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Centenary Symposium

Cathedral Thinking – Designing for the Next Century
This symposium celebrates our school’s centenary through reflecting on the past, discussing current challenges and exploring how we can design for the next century.

2-3 August 2018 

The Sydney Centennial series focuses on defining the role of architecture, design and planning for ensuring a sustainable future of our planet. The series is an acknowledgement of the fact that we will likely not be here in 100 years when the next Centennial event takes place, and thus need to collaborate not only within and across our disciplines but also across generations to ensure that the planet and humanity will still exist in 2118. 

The first symposium as part of this series will be held to coincide with the Centenary celebrations of the University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning. The symposium will draw on the notion of cathedral thinking to explore how we can design for the next century. Using this framework, the symposium focuses on finding "a far-reaching vision, a well thought-out blueprint, and a shared commitment to long-term implementation” for the next century.

Topics

  • Keynote: Change is a Design Problem
    Nick Law, Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Groupe, will discuss design's role in managing change and reimagining the future.

  • Session 1: Revisiting Utopia
    An investigation of architecture, design and planning visions developed and revised over the last 100 years and how they have defined or failed to define life on our planet.

  • Session 2: Reality Check
    A stock take of current research priorities and achievements in architecture, design and planning, and how they relate to the past and contribute to the future.

  • Session 3: Designing 2118
    A reflection on the challenges ahead, visualised through proposals in the form of prototypes, theories and speculative future visions grounded in architecture, design and planning research.

Program

5.30pm, Symposium Launch
Charles Perkins Lecture Theatre, University of Sydney

Keynote: Change is a Design Problem
Nick Law, Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Groupe

This event will also mark the launch of the school’s new Master of Design program.

9am: Symposium

Elston Room, Carriageworks

Symposium registrations

9.30am: Welcome

A welcome and introduction given by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), followed by Martin Tomitsch, the Centenary Symposium Director.  

Provocative statements

3 short provocative statements to challenge the status quo. All three statements will pose a question or a challenge relevant to the future of our cities. (3 x 10 minute talks)

  • Professor Robyn Dowling, Smart Cities, Autonomous Vehicles, Car Sharing
  • Professor Anthony Capon, Sustainable Development, Urbanisation, Human Health
  • Dr Kazjon Grace, The Future of AI in Design

More speakers to be announced

10.30am: Session 1: Revisiting Utopia
An investigation of architecture, design and planning visions developed and revised over the last 100 years and how they have defined or failed to define life on our planet. (3 x 15 minute talks followed by a moderated panel discussion).

  • Dr Simon Weir, Dalí’s Surrealist Architectural Predictions
  • Danilo Palazzo, The History of Utopian Thinking
  • Associate Professor Roderick Simpson, Utopia: useful end state or dead end
  • Moderator: Professor Michael Tawa


12pm: Lunch

1pm: Session 2: Reality Check
A stock take of current research priorities and achievements in architecture, design and planning, and how they relate to
the past and contribute to the future. (5 x 15 minute talks followed by a panel discussion)

  • Associate Professor Paul Jones, Informal Settlements, Slums & Inclusive Cities
  • Hugo Chan, Approaches to Adaptive Reuse in Architecture
  • Evelina Ozola, Reclaiming the Streets and the Power of Public Spaces
  • Associate Professor, Elizabeth Farrelly, Architecture, cities and houses, design, the arts, planning, the environment and social commentary - and also Julian Assange and the price of truth in our culture

  • Moderator: Professor Nicole Gurran


2.45pm: Afternoon break

3.15pm: Session 3: Designing 2118
A reflection on the challenges ahead, visualised through proposals in the form of prototypes, theories and speculative future visions grounded in architecture, design and planning research. (6 x 15 minute talks followed by a panel discussion)

  • Professor Marcus Foth, Smart City Development
  • Maria Aiolova, Interdisciplinary approach to future cities
  • Dr Christhina Candido, Design in high performance environments
  • Dr Donna Houston, Cultural and urban geography and the environmental humanities
  • Moderator: Dr Lian Loke


5.15pm: Student competition lightning talks:

Antirealism - Designing 2118

Closing statement
A final statement given by Professor Robyn Dowling, Associate Dean (Research)

5:30pm: Symposium ends

6pm: Gala event, featuring keynote lecture by Daniel Libeskind
Separate to the Symposium, the school will be hosting a Gala, featuring a keynote lecture by international guest and world renowned architect, Daniel Libeskind of Studio Libeskindn and cocktail reception.

Speakers


Nick Law

NICK LAW, KEYNOTE
Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Groupe, President of Publicis Communications

Topic: Change is a Design Problem

In his role as Chief Creative Officer, Nick Law drives a unified creative vision across all of Publicis Groupe’s creative brands. Previously, Nick led R/GA’s strategic and creative vision, working with clients including Nike, Samsung, Johnson & Johnson, and Google. Nick helped build R/GA from a 100-person web design agency, to 2,000 people across 18 offices, with a world-class reputation. Nick’s career spans 30 years and four continents. He has been named three times in Creativity 50, a list of the world’s most influential creative people.


Maria Aiolova

MARIA AIOLOVA
Architect and Co-Founder of Terreform ONE

Topic: Interdisciplinary approach to future cities

Maria Aiolova is an educator, architect, urban designer and community builder in New York City. She is a leader in interdisciplinary education focused on future cities. Maria is the Co-Founder of Terreform ONE where she created ONE Lab, an experimental school that combines design and science in a singular curriculum. She served as the Academic Director of Global Programs at CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange), where she created programs in Berlin, Barcelona, Prague, Shanghai, Cape Town and New York. She is an institutional adviser to New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Maria is currently a visiting faculty at IAAC (Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia), Barcelona.


Professor Anthony Capon

PROFESSOR ANTHONY CAPON
Professor of Planetary Health
 
Topics: Sustainable Development, Urbanisation, Human Health

Tony is the inaugural Professor of Planetary Health at the University of Sydney. A public health physician and authority on environmental health and health promotion, his research focuses on urbanisation, sustainable development and human health. Previously, Tony directed the global health institute at United Nations University (UNU-IIGH) and held professorial appointments at Australian National University and University of Canberra.


Dr Christhina Candido

DR CHRISTHINA CANDIDO
Senior Lecturer and Program Director in Architecture and Environments, University of Sydney

Topic: Design in high performance environments

Dr Candido is an architect by training and she holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil) and in Environmental Science from Macquarie University (Australia). Her research expertise and interest relate to Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE), Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), Activity-Based Working (ABW) and workspace design. She leads research investigations focusing on the design of high performance environments.


Hugo Chan

HUGO CHAN
Architectural Graduate, Cracknell & Lonergan Architects

Topic: Approaches to Adaptive Reuse in Architecture

Hugo Chan is an architectural graduate and independent researcher who has worked at Cracknell & Lonergan Architects since 2011, with a primary focus on conservation, planning and urban residential development. His current research focuses on the adaptive reuse of old and historic structures, examining how practitioners from around the world have stepped up to the challenge of engaging and reimagining the existing urban fabric of our cities. Between 2010-2012, Hugo worked between Hong Kong and Sydney, obtaining experience in the fields of architecture, construction management and client-end project management. Since 2016, he has also served as a sessional academic tutor at UNSW Built Environment, tutoring in history and theory of architecture across the undergraduate and postgraduate programs.


Professor Robyn Dowling

PROFESSOR ROBYN DOWLING
Associate Dean Research, University of Sydney

Topic: Smart Cities, Autonomous Vehicles, Car Sharing

Robyn joined the school in 2016, bringing with her longstanding research in urbanism. Her current research is concerned with the ways in which urban governance and urban life are responding to climate change and technological disruptions.

Funded by a number of ARC Discovery grants in collaboration with Professor Pauline McGuirk of the University of Wollongong, she builds upon the foundations of urban planning to explore the partnerships and complex relationships through which contemporary cities are governed, and most recently the notion of smart cities. A related project is documenting the new forms of autonomous mobility that are being forged in cities, and in particular car sharing and the challenges posed by autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars).


Associate Professor Elizabeth Farrelly

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR ELIZABETH FARRELLY
Associate Professor in Urbanism, University of New South Wales, and SMH Columnist

Topic: Architecture, cities and houses, design, the arts, planning, the environment and social commentary - and also Julian Assange and the price of truth in our culture

Elizabeth Farrelly is a Sydney-based columnist and author who holds a PhD in architecture and several international writing awards. A former editor and Sydney City Councilor, she is also Associate Professor (Practice) at the Australian Graduate School of Urbanism at UNSW. Her books include 'Glenn Murcutt: Three Houses’, 'Blubberland; the dangers of happiness’ and ‘Caro Was Here’, crime fiction for children (2014).


Professor Marcus Foth

PROFESSOR MARCUS FOTH
Professor of Urban Informatics, QUT Design Lab

Topic: Smart City Development

Marcus Foth is Professor of Urban Informatics in the QUT Design Lab, Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology. He is also an Honorary Professor in the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University, Denmark. Professor Foth’s research brings together people, place, and technology. His transdisciplinary work is at the international forefront of human-computer interaction research and development with a focus on smart cities, community engagement, media architecture, internet studies, ubiquitous computing, and sustainability. He founded the Urban Informatics Research Lab at QUT in 2006 and the QUT Design Lab in 2016.


Kazjon Grace

DR KAZJON GRACE
Director of the Bachelor in Design Computing Program, University of Sydney

Topic: The Future of AI in Design

Dr Kazjon (Kaz) Grace’s research explores how computers can participate in the design process as partners rather than tools. His interests span computational design, computational creativity, HCI and AI. He develops computational models of novelty, surprise, and curiosity, and investigates how they can help people make decisions. Kaz's current work involves systems that encourage their users to broaden their horizons: to eat more diversely, to read more broadly, and to overcome design fixation. Previously a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2012-2017), he continues to collaborate with colleagues in the USA. He is the Program Director of the Bachelor of Design Computing, and teaches design programming and physical computing within the program.


Professor Nicole Gurran

PROFESSOR NICOLE GURRAN
Professor in Urban and Regional Planning, University of Sydney

Moderator (Session 2)

Nicole Gurran, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Sydney, leads the Urban Housing Lab@Sydney and directs the University’s AHURI (Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute) research centre. Nicole’s research focuses on intersections between urban planning and the housing system and she has led and collaborated on a series of studies on aspects of urban policy, housing, sustainability and planning, Her current research is examining affordable rental supply, informal housing provision, and the impacts of online holiday rental platforms for local communities. Nicole has authored and co-authored numerous publications and books including Politics, Planning and Housing Supply in Australia, England and Hong Kong, with Nick Gallent and Rebecca Chiu, Australian Urban Land Use Planning: Principles, Policy, and Practice (2011), and Urban Planning and the Housing Market (2017, Palgrave, with Glen Bramley).


Dr Donna Houston

DR DONNA HOUSTON
Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography and Planning Macquarie University


Topic: Cultural and urban geography and the environmental humanities

Dr Donna Houston is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.  Her research explores the intersections of urban political ecology and environmental justice, biopolitics of climate change, wastelands and toxic bodies, and planning the 'more-than-human' city. Dr Houston is the Director of the Bachelor of Planning and the Co-Director of  the Environmental Humanities research stream.


Associate Professor Paul Jones

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR PAUL JONES
Associate Professor and Program Director in Urban and Regional Planning, University of Sydney

Topic: Informal Settlements, Slums & Inclusive Cities

Paul Jones came to the Urban and Regional Planning and Policy Program on a full-time basis at the beginning of 2011 with diverse experience as a planning practitioner, and an excellent academic record. Paul is an urban development and management practitioner with 30-years professional experience in developing urban management, urban development and planning solutions in the Asia-Pacific region, and is globally recognised for his work in informal urbanism, specifically informal settlements.


Dr Lian Loke

DR LIAN LOKE
Senior Lecturer, Director of Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts, University of Sydney

Moderator (Session 3)

Dr Lian Loke’s research is at the nexus of performance, somatics, design and technology, and explores the aesthetics of interaction with the body as a central focus. Her research interests lie in understanding the lived experience of people interacting with emerging technologies and exploring how to design future products and systems from such understandings. She has a background in design, human-computer interaction and software engineering, with extensive experience as a lecturer and researcher. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Design Lab, School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney and Director of the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts program.


Evelina Ozola

EVELINA OZOLA
Architect and Co-Founder of Fine Young Urbanists

Topic: Reclaiming the Streets and the Power of Public Spaces

Evelina Ozola is a practicing architect and urbanist from Riga, Latvia who comes up with attractive and thought-provoking methods of prototyping street space and involving the society in the design process. She is a co-founder of Fine Young Urbanists, a practice that mainly operates in the field of tactical urbanism.

Next to design work, Evelina frequently contributes to online and printed press on issues concerning the built environment. In 2013, she founded FOLD, an online magazine for creative industries in Latvia.

Evelina’s focus is on unconventional ways of communicating urban design issues and ideas to the broader public. She has explored this in her academic work too — at Umeå School of Architecture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, and RTU International Summer School in Latvia.

Evelina is part of the curatorial team of Together and Apart, the Latvian Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.


Dr Danilo Palazzo

DR DANILO PALAZZO
Professor and Director, School of Planning, University of Cincinnati

Topic: The History of Utopian Thinking

Dr Danilo Palazzo is educated as an architect and planner and is director of the School of Planning at the University of Cincinnati. Previously he was at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He has authored books, books chapters, and papers on ecological planning, urbanism, urban ecological design, sustainable planning, and design processes and pedagogy.

Danilo’s research unpacks the meaning of “Utopia” and its practical implications for cities and architects.


Jess Scully

JESS SCULLY
Councillor, City of Sydney and freelance curator in creative industries and digital culture

Symposium MC (Thursday and Friday)

Jess Scully is a curator and creative industries advocate who is passionate about cities and city-making, and in 2016 was elected as a Councillor for the City of Sydney. Jess was the founding director of Vivid Ideas, Australia's largest creative industries event, and has curated creative sector events including Junket, TEDxSydney and Curating Participation. Jess was a founding contributor to the Sydney Culture Network, launched in late 2017. She is an advocate for the knowledge economy, creative and cultural sector, and encouraging participation in politics, creativity and enlivening our public realm. As a public art curator, her projects included Green Square Library and Plaza. She has served as an arts policy advisor and strategist, directed the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards and the Creative Cities East Asia project, and began her career as editor of a number of creative industries publications including Yen, Empty and Hotpress. 


Roderick Simpson

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR RODERICK SIMPSON
Environment Commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission

Topic: Utopia: useful end state or dead end

Roderick Simpson is an architect and urban designer, and alumnus of this school. Prior to being appointed as the inaugural Environment Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, he was director of the Urban Design and Urbanism programs in this school until 2016. His work has focused on sustainability since the early 1990s and more recently resilience.


PROFESSOR MICHAEL TAWA
Registered Architect, Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean Indigenous, University of Sydney

Moderator (Session 1)

Professor Michael Tawa has taught architectural design and design theory at the University of NSW, the University of South Australia and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was Visiting Professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris; Carleton University, Ottawa; The Centre for Ideas, Melbourne and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Michael writes on architectural design theory, architecture and cinema and, more recently, architecture and atmosphere.


Dr Simon Weir

DR SIMON WEIR
Lecturer in Architecture, University of Sydney

Topic: Dalí’s Surrealist Architectural Predictions

Dr Simon Weir is an Academic Fellow in architecture at the University of Sydney. His research connects Salvador Dalí’s Surrealist theories of art with Classical theories of the ethics of public architecture.


This event is being held as part of the University of Sydney Innovation Week and is also supported by the University of Sydney Planetary Health Platform and the Greater Sydney Commission.

Key contacts:

Christina Rita

Centenary Program Coordinator
Address
  • Room 455A Wilkinson G04

Martin Tomitsch

Academic Director of the Centenary Symposium
Fax
  • +61 2 9351 3031
Address
  • Room 276 Wilkinson G04