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Panel Members:

Kim Crestani; The Pod System

Peter Mould; The Role - and Limitations - of a Government Architect

Rod Simpson; Pulling It Together: Architecture at City Scale

Dr Geoff Gallup AC; From the Cabinet Table; How Governments Make Decisions (and How To Influence)



Tim Horton


AGENCY2017 seeks to reveal the skills, tools and mindsets required by a new generation of architects empowered to create social impact. But to make change, We must first understand how change is made - and how that’s changing.

Political leaders from all sides are seeking to reduce escalating future costs by reducing the size and scale where public interest has traditionally been served. Arguably, the ability for the public sector to respond is in peril; locked in to applying one-size-fits-all policy to hyper-local issues in an economy whose geography is seemingly at odds with climate, environment with agriculture; fuelled by a splintering of traditional political parties chasing an increasingly disengaged electorate.

At the same time, social technologies are connecting communities more intuitively - enabling broad, purpose-driven coalitions around local issues they believe in (the re-birth of Jane Jacobs as a reader for communities; pop up and tactical urbanism). Top-down is shedding while bottom-up is still forming. Left and right politics is fracturing. And yet the mechanics of the middle are missing. Is this where the agency of professionals is needed most? and is it relevant that a 2016 paper by the ARB argued that engaging citizens more effectively seems a skill-set elusive to many architects?

In July 2016, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan noted that architects had all but disappeared from roles advising government; reducing from 50% in of the public sector, the 1970s to around 1% in 2017. At the same time, the role these architects play has changed - moving from project office and Clerks of Works to strategic advisors in the room as positions are argued and policy is formed. Is the public interest served by a well detailed signal box when billions of dollars are invested in new schools, and transport infrastructure that are scoped, budgeted and delivered with no advice on design or delivery? How many policies, programs and projects related to housing, land use or pubic space are drafted without the spatial intelligence or data sources native to architectural experience? Is external advocacy and activism alone an effective tool to make change, or are experts needed as options are explored in the high-risk game of politics and public policy? Or are we the problem; allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good? Do we really have the means to make an impact?

Hear how the rules of the game are changing. Hear from those who have been in the room as the imperfect art of politics has played out as they share insights into the dark matter that gives shape to education, planning and regulation policy. This is strictly Chatham house rules.


Atelier Bow-Wow is a Tokyo-based firm founded in 1992 by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima. Yoichi Tamai joined as partner in 2015. Their interest lies in diverse fields ranging from architectural design to urban research and the creation of public artworks, which are produced based on the theory known as “behaviorology.”


The practice has designed and built houses and public spaces in Japan, as well as in Europe and the United States. Their works have been published as “Behaviorology”, ”Graphic Anatomy”. Their urban research have been published as “Made in Tokyo”, “Pet Architecture Guide Book”, “Void Metabolism” and “Commonalities”. “Micro Public Space,” a series of critical interventions into public space has been realized worldwide. Tsukamoto is professor of Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kaijima is associate professor of ETH and Tsukuba University. They have taught as guest professors in Harvard GSD, Columbia University GSAPP, UCLA, Cornell University, ETH, TU Delft, Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen,etc.


Julie Eizenberg, FAIA brings design vision, leadership, and expertise in working with cities, non-profit agencies, institutions and private developers to generate inventive master plans and public places. She is an astute observer leading investigations that reshape the way we think about conventional building typologies. Her focus on the user experience, whether it is an individual, underserved community or the public at large brings an empathetic perspective that translates seemingly mundane programs into places of ease and generosity.  Julie teaches and lectures around the world, is a frequent advisor to the U.S. Mayor’s Institute on City Design and on the board of Public Architecture. Her most recent book, titled “Architecture isn’t just for special occasions,” offers more insight into the philosophy and work of a practice that aligns humanist values with inventive architectural form making.


Stacie Wong is a principal at GLUCK+. Named by Fast Company as one of the top 10 most innovative companies in architecture in 2014, GLUCK+ is recognized for Architect Led Design Build: single-source responsibility with architects leading the building process. The practice is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of design with real-world expertise to craft bold and conceptually unique architecture. The firm was featured in Architectural Record  “The New Master Builders,” The Architect’s Newspaper “Inside Architecture’s One-Stop Shop,” and Architect  “Best Practices: Engaging in Architect Led Design Build.” Projects were recently featured in AD Architectural DesignWallpaper* and Interni magazines.

GLUCK+ works throughout the United States. Notable award-winning projects include Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning, a public/private partnership project for NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and New York Junior Tennis & Learning; Pilkey Laboratory, a LEED Gold research facility for Duke University; and The Stack, the first prefabricated steel and concrete modular residential development in New York City.

Stacie Wong holds a BA in Architecture from University of California at Berkeley and MArch from Yale University.


Peter has built an architectural practise and career upon the foundation stone of spatial and uses lessons learnt from being a pupil in interacting with Africans in their traditional villages, and evolved spaces of urbanity. It has taught me respect for working with cultures other than my own, and how they interpret space differently.

We are all equal, but different in language, belief system, and how we ritualize and conduct our lives. It is the difference and consequent hybridity that results through interaction that particularly interests me.

Peter has been made a Fellow of the following institutions  in recognition for his contribution to African Architecture and Space Making, FAIA, FRIBA, Fellow Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge, England.

His designs have been realized at the scale of both Home, Village, Neighbourhood and City.


Virginia San Fratello is an architect, artist and educator. She is a partner at Rael San Fratello and in Emerging Objects, which is a pioneering design and research company that specializes in 3D printed materials and objects for the built environment based in Oakland, California. San Fratello is an associate professor in the area of design at San Jose State University in Silicon Valley. She holds a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University in the City of New York. Her design studio, Rael San Fratello, was the recipient of the Emerging Voices Award given by the Architectural League of New York, Metropolis Magazine’s Next Generation Design Award, a winner in the WPA 2.0 design competition and winner of the Van Alen Institute’s Life at the Speed of Rail competition. In 2016 the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) selected San Fratello as Educator of the Year and in 2017 Rael San Fratello received the ACADIA Digital Practice Award. 


Marc is Co-founder and CEO of Pocket, London’s first private developer that focuses exclusively on delivering intermediate housing for the starter market. Pocket’s award winning housing requires no grant, is secured as affordable in perpetuity and sold outright to people on low to moderate incomes. The company has delivered over 400 homes over the past decade and has a pipeline of over 700 homes that will be delivered across 9 schemes by 2020. Pocket is investing c.£200m in affordable homes over the next 4 years.

Marc Vlessing has had a broad career working in the City as well as the property and media sectors as a CEO, Chairman, NED and consultant. In between jobs, Marc has produced a number of award winning feature films. He maintains his sanity by playing the saxophone (jazz).


Kieran co-founded CODA in 1997 and since then has been involved in a broad range of architecture and design projects ranging in value from $250,000 to $75 million. Local authorities, government agencies and private developers seek his input in developing innovative, pragmatic and sustainable design responses to urban and community challenges across the state. Under his leadership, CODA is now recognised as a leader in research and innovative design, providing advice and input into community infrastructure, built form guidelines and site-specific housing typologies.Kieran is a valued contributor to the design, sustainability and artistic dialogue of Perth. His keen interest in research and teaching has seen him speak regularly at national conferences as well as contribute to university architecture programs. In recent years he has developed a reputation as an authoritative voice on issues surrounding social housing and residential affordability.


In 1997 Emma co-founded CODA and since then has been involved in all aspects of the practice, bringing her passion for architecture, interiors and product design into the studio. Over a ten year period, Emma combined practice with an academic position at Curtin University. In this role she was involved in the development of course content for the architecture and interior architecture courses delivered both locally and through Curtin’s international campuses. In 2006, Emma took on the role of Practice Director in a full time capacity. She now leads the practice through the day to day running of the studio, project programming through to staff development. Emma oversees the design of all projects within the office, acting as an important critic to the projects as they move through their various stages. She focuses particular attention on a project’s interior and is able to cut through to the core of an idea quickly and to test against the desired outcome. Emma has been published widely in academic journals and national magazines, reviewing recent works and discussing the state of architecture more broadly.


Robert Beson is a registered architect and founding director of AR-MA. Robert has led AR-MA as a transdisciplinary architectural practice, merging award-winning design with proven expertise in the delivery of challenging buildings. This mixture responds to changing supply chains affecting how we design, manage and manufacture buildings for construction. 

Throughout his career, Robert has been involved in architectural research and teaching. He has taught at various architecture schools in Australia since 2006, and continues to lecture worldwide.

Robert studied architecture at the University of Sydney, where he received his Bachelor of Design (Architecture), and the University of Technology Sydney, where he received his Master of Architecture. Prior to studying architecture, Robert studied Classics (Latin and Greek) at the Colorado College. He wrote his thesis on the origins of the novel and received his Bachelor of Arts in 2000.


Jeremy Till is an architect, educator and writer.  He is Head of Central Saint Martins and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of the Arts London.  Till’s extensive written work includes the books Flexible Housing, Architecture Depends and Spatial Agency, all three of which won the prestigious RIBA President’s Award for Research. As an architect, he worked with Sarah Wigglesworth Architects on their pioneering building, 9 Stock Orchard Street, winner of many awards including the RIBA Sustainability Prize.  He curated the UK Pavilion at the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale and also at the 2013 Shenzhen Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.


Julian is an Assistant Professor at the Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC) at the University of Western Australia. His role at the AUDRC includes teaching a master’s program in urban design and conducting urban design related research and design projects. Julian is an awarded landscape architect and urban designer and has worked in Australia, the USA, the UK and the Middle East on a range of projects. He has completed a PhD concerning landscape architecture in Dubai and has published three books- including ‘Made in Australia: The future of Australian cities’ (with Richard Weller), ‘Take me to the River: A history of Perth’s foreshore’ and ‘Scavenging the Suburbs’ – a book which audits Perth for ~1,000,000 possible urban infill dwellings. In 2014 Julian was awarded the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects WA gold medal award (in conjunction with Richard Weller).

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Clinton is the founder and director of CplusC Architectural Workshop. He is a registered Architect, a licensed Builder and an accredited Construction Supervisor. With over twenty years’ experience in the architecture and construction industries, the success of the CplusC brand can be attributed to Clinton’s unwavering dedication to producing premium quality, genuinely sustainable architectural solutions.. CplusC’s projects have been recognised across the architecture, construction and sustainability representative sectors both national and internationally.  Regularly invited to present his ideas to industry peers, academic panels and design publications, Clinton is a highly respected member of the profession and his company is at the forefront of Building Information Modelling”

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In 2014 Clare Sowden was voted as one of the top 40 people in the world under 40 in the Property sector bythe US magazine, UrbanLand.

She recently joined Aecom, as the General Manager of Development, following her previous role as the Director of Development at PwC where shewas responsible for a Development pipeline of over $1billion. In this role she led an international bid on the White Bay Power Station site, and worked with Government on transport led development as well as leading the strategic investments of offshore Asian entrants into the Australian property market.

Clare has worked as the Development Manager on several multi-billion dollar residential and commercial developments including Green Square in Sydney for Mirvac and Lockerbie in Melbourne for Stockland.

She is on the Board of the Australian Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the not for profit group Sunnyfield as well as being an Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology Sydney.

She studied Real Estate Management at the Harvard Business School and Graduated in first place from Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney.