Wednesday 18 October 2017
8.45 am – 5.00 pm ()


Warrane Theatre
Museum of Sydney
Corner of Phillip Street and Bridge Street,
Sydney NSW
Google Maps


Tickets for this event are sold out.


Design Speaks Symposia 2017

Presenting Partner

Old School / New School 2017

Major Partner

Earn CPD Points

Download CPD Questions and Learning Outcomes

2017 Oldschoolnewschool Program Final


Event & Sponsorship Enquiries

Nicole Greenwell

Sponsorship and Events


  • 8.45 am Arrival and seating
  • 9.00 am Welcome from Cameron Bruhn, Editorial Director, Architecture Media
  • 9.15 am Keynote Address
    Heinrich and Ilze Wolff
    Directors, Wolff Architects (South Africa)
  • 10.00 am Keynote Address
    Wang Weijen
    Principal, Wang Weijen Architecture and Head of Department and Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
  • 10.45 am Morning tea
  • 11.15 am Pedagogical Case Studies
    South Melbourne Primary School
    Presented by Ann Lau
    Director, Hayball (Melbourne)
  • Brighton Grammar School
    Presented by Ross Featherston
    Headmaster, Brighton Grammar (Melbourne)
  • Arthur Phillip High School and Parramatta Public School
    Presented by Andrew Cortese
    Partner, Grimshaw (Sydney)
  • T. C. Beirne School of Law
    Presented by Sarah Derrington Academic Dean & Head of School, T. C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 1.00 pm Lunch break
  • 2.00 pm Keynote Address
    Elizabeth Hartnell-Young
    Honorary Fellow, Melbourne Graduate School of Education (Melbourne)
  • 2.45 pm Keynote Address
    Morten Schmidt
    Partner, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects (Denmark)
  • 3.30 pm Keynote Q&A
  • 3.55 pm Closing comments from Cameron Bruhn, Editorial Director, Architecture Media
  • 4.00 pm Closing drinks
  • 5.00 pm Event closes
  • Download CPD Questions and Learning Outcomes

Keynote Addresses.

The Collective

Presented by
Heinrich & Ilze Wolff, Directors, Wolff Architects

Radical propositions for new educational environments are best established through cycles of conversation and provocation. This keynote address will share how ideas were developed and advanced for private and public educational buildings. The importance of collective thinking is established through human relations before the design process starts. In architecture, the importance of the collective is expressed by exaggerating spaces for the collective as the central ordering device of the buildings. In the context of limited resources, such exaggeration is necessary to give the buildings a character that people can be proud of.

In the context of the recent democratisation of South Africa, the educational buildings of Wolff Architects have an instrumental purpose to be active participants in the transformation of society.

Courtyard, Landscape and Community

Presented by
Wang Weijen, Principal, Wang Weijen Architecture

This lecture will explore the use of courtyard, landscape and community in school projects designed by Wang Weijen Architecture in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan, including several post-earthquake campus reconstructions. By incorporating existing trees, water and topography, these projects explore how school typology can be integrated with landscape, nature and the day-to-day life of communities. It also demonstrates a series of design explorations on re-inventing traditional courtyard typology for contemporary high-density campuses. They not only establish an innovative system of semi-outdoor open spaces for multi-leveled school buildings, but also generate micro-climatic conditions of thermal comfort through shading and cross-ventilation in the hot-humid weather of South China.

Designing for Learning

Presented by
Elizabeth Hartnell-Young, Researcher and Honorary Fellow, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne

What makes a successful learning space for teachers and students? How can physical and virtual spaces promote the development of knowledge and skills and cater for individual differences? Would some school spaces be more successful if teachers and students played a greater role in their initial and ongoing design? But where are the times and spaces for teachers and students to have their voices heard?

Drawing on her research and consultation experience with teachers, students and architects in Australia and England, Elizabeth will share strategies and findings and consider professional development opportunities relating to these questions.

The Future Of Education: Design as a Platform for Social Interaction

Presented by
Morten Schmidt, Founding Partner, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

The schools, colleges and university buildings by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects embrace the Scandinavian architecture tradition through the creation of joyful, healthy, light-filled and dynamic spaces conducive to contemporary ways of learning and teaching. Adaptability and flexibility are central to the functionality of these projects as well as stimulating senses for both practical and theoretical learning. As communication and information flow is now dependent on rapidly evolving digital technologies, the buildings must be prepared for the future – for new technologies and the resulting new ways of learning. Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects’ buildings are designed to get people together and provide places for interaction and socialising, planned to provide meeting places and to provide routes for “paths to cross.” Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects believes in creating space for human interaction, instilling the feeling of belonging and community, which can also be a source of pride. Morten Schmidt will present some of SHL’s educational designs drawing parallels to his approach to designing libraries of the future.

Pedagogical Case Studies.

South Melbourne Primary School – Designed by Hayball

Presented by
Ann Lau, Director, Hayball

Victoria’s first vertical school rises to a height of six storeys and its key innovation is the unprecedented integration of shared school and community facilities. As well as a government primary school for 525 students, the project includes an early learning centre, maternal and child health centre, multi-purpose community rooms and indoor and outdoor multi-purpose sports courts.

On a compact inner-urban site of 5,000 square metres, the school will be located in the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area in Melbourne, which is growing by 3,000 residents per year. The project demonstrates forward planning of community infrastructure by local and state governments, with the shared facilities forming a mutually supporting complex of excellent and wide ranging services for an emerging local community in one of Australia’s largest urban renewal areas.

Brighton Grammar School

Presented by
Ross Featherston, Headmaster, Brighton Grammar School (Melbourne)

Brighton Grammar is an independent Anglican school for 1,300 boys from early learning to secondary education in Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Brighton. When headmaster Ross Featherston designated wellbeing as one of the school’s key strategic priorities, it was clear that a physical space was required to support the new priority. A small former chapel existed on the grounds and was the obvious place for a wellbeing facility.

From the beginning, architecture firm ClarkeHopkinsClarke worked with staff and stakeholders to define what was required. Core to the brief was a design that induced a sense of calm and presence. The design also needed to accommodate diverse activities, including assemblies, meditation, workshops and functions.

Fully funded by donors, the $900,000 centre is now used by all boys from three to eighteen years old, as well as the community. There is a pronounced shift in attitude when students enter the space. Brighton Grammar is the only Victorian boys’ school to have implemented such an extensive and multifaceted health framework, to which the Wellbeing Centre is vital.

Arthur Phillip High School and Parramatta Public School — Designed by Grimshaw

Presented by
Andrew Cortese, Partner, Grimshaw

The integrated redevelopment of Arthur Phillip High School (APHS) and Parramatta Public School is a landmark education project for New South Wales and Australia. Designed by Grimshaw/BVN/Six Ideas, APHS will be New South Wales’ first public vertical school and a prototype space for a future-focused learning curriculum.

The seventeen-storey high school consists of six stacked communities or “homebases,” designed for maximum flexibility and re-configurability and interspersed with formal and informal learning spaces for project-based and STEAM subjects.

Developed on the existing school site and adjacent to Parramatta Square, the schools are central to the urban renewal of Parramatta as Sydney’s second CBD. Offering expansive, landscaped open space, mixed-use facilities and retained heritage, the precinct is intended to be a critical piece of social infrastructure for one of Sydney’s most socially and ethnically diverse populations. Combined, these facilities will establish a new community of learning for the future.

T. C. Beirne School of Law

Presented by
Sarah Derrington, Academic Dean and Head of School, T.C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland (Brisbane)

The Forgan Smith Building west wing has been reimagined to suit contemporary needs of the T.C. Beirne School of Law and Walter Harrison Law Library. The adaptive re-use strategy transformed the restrictive central corridor and cellular room layout through strategic demolition and addition of new parts that support contemporary teaching and learning environments.

The school’s vision – to be inspirational, inquiring and international – has underpinned this new approach, with the resultant identity characterised by its historic building fabric and contemporary interiors.

This completely reimagined interior, tailored as a memorable and enabling setting for the teaching, learning and research of law forms a part of the highly emblematic Great Court set of buildings, and has the capacity to represent both law and the university in the international arena.

Sign up.

Stay in touch for Design Speaks priority invitations and event launches.

Select Event Types..


Design Speaks is delivered in partnership with a select group of partners.

View Partners Become a Partner