Transformations: Action on Equity

Transformations Symposium. Action on Equity. 14 and 15 November 2019. Parlour and the University of Melbourne.

Glyn Davis Building
The University of Melbourne


Join the University of Melbourne and Parlour for the second ABP Symposium – two days of lively, incisive and necessary conversation on gender equity in the built environment professions. Together, we will reflect on the impact and effect of recent action, explore emerging topics and precipitate future work.

Transformations: Action on Equity brings together international and Australian speakers– researchers, professionals and activists – who are transforming the way we think about gender in the built environment professions, and are actively creating new futures for these professions and the communities they serve.

Together we will explore how we are already creating more equitable environments, and catalyse further action. How is gender equity reshaping and reinvigorating our professions and disciplines? What action is underway? What demands are being made? How do we each find agency? What are the effects of transforming practice and the professions? How is equity becoming more complicated? What areas do we need to better understand?

The program is organised as a series of discussions investigating key modes of action – organising at the grassroots, leadership through policy, reshaping the workplace, and rewriting history. This is an opportunity to reflect on recent action, and to grapple with the work still required. The symposium will also seek to expand our knowledge through exploratory conversations on key topics that intersect with and expand understandings of gender equity.

Organising, sharing knowledge and collective action are all fundamental to creating future professions that are more equitable, robust and effective. We must do this together – please join us at Transformations!


Transformations is for everyone! People of all genders; scholars practitioners, educators or those active in the built environment disciplines in other ways; emerging or established, we hope all will join us for two days of conversation, speculation and action.


ABP Symposium

The inaugural Symposium of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning (ABP) was held in 2018. ‘Go Back to Where You Came From: Indigenous Design – Past | Present | Future’ was carefully curated as a provocation to explore the role of Indigenous design, the event showcased a range of established local and international First Nations design practitioners across a diversity of disciplines and provided an opportunity to reveal design approaches straddling interconnected themes of culture, Country and identity.

Parlour and MSD

In 2012 Parlour and the Melbourne School of Design collaborated on Transform: Altering the Future of Architecture. This one-day symposium asked, “If architecture was more inclusive would it also be in a stronger position?” It speculated about how we might generate a more equitable, effective and robust profession and what such a might discipline look like.

Transform was a significant step in creating a robust, newly active community advocating for gender equity, which crosses between and among practice, academia and allied fields. This community went on to activate the research and discussion within and beyond Australia. It helped create new knowledge and put that knowledge to work.

An extraordinary amount of work and action on gender equity in the built environment has occurred in the intervening six years – which builds on decades of earlier work. In 2019, much has changed, but there is still a great deal of work to do.

MSD and Parlour have a longstanding and productive partnership. MSD was one of the research partners on the ARC-funded Linkage project that generated Parlour, and has been a Parlour Institutional Partner since 2016.

Transformations: Action on Equity

Presented in partnership between Parlour and the Melbourne School of Design, the 2019 ABP symposium ‘Transformations: Action on Equity’ will create a space in which to reflect on the work so far and project forward to future action. Building on the work undertaken on architecture, it will also extend the discussion to other built environment professions.

Parlour: women, equity, architecture.

BE-150: Celebrating 150 years of Built Environment education

The second ABP Symposium has been programmed as of the University's 2019 BE—150 program.