Friday 31 July 2015
8.45 am – 5.00 pm ()


Clemenger BBDO Auditorium
NGV International
Melbourne VIC
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Tickets for this event are sold out.

Program Info

The inaugural Housing Futures forum will speculate on residential architecture across all scales, locations and types through three broad themes – the individual family home, apartment living, and future directions in aged, multigenerational and student housing. The symposium will feature international and local keynote speakers, interwoven with panel discussions where audience participation is encouraged. The Housing Futures forum is co-located with the highly anticipated 2015 Houses Awards announcement.


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  • 8.45 am Attendee arrival
  • 9.00 am Welcome from Katelin Butler, Editor, Houses magazine
  • 9.15 am Keynote Address
    What lessons, if any, does the bespoke, one-off house offer for housing futures?
    Kerstin Thompson
    Principal, Kerstin Thompson Architects (Melbourne)
  • 10.00 am Keynote Address
    City limits: why Australia’s cities are broken and how we can fix them
    Paul Donegan
    Co-author of the Grattan Institute’s first book, City Limits: Why Australia’s cities are broken and how we can fix them (Melbourne)
  • 10.45 am Morning tea
  • 11.15 am Keynote Address
    Urban housing: architecture’s role in making our cities sustainable, equitable and liveable
    Philip Thalis
    Founding Principal, Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects (Sydney)
  • 12.00 pm Moderated Panel Discussion
    Panellists: Philip Thalis (Founding Principal, Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects), Eli Giannini (Director, MGS Architects); Marcus Foth (Founder and Director, Urban Informatics Research Lab; Professor in Interactive and Visual Design in the School of Design, Creative Industries Faculty at QUT) and Shane Murray (Foundation Professor of Architecture and Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design, Monash University)
  • 1.00 pm Lunch break
  • 2.15 pm Keynote Address
    Housing shapes the way we live and the cities we inhabit
    Charles Renfro
    Partner, Diller Sco dio + Renfro (New York City)
  • 3.00 pm Moderated Panel Discussion
    Panellists: Charles Renfro (Partner, Diller Sco dio + Renfro), Kerstin Thompson (Principal, Kerstin Thompson Architects), Shelley Penn (Director, Shelley Penn Architect; Past National President of the Australian Institute of Architects) and Ben Hewett (Director, Strategic Services NSW GAO; Adjunct Professor of Architecture at UTS)
  • 4.00 pm Closing comments from Cameron Bruhn, Editorial Director, Architecture Media
  • 4.10 pm Closing drinks
  • 5.00 pm Event closes
  • Download CPD Questions and Learning Outcomes

Keynote Addresses.

What Lessons, If Any, Does The Bespoke, One-Off House Offer For Housing Futures?

Presented by
Kerstin Thompson, Principal, Kerstin Thompson Architects

Kerstin Thompson will draw on the housing work of Kerstin Thompson Architects to demonstrate how the practice of residential architecture is an opportunity to develop new typologies responsive to the living preferences, and social and environmental imperatives of today. While there will always be a place for the architect as ensemblier, especially for the one-off home, Kerstin will argue that the architecture of the house is most instrumental at the level of typology as an envelope for living and in the establishment of relationships with place, neighbours and the street.

Urban Housing: Architecture’s Role in Making Our Cities Sustainable, Equitable & Liveable

Presented by
Philip Thalis, Principal, Hill Thalis Architecture and Urban Projects

If the future of humankind is increasingly urban, then the future of inhabitation is likely to be expanded urban housing. Reprising housing models that extend at least as far back as the Romans, the apartment building will out of necessity become the dominant form of a new range of dwelling choices. Philip Thalis will investigate contradictions inherent to the form of the city and its housing – between design and economy, between quantities and qualities, between speculation and durability. He will explore how architecture’s embrace of such issues will help determine the extent to which our cities are sustainable, equitable and liveable.

City Limits: Why Australia’s Cities are Broken and How We Can Fix Them

Presented by
Paul Donegan, Co-author, Grattan Institute

The divide between where people live and work in Australian cities is growing. Most new jobs are being created close to city centres, while most population growth occurs in the outer suburbs. Relatively few new homes are being built in established suburbs, despite strong demand. The costs of this divide include heavy traffic congestion, long commute times and big compromises in family and social life. Paul Donegan will investigate how changes to government regulations and tax settings are a necessary first step to bridging this divide, and argue that the architecture profession has a critical role to play in making change a reality.

Housing Shapes the Way We Live and the Cities We Inhabit

Presented by
Charles Renfro, Partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Precis to come.


Eli Giannini

Director, MGS Architects

More About Eli Giannini →

Marcus Foth

Founder and Director, Urban Informatics Research Lab

More About Marcus Foth →

Shelley Penn

Director, Shelley Penn Architect

Shelley Penn is an architect, urbanist and non-executive director. She has more than 35 years’ experience encompassing architectural practice and senior strategic advisory roles, supporting government and the private sector to advance outcomes for all people through the quality of the built environment.

More About Shelley Penn →

Ben Hewett

Director, Strategic Services NSW GAO

More About Ben Hewett →

Shane Murray

Foundation Professor of Architecture and Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design, Monash University

More About Shane Murray →

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