Wednesday 12 October – Friday 11 November 2022
5.00 pm (AEDT)


Design Speaks Virtual Portal
Virtual Event


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Program Info

As a driver for opportunity and independence, education has the potential to advance society as a whole and is an important investment for our future. So, how can architecture create learning environments with equity, community and longevity at their core? In this edition of Old School / New School, we hear from leading practitioners, researchers and educators from Australia and abroad as they discuss and interrogate architecture’s role in the future of education.


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Session 2 CPD Questions – Beyond the Classroom: Designing a Neighbourhood Asset


Sophia Buckle

Event Coordinator Header Image Ultimo-Pyrmont Public School by DesignInc, Lacoste and Stevenson, and BMC2. Photography by Brett Boardman.


  • Beyond the Classroom: Designing a Neighbourhood Asset
    Architecture plays a pivotal role in shaping a neighbourhood’s sense of place and identity. Educational precincts are often a focal point within a neighbourhood, providing a communal place for students, their extended families and the greater community. This session explores how the design of a learning space can cater to the necessary functionalities and create amenity, both inside and outside formal teaching hours. Speakers will explore the myriad roles that educational projects play in communities.
  • Presentations
    Ben Cleveland, Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN), University of Melbourne (Melbourne, Vic)
    Kian Yam and Kwan Ho Li, MLKK Studio (Hong Kong)
    Thierry Lacoste, Lacoste and Stevenson (Sydney, NSW)
  • Dissection
    An hour-long panel discussion with Ben Cleveland, Kian Yam, Kwan Ho Li and Thierry Lacoste.
    Moderator: Chad Brown, Hayball (Brisbane, Qld)
  • Session 2 CPD Questions – Beyond the Classroom: Designing a Neighbourhood Asset


Dr Ben Cleveland

Associate Professor, Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN), University of Melbourne

Ben Cleveland (PhD) is an associate professor in learning environments in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, where he is co-director of the Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN). He is currently lead chief investigator for the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project, Building Connections: Schools as Community Hubs (2019-2022) and the Inclusive Learning Environments in Catholic Schools (2021-2024) project sponsored by Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools.

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Kian Yam

Co-founder, MLKK Studio

Kian Yam is a co-founder of the architectural practice MLKK Studio, based in Hong Kong. Specializing in people-oriented design, Kian was one of the key leaders and architects for the social design project Build a Music School in Myanmar. The project is a rural school development and community activation program serving ethnic minorities in Myanmar’s Eastern Shan State, aiming to alleviate social issues arising from poverty.

More About Kian Yam →

Kwan Ho Li

Co-founder, MLKK Studio

Kwan Ho Li is a co-founder of the architectural practice MLKK Studio, based in Hong Kong. Kwan Ho has a strong interest in effecting positive social and environmental change through architectural design – using his role as an architect to contribute to the global community.

More About Kwan Ho Li →

Thierry Lacoste

Director, Lacoste and Stevenson

Thierry Lacoste is a founding co-director, with David Stevenson, of the Sydney-based architectural practice Lacoste and Stevenson. Thierry studied architecture in Belgium and Italy before beginning his own practice with Antoinette Robain in 1991 in Paris, after winning the renowned Europan International Competition. Together they won numerous first prizes: City of Paris Young Architects Competition (1992), Young Architects Albums (1992) and Butagaz Competition (1993). Lacoste and Robain’s success culminated when they were awarded Best First Building (1996) for their design of the Overseas Archive Centre in Aix-en-Provence, France.

More About Thierry Lacoste →


Chad Brown

Senior Associate, Hayball

As a human-focused designer, Chad is passionate about creating enriching experiences for people. With over 20 years of experience in education and community architecture, Chad believes that these projects can have meaningful impressions on those that inhabit them. He has the skills and passion to work closely with clients, users and consultants across a wide range of projects.

More About Chad Brown →

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