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Architecture Conference


‘Diversity + Community 2017′


good people and good architecture : all together

 The Architecture Foundation Australia is a not-for-profit organisation

Supported by the National Gallery of Victoria as part of the Victorian Design Program

Drawing speakers from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America and Australia, Diversity + Community was a unique opportunity to join with ground-breaking architects to explore some of the less-charted terrains of architectural practice and to consider the role of architecture as a positive force in uncertain times.

Looking globally, thinking locally, this 2-day conference provided a range of informative and inspirational talks revealing the shifting priorities and emerging opportunities for responsive, culturally and socially engaged architecture.

Emphasising architecture that is open-minded, context specific and capable of empowering diversity and community, this event revealed an optimistic band of highly-engaged architects, who are working across diverse conditions, scales and geographies.

Following the success of the Deerubbin conferences on the Hawkesbury River (2014, 2016), Diversity + Community broke with normal conference traditions to offer a relaxed social environment for delegates to meet and engage directly with speakers.

Diversity + Community was developed in partnership with the NGV Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture and was stimulated by the exhibition Architecture of Faith – exploring the people, process and implications of Glenn Murcutt’s much anticipated Australian Islamic Centre in Newport, Victoria, that was running concurrently with the conference.

On the last day of the conference, delegates had the unique opportunity to tour the soon to be completed Australian Islamic Centre, guided by architects Glenn Murcutt and Hakan Elevli of Elevli Plus.

The event was open to the architecture profession, students, and interested others and was supported by the National Gallery of Victoria as part of the Victorian Design Program.


Diversity + Community brought together a wonderful mix of speakers from around the world, all of whom have spent time before in Australia. Speakers were selected for their focus on community in all its guises. Delegates experienced a diverse cross-section of socially and culturally interesting work, representing a mix of scale and experience.

International Keynote Speakers


Marina Tabassum (Bangladesh) recipient of a 2016 Aga Khan Award for her Bait Ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh http://mtarchitekts.com/home.php


Níall McLaughlin (Ireland and UK) recipient of the 2016 RIBA Charles Jencks Award for an architect ‘who has recently made a major contribution internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture’ http://www.niallmclaughlin.com   


International Speakers :


Meredith Bowles (England) award winning architect, residential, urban housing, projects in Taiwan executive architect with Alain de Botton’s ‘Living Architecture’ program http://www.molearchitects.co.uk/projects/


Mphethi Morojele (South Africa and Lesotho) leading indigenous practice, Berlin Embassy, Freedom Park Pretoria, exhibitions at RIBA, Venice Biennale http://mmastudio.co.za


Per Arnold Andersen (Denmark) one of the editorial ‘troika’ of the provocative journal ‘Daylight and Architecture’ Velux http://da.velux.com     


Wim Goes (Belgium) award winning practice, public and residential buildings, community project for client with degenerative ALS, exhibitions, publications. Winner of the AR (UK) 2016 ‘Pop-up’ Architecture Award.  http://www.wimgoesarchitectuur.be   


Mette Lang (Denmark and India) award winning architect, projects in denmark and iceland, modular mini house system, moveable schools, floating and tent schools in India http://www.mettelange.com


Bijoy Ramachandran (India) emerging major practice, residential, housing, master planning, film making http://www.hundredhands.com  



Erik Sommerfeld (USA) university of colorado design and build program with students http://www.coloradobuildingworkshop.com  


Piers Taylor (England) award winning practice, residential and institutional projects, design build studio with AA students, tv programs http://www.invisiblestudio.org  


Camilo Moraes Zambrano (Chile) young practioner, tourist projects in Atacama Desert and Cochiguaz, voluntary emergency housing in Valparaiso after the fires http://www.estudionorte.cl

Special Guests :

Glenn Murcutt (Australia)

Professor Brit Andresen (Australia)

Richard Leplastrier (Australia)

Peter Stutchbury (Australia)

Convenor :

Lindsay Johnston 

AIA Refuel CPD Points – 11 Formal 3 Informal

Part of the Victorian Design Program

Earlier Event: October 7
Awaroa 16
Later Event: February 11
Student Summer School