March 16 and 17: $15


Thu 17 Mar
3:30 pm – 6:30 pm


Music Market
Collingwood Yards, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood Victoria, Australia


Accessible bathroom Wheelchair Access

The Music Market designed by Sibling Architecture is located in an old technical college building at Collingwood Yards. Photo: Peter Bennetts
The Music Market designed by Sibling Architecture is located in an old technical college building at Collingwood Yards. Photo: Peter Bennetts
The Music Market designed by Sibling Architecture is located in an old technical college building at Collingwood Yards. Photo: Peter Bennetts

Public Works: The Upstream Designer Past Event

Presented by Monash Architecture

Transformations in the cities and suburbs are instigated by a multitude of actors rather than just the hand of a design practice. This two-day symposium investigates the role of architects and designers in the public sector, and the interface of the public sector with the built environment to shepherd in design that works in the public interest. Public Works investigates where briefs are constructed, budgets are drawn, allies are made, and good design is advocated for, and enforced.

Across two days, a series of talks, discussions and informal conversations, Public Works swims upstream through the processes that shape buildings and places. There has been an uptick in the number of talented architects, urban designers and landscape architects working in local and state government in a more expansive strategic role. They could be city or state government architects, councillors, design advocates, design excellence managers, strategic designers, urban designers, project managers or advisors. They could be in roles that shape advocacy, investment or regulation. And their tools may vary: from controls (refusal, approval) and incentives (density bonuses, developer contributions, value capture) to capacity building (reviews, advisory, advocacy) and design policies that influence behaviour (guidelines, frameworks and protocols).

This symposium occurs over two days from 16-17  March. Sessions will be moderated by Leanne Hodyl, Rory Hyde, Andrew Mackenzie and Shelley Penn, and includes a keynote by Phil Thalis and Laura Harding of Hill Thalis Architects + Urban Projects. 

This event builds on the research of Andy Fergus and Timothy Moore developed in association with Monash Architecture. The symposium is convened by Mel Dodd, Timothy Moore and Andy Fergus as part of Monash Architecture’s public program.

16 March
Welcome and introduction
Mel Dodd, Andy Fergus and Timothy Moore
Session One: Panel session moderated by Andrew Mackenzie
From civic buildings to affordable housing, the public sector is investing in building capacity and quality in the private sector. One tool is the design competition that can generate a spectrum of good design outcomes for building and precinct projects. What are the ways that design excellence can be embedded within competition and procurement processes?
Andrew Mackenzie, Founding Director of Citylab
Jocelyn Chiew, Director City Design at City of Melbourne
Olivia Hyde, Director of Design Excellence at the Government Architect NSW
Simon Knott, Director of BKK Architects
Session Two: Keynote with Phil Thalis and Laura Harding followed by a conversation with Shelley Penn

17 March
Session Three: Panel session moderated by Leanne Hodyl and presented by Urban Design Forum
Those advocating for design in the formulation of guidelines and frameworks must understand and negotiate commercial and political interest. Experts in development economics, urban governance and design strategy will discuss how to best position design quality at the centre in managing the transformation of our urban landscape.
Leanne Hodyl, Hodyl & Co and Urban Design Forum
Jessie Keating, Department of Transport
Alison Potter, Grimshaw Architects
Ryan Costin, Ernst & Young
Session Four: Roundtable discussion with Rory Hyde
How can our discipline engage with the big issues facing the city? What are the pathways for designers to move upstream? What are the institutions or organisations missing in this city that can help to address this space? Rory Hyde, associate professor of architecture at the University of Melbourne and design advocate for the Mayor of London, concludes the Public Works symposium with a roundtable drawing people and ideas from the last three sessions in a conversation in the round. Audience participation is essential.

Public Works is a project that looks at the role of the architect in the public sector. At its inaugural public event, Finn Williams, City Architect of Malmo, Co-Founder of Public Practice, presented his career working in the public interest followed by a Q&A with Andy Fergus from Assemble. Watch the recording of the event here: