Architecture as a Global System - Book Launch

Book cover

Online - ABP Zoom Webinar

  • MSD at HOME

Architecture as a Global System: Scavengers, Tribes, Warlords and Megafirms

by Peter Raisbeck, University of Melbourne, Australia

Since the 1980’s the architectural profession across the world has been driven by globalisation. The factors shaping this globalisation include neo-liberal economics, digital transformation and the rise of social media against the background of the profession’s entrenched labour practices. In describing architecture as a global system, this book outlines how globalisation has shaped architecture and explores the degree to which architecture remains a distinct field of knowledge.

The book identifies four categories of architects in this global system: scavengers, tribes, warlords and megafirms. By employing this institutional-logics approach, the author looks beyond the surface spectacle of iconic projects, celebrity architects and cycles of urban focused media outrage. From this perspective, the book illuminates the archipelagos and outposts of disciplinary knowledge that architectural actors traverse and highlights the frontiers at which architectural knowledge is both created and eroded.

The author argues that to retain their future agency, architects must understand the contours and ecologies of practice that constitute this global system of architectural production. This book provides a clear-sighted analysis to suggest the points that need reconfiguring in this global system so that architects may yet shape and order the future of cities.

About the author

Dr Peter Raisbeck is an Architect, Design Teacher and Researcher. He teaches Design, Design Activism and Architectural Practice at the Melbourne School of Design. His work explores architecture's intersection with global finance, new technologies, procurement, design activism, politics, and architectural history.


John Macarthur is Professor of architecture at the University of Queensland where he conducts research and teaches in the history and theory of architecture, and in architectural design. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities and a Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences. founding Director of the research centre for Architecture, Theory, Criticism and History (ATCH) and remains an active member of the Centre.

Dr. John Ting is an Australian architect, researcher and educator. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Canberra, and he has previously taught at the University of Melbourne and at RMIT University. His present research investigates the mobility of timber colonial buildings in nineteenth century Southeast Asia and Australia, and the history of architecture in Sarawak before 1963.

Melonie Bijl-Smith, Associate Professor in Architecture and Professional Practice UNSW. Founding BIJL Architecture in 2012, Melonie has built a practice dedicated to pursuing meaningful and inclusive client relationships, research, and design excellence. From her formative career based in residential design, Melonie’s contributions now extend to public, education and community architecture - a natural extension for her enquiring mind and drive for empathic and effective architecture.

Olivia Potter is an active member of the Victorian Chapter of the Architecture Lobby. She also co-curates PROCESS, an independent and provocative talk series which holds regular panel discussions. Olivia graduated her architectural masters from the University of Melbourne in 2019 and was awarded the Bates Smart Medal for her Thesis project. While at the university, she edited Inflection Journal and received a Dean's Award for her 2018 studies. She has worked full-time for COX since 2019

Moderated by Tania Davidge
Tania Davidge is an architect, advocate, writer and researcher. She is the co-founder of the architectural research practice, OoPLA (formerly OpenHAUS). Her practice focuses on the relationship of people and communities to architecture, cities and public space.

Presentation and Q+A
Date: Tuesday 16 March 2021
Time: 18:00 - 19:30 AEDT* Melbourne (UTC +11)
Venue: Online - ABP Zoom Webinar

Event link: Once you have registered for the event, the event link will be sent to you via your Eventbrite confirmation email and reminder emails.

* Jakarta: Tuesday 16 March 2021, 14:00 - 15:30;WIB
* Singapore: Tuesday 16 March 2021, 15:00 - 16:30; SGT
* Dubai: Tuesday 16 March 2021, 11:00 - 12:30; GST
* London: Tuesday 16 March 2021, 07:00 - 08:30; BST
* New York: Tuesday 16 March 2021, 03:00 - 04:30; EDT
* Los Angeles: Tuesday 16 March 2021, 00:00 - 01:30; PDT

Book cover