A strong turnout for ‘Engaging Women in the Built Environment’ event, convened by University of New South Wales (UNSW) Built Environment Faculty.
Opening the proceedings, Dean of UNSW Faculty of Built Environment, Professor Helen Lochhead, shared a new goal for industry; ‘If we are going to reach 50% women in leadership roles by 2025 in the Built Environment industries, we need to work together in new and innovative ways’.
Continuing at an energetic pace, each speaker given just three minutes to share their own career journey, what they are known for, and their goal for the evening. It was fast, but the range of speakers provided a valuable view of the industry from planning, design, construction, and renewal.
Closing the event, Professor Lochhead announced Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, Lucy Turnbull AO, has been appointed Adjunct Professor at the UNSW Faculty of Built Environment. In a report from the UNSW Newsroom, Professor Lochhead says “In her role as Chief Commissioner, Lucy is leading the future of district planning for Sydney to 2056, which is the environment many of our students will contribute to when they graduate”.
Each of the speakers at the event offered a unique contribution to the challenges and successes of engaging women in the built environment. It would take volumes to capture all the achievements of the presenters, so below is just a point for each that was of particular interest on the evening.
Landscape Architecture, People and Place. Is known for initiating BEOutThere! an interdisciplinary learning program to encourage staff and students to collaborate on real world projects.
Filmmaker, Designer and Artist. Showcased image of lace intricately woven with traditional stories. Encouraged industry to work with Aboriginal artists to bring new meaning to the natural and built environment through cultural stories in design.
A provocative writer on Architecture and the Environment. Columnist for Sydney Morning Herald, well known for article, ‘You don’t have a career. You have a life’.
General Manager NSW/ACT Lendlease Building. Known for alternate tender strategies and most recently Darling Harbour Live PPP. Encourages flexible working for all.
Urban Designer, City of Sydney, described the contrast of working in London and Sydney approaches to urban renewal and regeneration.
Emphasising the growing digital culture in design. By 2020 Smart Cities will be worth $1.4 trillion.
Developed ‘restoring the waters’ successful pilot to regenerate local waterways. More recently has overseen the ‘Sydney Green Grid’ a program to link green spaces across metropolitan Sydney.
Following enviable research on location in a blue water atoll, now well known for research on ‘Home’; experience of strata title residents. What is it that makes a space feel like home?
Began her career in New York following a bold introduction to a local architect. Now runs an award winning practice in Sydney.
Industrial designer and UNSW lecturer. Award winning product design and experiment with digital design versus traditional craft.
Principal of SB Design Landscape Architects. Beautiful projects in urban spaces including Sydney’s Prince Alfred Park Pool and Jubilee Park, Onkaparinga Community Playground in South Australia.
Former Director General of Planning in State Department. Led seed funding for the Australian Green Building Council in 2001. Consults on city planning and urban policy development.
CoFounder (Rothschild) and volunteer Architect (Kite) from the Anganwadi Project. NGO initiative building pre-schools in the slum areas of Ahmedabad, India.
Founding Director JBA, leading urban planning and development advisory firm. Emphasised importance of multidisciplinary teams.
Established SJB Interiors and is now Director Shareholder. Support and be supported by women; Look after your health (excellent message); It will be tough, but you will grow.
Researching Urban ecology works include ‘Re-wilding Sydney’ and ‘Untaming the urban symposium’.
Senior Project Engineer, Lendlease. See’s a labour shortage with high starting salaries for trade qualified staff. Possibility for increased female participation which can increase confidence.
Interior Designer, Geyer. Worked on JWT Sydney Head Office and Westpac Melbourne activity based working. Aims for sweet spot of design between people, place and technology.
Many publications, of interest was Planning for Cultural Diversity, Health & Cities Journal, New Planner periodical and ‘A Plan for Growing Sydney’.
Founders Aileen Sage Architects. Recently Creative Directors for The Pool exhibition at the Venice Biennale. Past research included a project in Bordeaux where the Architects suggested do nothing and wrote a paper questioning the Active intervention of Architecture in Public Places.
Founder and Designer of R.O.A.M, mobile oxygen tank. Reminded all to have some fun while pursuing success.
Following career in construction, now lead researcher on gender equity and diversity project. Event: ‘Construction Industry: Demolishing gender structures,’ Wednesday 7th December 2016.
Words by: Caroline Fonda