Sydney academic receives Skandalaris award

17 November 2009

Anna Rubbo, Associate Professor in Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney, received a major architecture award for her international work improving the lives of slum dwellers.

The Skandalaris award was presented to Anna Rubbo at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and National Council of Art Administrators (NCAA) conference at Washington University in St Louis on November 5.

The award honours individuals who have demonstrated leadership and entrepreneurship in architecture, design and the visual arts, particularly through community-based and/or sustainable practices.

Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton presented the award, which recognises Rubbo's leadership of the international program, Global Studio. To date Global Studio has provided intensive programs and associated conferences in Istanbul (2005), Vancouver (2006) and Johannesburg (2007-08).

Over the past three years Global Studio has worked in Diepsloot, a township in the northern section of Johannesburg. 2009 projects include an arts and culture, community radio and university shopfront centre, public spaces, a bridge crossing over floodplain, as well as the drain and toilets upgrade now being carried out by the Johannesburg Development Agency. Global Studio grew out of Rubbo's work with the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers, and has been a partnership with Columbia University and the University of Rome. In the five years since it began Global Studio has involved some 500 participants from more than 50 universities and 30 countries.

In recent years University of Sydney students from the Architecture, Design and Planning have participated in Global Studio, providing practical support and design skills that have led to large improvements in living conditions in the the townships where they have worked (see previous stories and

Some of this year's work by Global Studio is on the City of Johannesburg website You can also watch the film New Mindsets on

The award carries a $20,000 honorarium, which may be used to help support new or ongoing projects and/or creative research.

Contact: John Elliott

Phone: 02 9351 7591

Email: 307b0435393c1e1a3004511720104a01163b3d62202f3c672d3b