UTS Robot, Advanced Fabrication Lab elective with Dave Pigram; Photographer Vishal Shahdadpuri Aswani

Project to Practice:
Innovating Architecture

AASA 9TH International Conference, 2016

30 Sept - 1st Oct, 2016 / University of Technology Sydney

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The Call to Action

The need for innovation in Australia has never been more urgent. As our economy adjusts to a post-resources present, we ask where is architecture creating its future, and how is the sector shaping the policy and funding levers of tomorrow?

The demise of automotive manufacturing is only one of a constellation of warning signs that remind us traditional industries are under threat. Will the professional services sector replace manufacturing, or itself be subject to massive contraction? Some commentators forecast that over 70% of Australia’s service based industries - those that are likely to make the most impact in the new economy - are themselves at risk of disruption through technologisation1 within the next decade. 

We know the education and practice of architecture will be changed by these tectonic shifts in the economy. So what are the new drivers of innovation and growth? 

The 2016 AASA conference seeks to map the relationship between architecture and the emerging innovation economy through exemplars in research, education and practice. We want to document those changes that are propelling new conceptualisations of projects and practice, and that are restructuring the education of the architect as a result. 


The 2016 AASA conference proposes an examination of the relationship of architecture to our future innovation economy and context. 

A priority for the conference is to explore which areas of innovation, i.e., products (goods or services), processes, R+D and so on, are native to architectural practice, process and education and which are areas of economic, cultural and disciplinary opportunity for future Architectural practices. 

Contributions to the conference linking academic and professional perspectives are particularly welcome. Critical reflections on innovation, histories and theories and their relation to Architecture are also welcome. Aimed at understanding the context of innovation for architectural practice and education now, the conference seeks to create a critical benchmark from which to address the extent of structural change that may be required, or may already be happening, across the discipline. 

Keynote Speakers

Indy Johar / Architecture OO

Indy Johar is an architect, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Project00, DarkMatterLabs, Impact Hub Birmingham and Senior Innovation Associate Young Foundation. 

Project00 is the Research, Design & Start-Up Studio behind Architecture 00, Dark Matter Laboratories, Impact Hub Birmingham, Impact Hub Brixton, Impact Hub Islington, Impact hub Westminster, Opendesk.cc, WikiHouse.cc +++ amongst other organisations. 

Indy Johar is a co-founder of Dark Matter Laboratories: our goal is to apply complex systems science to value chain innovation, management and relationships; turning what is generally perceived as a threat of our time – spill-over effects across borders, boundaries and silos - into a resource to solve the wicked challenges society faces in the 21st century - across two key system domains - one place based across Cities, Towns, Neighbourhoods and another spanning our corporate supply chains. Dark Matter Laboratories applies an experimentation method typical of a fieldwork scientific laboratory, it runs real-world research and prototypes to verify their validity and application on the ground. It is committed to the open sourcing of all its research, tools and techniques in order to maximise impact. 

Laura Lee / Architect, FAIA, Hon. FRAI

Laura Lee, FAIA, Hon FRAIA, is a registered architect and Professor of Architecture most notably at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh where she served as Head of the School from 2004-2008. Laura has also taught at the Higher Institute of Architecture Henry van de Velde in Antwerp, Belgium; the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, Denmark and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2009-2010, she was the Cass Gilbert Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota. 

Laura is an international voice for integrated design education, practice and research. Her work focuses on the development and implementation of integrated design strategies and collaborative programs between the academy, government, industry and the profession. She has lectured globally on issues concerning the relationship between design education, policy, practice and research. For many years, Laura has served on award juries and has been an accreditation chair, advisor and an international consultant for numerous academic institutions and professional organisations. 

In 2009–2010, Laura was the 16th “Adelaide Thinker in Residence” in South Australia, a program inviting global experts and leaders in their field to generate actionable and visionary recommendations for the government. Focused on the value of design and the impact of the built environment on the quality of life, Laura published an “Integrated Design Strategy for South Australia - Building the Future.” Two of her key recommendations were adopted: a Commission for Integrated Design, the first of its kind in Australia and an Integrated Design Strategy for the City of Adelaide as a design-led vision based on a model of Intelligent Investment for design, planning and development.


Project to Practice: Innovating Architecture seeks to share exemplars in architectural practice, education and research. So what are these exemplars, and who’s behind them? The papers below have been selected using a double blind process, and will be presented across the two day conference event.

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Thank you to all those who have submitted papers. As if making it through a double blind peer review for an abstract wasn't enough...