across many different coursework or research programs including interaction design and electronic arts, facilities management, heritage conservation, urban design, urban and regional planning and design science (with streams in audio and acoustics, building services, illumination design and sustainable design).
Whichever program you are in you may take the opportunity to explore related fields of study with electives or streams from other programs.
The faculty has an outstanding reputation for research across all our disciplines, with an enviable publishing record. It is the home of a number of respected academic journals including Architectural Science Review and Architectural Theory Review.
The faculty’s range of disciplines provides the breadth and depth to contextualise your work within the extraordinary complexity of contemporary environments, and the processes that create, analyse and manage them.
The disciplines are supported by an outstanding range of studios, workshops and laboratories, creating an excellent creative, technical and scientific environment within which you will undertake your work.
Over the past 90 years, the faculty has developed a reputation for innovative thinking in research, teaching and practice across its disciplines. It started Australia’s first university architecture program in 1919, and the first studies in town planning in 1949 were followed by the world's first Chair of Architectural Science in 1953, and in 1963 by the award of Australia's first PhD in architecture. The Design Lab, formerly the Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition, has an enviable international research reputation, and the Heritage Conservation program has made an important contribution to Australia’s cultural identity.
The faculty has recently launched the Indoor Environmental Quality Lab, one of only two in the Southern Hemisphere. This is a new and important tool in creating high quality and sustainable environments.
It is important to mention the high standards required to become a part of this faculty – this community. Selection into the architecture program is largely from the top 5 per cent of NSW’s school leavers. The capability of our students, among whom striving for and achieving academic and professional excellence is the norm, is part of what makes this faculty an exciting learning environment.
Whether it's life in the faculty’s studios, its labs or the myriad facilities in and around the University and the city of Sydney, there can be few better places in which to have a full and enriching university experience.
The faculty seeks to inspire you with a lifelong interest in your chosen field that will sustain you throughout your studies and career. Enjoy your time here and above all use it well to make the most of the wonderful opportunities that studying at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning provides.
Professor John Redmond