AA Global Forum Melbourne

AA Global Forum Melbourne
AA Global Forum Melbourne

Online - ABP Zoom Webinar

  • MSD at HOME

Explore architectural pedagogy with the AA School and Melbourne School of Design.

About this Event

AA Global Forums provide a space to learn, share and discuss architectural ideas and initiatives in a local context, both online and through onsite meetings, lectures and workshops. AA Global Forums are made up of networks of AA alumni, students, staff, members and participants of AA Visiting Schools, and offers support to AA students and members of the wider School community who are currently dispersed around the world.

The AA Global Forum: Melbourne, by working collaboratively with partner institutions – such as the University of Melbourne - will provide AA staff, alumni and students – especially those already within or returning to the Australasia region – with a venue for connection and an opportunity to network. The inaugural AA Global Forum: Melbourne event in will be held on Tuesday 4 May 2021, and will explore architectural pedagogy from the context of the Architectural Association and the Melbourne School of Design (MSD). The event comprises three roundtable discussions focusing on the following themes: Architectural Pedagogy as Research, Virtualizing Design Pedagogy and its Implications, and Globalizing Architectural Education. The discussion panels will consist of AA and MSD staff, along with invited alumni and associates, and will be moderated by Dr Paul Loh and Prof Donald Bates of the University of Melbourne, and Mond Qu from United Make.


5.30–5.45pm AEST (8.30– 8.45am GMT) Opening of AA Global Forum: Melbourne with Donald Bates & Manijeh Verghese

5.45–6.45pm AEST (8.45–9.45am GMT) Roundtable Discussion 1: Architectural Pedagogy as Research chaired by Dr Paul Loh, Speakers: Theo Lalis & Leire Asensio-Villoria

6.45–7.45pm AEST (9.45–10.45am GMT) Roundtable Discussion 2: Virtualizing Design Pedagogy and its Implications chaired by Prof Donald Bates, Speakers: Lara Lesmes, Fredrik Hellberg & Kate Finning

7.45–8.45pm AEST (10.45–11.45am GMT) Roundtable Discussion 3: Globalizing Architectural Education chaired by Mond Qu Speakers: Christopher Pierce & Prof Justyna Karakiewicz

8.45–9.30pm AEST (11.45am – 12.30pm GMT) Closing drinks

The event will be held in‐person at the Melbourne School of Design (where regulation allows), and will simultaneously be broadcasted live on Zoom and YouTube.


Architectural Pedagogy as Research
Virtualizing Design Pedagogy and its Implications
Globalizing Architectural Education


Leire Asensio Villoria

Leire Asensio-Villoria Leire Asensio is a senior lecturer in urban design and architecture at the University of Melbourne’s school of design. Previous to the MSD, Leire was a lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and taught design and theory at Cornell University’s department of architecture and Landscape Urbanism at the graduate design school of the Architectural Association in London. She was also the design research lead for the Health and Places Initiative, a research collaboration between the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health focused on studying the links between the built environment and health outcomes.

Her writings have been published in a number of academic as well as professional books and journals and, together with David Mah, Leire is also active in the production of architectural and creative works. Leire is a registered architect in Spain and received her Diploma in Architecture awarded with honours from the Architectural Association in 2001.

Kate Finning

Kate Finning is an architect practicing in Melbourne. Kate is a graduate of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London where she completed her AA Diploma under Pier Vittorio Aureli and Maria S. Giudici. Kate’s built work and teaching centres on the architecture of housing and the domestic plan as a project.

Professor Justyna Karakiewicz

A graduate of the Architectural Association, Professor Justyna Karakiewicz is Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at The University of Melbourne. Her main research interests are related to volumetric architecture, complex adaptive systems, and the ethics of design. A design educator for several decades, she taught at the Architectural Association; the Bartlett School of Architecture (University College, London); and The University of Hong Kong before joining Melbourne.

Justyna has exhibited her work at the Royal Academy, London, Summer Exhibition on six occasions, at the Venice Biennale three times, as well as in New York, Kyoto, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Beijing, Sydney and some twenty other venues. Justyna has published over 60 papers, 16 book chapters and three books. She has earned extensive recognition for her designs through international competitions.

Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg

Space Popular creates physical and virtual architecture, concentrating on how the two will fuse in the near future. Founded in Bangkok in 2013 by architects Lara Lesmes (Spain) and Fredrik Hellberg (Sweden) the studio has since completed buildings, exhibitions, public artworks, furniture collections, and interiors across Asia and Europe, and virtual architecture for the Immersive Internet. Space Popular is currently based in London. Lesmes and Hellberg are both graduates from the Architectural Association School of Architecture, where they also teach a master studio exploring the future of virtual gathering spaces. From 2020 Lesmes and Hellberg also teach a master studio at University of Toronto.

Paul Loh

Paul Loh Dr Paul Loh is an architect and senior lecturer at the Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne. He studied architecture at the University of Melbourne, the University of East London (UEL), and the Architectural Association (Design Research Lab). He gained his doctorate at RMIT University with a dissertation on Digital Material Practice: the Agency of Making. Paul previously taught at UEL and the AA and coordinated the AA Visiting School Melbourne since 2016. His research focuses on the cognitive engagement of making in design practice with digital fabrication and robotics. He is a founding partner of LLDS | Power to Make – a Design and Make practice based in Melbourne, Australia. www.llds.com.au

Christopher Pierce

Christopher PierceChristopher Pierce is an academic leader, educator, writer, curator, designer and creative advisor specialising in global networks, who lectures internationally on education, research and practice. Christopher completed his architecture studies at Virginia Tech, USA and gained a PhD in architectural history at the University of Edinburgh, UK. He led the AA’s successful application to the UK Privy Council for Taught Degree Awarding Powers. For the last 14 years he has been a Unit Master at the AA, and for the last decade he has been Head of the AA Visiting School — an integrated global network of part-time architectural courses and programmes built around agenda-driven project briefs that physically connects the AA with the rest of the world and promotes, tests and challenges new, experimental and provocative ideas and forms of architectural learning. Christopher is also Director of CaP — a creative agency based in London creating national, regional and international networks in architecture, culture and design.

Mond Qu

Mond Qu "Designer, narrative animator, and digital craftsman. Mond Qu is the founder of United Make, an experimental think-tank and multi-disciplinary studio based in Melbourne. Mond pushes the frontiers of design through the act of making; from deep materials research, visceral immersive experiences, interactive artworks or modular furniture, to large-scale speculations. Working in research, practice, and teaching internationally, Mond challenges designers to innovate and embrace the challenges of the 21st century."

Theo Sarantoglou Lalis

Theo Sarantoglou Lalis Theo Sarantoglou Lalis is the co-founder of LASSA Architects, an international architecture practice with offices in London and Brussels. LASSA operates at the intersection between the fields of art, architecture and landscape. LASSA is strongly engaged with technology for its pivotal role in the democratization of non-standard architecture.  As a practice, LASSA has two main concerns. On one hand, the development of architectural form for its capacity to stimulate the corporal experience of space and the framing of social life. On the other hand, the politics of construction and a complete rethinking of building procedures. LASSA has won several international awards for their Villa Ypsilon in Greece and was a finalist for the Chernikov prize.

Theo has been teaching a diploma unit (Masters program) at the Architectural Association in London since 2009. He has taught postgraduate studios at Harvard and Columbia and undergraduate studios at Chalmers and LTU in Sweden. He has lectured and run workshops internationally. He has experience practicing architecture in 18 countries and is a registered architect since 2001.

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