Interdisciplinary Impact
of Creative Practice Research


The Interdisciplinary Impact of Creative Practice Research was the third of a series of DAP_r events around Australia. The one-day symposium and adjacent poster exhibition explored creative practitioners' evolving roles and skills and the impact of practice research on commercial, institutional and broader cultural sectors. Together, a range of practitioners and researchers discussed the kinds of interdisciplinary capabilities generated from practice-based research and how it helps shape the world.

Supported by the DAP_r Project, the event was orchestrated and hosted by DAP_r partner Monash Art Design & Architecture (MADA) on 26 September 2017, in conjunction with Deakin University, University of South Australia, University of Tasmania and Charles Sturt University.

The event featured over 20 speakers, including designers and interdisciplinary and cross-institutional partners, talking to 10 interdisciplinary research projects across three broad themes:




A panel discussion was facilitated on each theme to extract key commonalities and findings.

The symposium closed with keynote speeches by Professor John Brown of the University of Calgary discussing The Age-in-Place Laneway House Research Project, and Dr Alice Tremlow of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts The Hague and Leidan University discussing Design Criticism in the Age of the Anthropocene.


Sarah Bekessy

Assoc. Professor Sarah Bekessy leads the Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Research Group. She is Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow at RMIT’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies and a researcher in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and in two National Environmental Science Program hubs (Threatened Species Recovery and Clean Air and Urban Landscapes). She is currently involved in a range of interdisciplinary research and consulting projects, including an ARC Future Fellowship titled ‘Socio-ecological models for environmental decision making’. Her research interests include threatened species management, environmental decision analysis, population and landscape modeling, urban ecology and education for sustainability. Sarah has significant experience in managing collaborative industry projects.

Nigel Bertram

Nigel Bertram is a Director of NMBW Architecture Studio in Melbourne and Practice Professor of Architecture at Monash University, where his current research projects address processes for suburban transformation and increasing urban resilience, working with interdisciplinary and industry partners. NMBW’s architectural work has been published and awarded across multiple categories including urban design, housing, small public works, adaptive re-use of existing buildings and peripheral urban design strategies. NMBW’s work is known for its careful reading of existing conditions, at both an urban scale and the scale of individual inhabitation.

Matthew Bird

Dr Matthew Bird is an experimental architect and academic with an interdisciplinary practice in the mediums of sculpture, installation, scenography, interior design, architecture and site-specific interventions. Bird has exhibited commissioned works at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Festival, MONA and most recently at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale. His practice is recognised with numerous honours including a Green Room Award, Australian Interior Design Award and an Australian Institute of Architects VIC Award. Bird’s practice Studiobird is an armature for his academic tenure at Monash University where he introduces students to speculative design practices, engaged with industry-led partnerships and realised a strong and distinct research portfolio.

John L. Brown

Dr. John L. Brown is a Professor of Architecture and Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary, Canada. He is a registered architect and founding Principal of Housebrand, an active residential design/build practice. His recently completed PhD through RMIT explored new and more relevant ways to design and build houses for an aging population. John’s work benefits from an interdisciplinary methodology that brings together research and researchers in architecture, medicine, nursing, bio-medical engineering, and computer science. This holistic approach spanning creative design practice and rigorous evidence-based testing is developing new strategies for individuals to live well, and independently, as they age.

Pia Ednie-Brown

Assoc. Professor Pia Ednie-Brown is the Chair of the Practice Research Symposium in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University. She is currently working on three cross-institutional, funded research projects concerning different aspects of creative practice research, ethics and higher degrees pedagogy. Her creative and theoretical research work engages transdisciplinary concepts – such as emergence, ecological thinking, affect, ethics and vitality – across a range of practice contexts. She has edited two books: Plastic Green: designing for environmental transformation (RMIT Press, 2009) and an issue of AD: The Innovation Imperative: Architectures of Vitality (Wiley, 2013).

Maud Cassaignau

Maud Cassaignau is an urban designer, architect and academic. After graduating from the ETH Zurich, she worked for renowned practices in New York, Paris and Zurich. In 2005 she co-founded the architecture and urban design practice XPACE with Markus Jung. Through her practice, she has overseen the completion of housing and adaptive-reuse projects, and worked on prize-winning urban designs. In 2011 XPACE relocated to Melbourne, Australia, where it continued working on a wide range of projects. Maud’s practice and research explores processes of urban transformation, incorporating resources as drivers for sustainable growth. It evolves around the interaction of design, place and context, aiming at finding socially, historically and environmentally responsive design solutions.

Steven L. Chown

Prof Steven L. Chown’s research interests cover a range of fields, including, most prominently: 1. Macrophysiology the evolution of large-scale physiological variation and its ecological implications, especially in the context of adaptation to and mitigation of the impacts of environmental change. 2. Invasion biology understanding the impacts of non-indigenous organisms on all aspects of biodiversity. 3. The biology and conservation of Antarctic systems with particular emphasis on science and conservation policy in the region. Steven retains a strong interest in the responses of living systems to environmental change, and on the policy responses required to mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic environmental change. His interests in adaptation extend both to the ways humans will have to change their behaviour, and the ways other species are responding and will continue to respond to a rapidly changing environment.

Zoe Condliffe

Zoe Condliffe is the Youth and Community Engagement Advisor at Plan International Australia. With a background in sociology, gender, arts and community practice, Zoe has founded several community development initiatives working across the nonprofit, arts, university and corporate sectors. As an experienced facilitator and gender equality advocate, she builds youth-led movements that work closely with young people as the central agents of social change.

Allison Edwards

Alli’s design practice challenges the false dichotomy between work and play. As a member of MADA’s XYX Lab, she creates engaging and inclusive workshops that help explore the intersections between space, gender, and communication. Her upcoming doctoral research with WonderLab seeks to contribute towards a more critical approach to co-design methodologies, embracing more oblique problem solving strategies in order to create a space for social learning and collaboration.

Georgia Garrard

Dr Georgia Garrard is a Research Fellow with the Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Research Group at RMIT University. She is a quantitative ecologist and has worked on projects related to urban biodiversity conservation, imperfect detectability and improving scientific rigour in environmental impact assessment. Her most recent research investigated better planning for biodiversity in the urban fringe; one of four native grassland projects funded by The Myer Foundation. As part of this research project, she developed a new protocol for biodiversity sensitive urban design in collaboration with Sarah Bekessy. Georgia’s research interests also include the use of science to inform environmental policy, the role of education and engagement in shaping environmental attitudes and behaviour, adaptive management and structured decision making.

Lisa Grocott

Lisa was once a communication designer (Studio Anybody), then a design researcher (RMIT) and incidentally now a Professor (Monash)...but mostly she tries to avoid finding a name for what she does. After being at Parsons in New York for the past 12 years she has returned to Melbourne as the Head of Design at Monash. She is most excited about WonderLab, a new codesign research lab that operates at the nexus between design, learning and play. In WonderLab her applied research takes a transdisciplinary approach to transforming behaviour as it applies to teacher change, academic mindsets and learning organizations. Most recently Lisa is exploring transforming mindsets as chief investigator on an ARC Linkage on Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change.

Chris Johnstone

Chris Johnstone is director and owner of Bosqué Studio in Newcastle, NSW. At Bosqué Studio, our challenge is the creation of location specific, connective and appropriate landscapes for people found in projects such as the Children’s Garden at the National Arboretum. Chris formerly worked with Taylor Cullity Lethlean’s Melbourne office for 10 years where amongst other things he was the project landscape architect for the National Arboretum in Canberra (Winner of both the AILA Australian medal and World Architecture Festival Landscape of the year award in 2014). Chris is a graduate of the RMIT Landscape Architecture program and was a practicing Master Gardener before studying Landscape Architecture. Chris is currently undertaking a creative practice PhD through the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark.

Markus Jung

Markus Jung is a Melbourne-based urban designer, architect and academic. After graduating at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, he worked for leading practices in the UK and Switzerland on transportation, mixed-use redevelopments and urbanism projects. In 2005 he, together with Maud Cassaignau, co-founded the architecture and urban design practice XPACE. Its work focuses on urban diversity, social and environmental responsiveness and has been widely published internationally. Markus’ practice led design-research explores strategies of metropolitan transformation, incorporating resources and the existing built and social fabrics as drivers for resilient growth. He investigates high density housing types as important future models that address the needs of an expanding and diversified population.

Nicole Kalms

Dr Nicole Kalms is the founding director of the XYX Lab at Monash University. Dr. Kalms’ unique interdisciplinary skill set across spatial practice, architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism and has established a reputation for her expertise in conjoining gender and urban space. Her research demonstrates that cities do not merely find themselves adrift in the discourses of sexual violence and gender, but are actively producing and contributing to the regulation of gender and power relations in urban life.

Tom Morgan

Dr Tom Morgan is an architect and designer with a research focus on virtual cities and space. His practice focuses on intersections and collisions between generative design tools, utopian and apocalyptic imagery, and the very real problem-space of the contemporary city. Morgan uses the tools currently employed in a ‘straight’ manner by a wide range of spatial practitioners, such as GIS and generative modeling softwares, to craft disturbing, detailed images of the city as it could, and will, be. Reframing the outputs of these tools reveals the contingency of the current city - and invites further speculative explorations of both the city as space, and the disciplines that shape and frame it. These images and scenarios have been exhibited locally and internationally - increasingly embodied in interactive VR environments.

Annalise Rees

Dr Annalise Rees is a visual artist whose practice operates within an expanded field of drawing. Her research investigates drawing as an embedded and embodied method of enquiry for critically examining and communicating experience. Most recently her research has investigated human environment relationships within the marine environment, spending extended periods at sea on commercial fishing and scientific research vessels. Her practice is cross disciplinary and often collaborative. Annalise’s interest is in how speculative, provisional and process-based approaches such as those demonstrated in her drawing practice can expand understanding and the ways in which we articulate our connection to the world.

Briony Rogers

Dr Briony Rogers is a Senior Lecturer with Monash University’s School of Social Sciences and a Project Leader with the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and Monash Water Sensitive Cities. Briony is also Co-Leader of the Urban Water Cluster with the Australia-Indonesia Centre. Her research explores how visioning, strategic planning and institutional change processes can enable transitions in urban water systems to create more liveable, sustainable and resilient cities. Briony has an interdisciplinary background, with a PhD in Environmental Sociology, a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science, as well as experience as an engineering consultant on water infrastructure projects in Australia and Vietnam.

Kate Tregloan

Dr Kate Tregloan is a senior lecturer and Associate Dean Education at Monash Art Design & Architecture, and a registered Architect. She approaches projects as a designer, researcher and educator with a focus on the contributions creative disciplines can make in response to community need. She has a particular research interest in the values and judgments that influence both the production and assessment of creative work. She works closely with Libby Callaway, a registered occupational therapist, researcher and senior lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash. Together with colleagues from the University of Melbourne, Australian Catholic University and not for profit Summer Foundation, they have delivered government and industry funded research projects that investigate supported housing and integrated technologies for people with disability.

Alice Twemlow

Alice Twemlow is a design historian, writer, and educator. She is the newly appointed Design Lector / Professor at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts The Hague and Leiden University, Head of the MA in Design Curating & Writing at Design Academy Eindhoven, and an adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Monash University. Before moving to Amsterdam in 2015, she was the founding director of the SVA MA in Design Research, Writing & Criticism in New York. Twemlow has a Ph.D from the History of Design program run jointly by the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal College of Art in London, and her book, Sifting the Trash: A History of Design Criticism, was published by MIT Press earlier this year.

Christian Urich

Dr Christian Urich is a Lecturer with Monash University’s Department of Civil Engineering, and a project leader with the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, working in close collaboration with economists, urban designers and social scientists. He is leading interdisciplinary research to develop decision support and benchmarking tools that integrate the biophysical, social and economic dimensions of a city’s integrated urban water system to inform adaptive policy planning.

Jianbin Wang

Jianbin Wang is the international engagement manager for Asia at the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) based in Melbourne Australia. He fosters bilateral collaboration particularly by promoting research synthesis and translating research outputs into practice through multiple scale urban development projects. Jianbin’s background is in environmental science and engineering with 11 years of professional experience in both public and private sector. Jianbin works closely with city planners, architects, urban designers, landscape architects and ecologists to deliver integrated water management, eco-system protection and restoration, water sensitive urban design and multi-functional infrastructures. Jianbin has successfully implemented a series of built projects across Australia, China, Singapore and Israel.