We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ancient lands on which we will gather for this symposium, the peoples of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge that the land, sea and sky were never ceded and pay our deepest respect to Elders, past, present and future.
Join Parlour and the Melbourne School of Design 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.
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.
The 2019 ABP Symposium is presented in partnership with Parlour.
The 2019 ABP Symposium is programmed as part of the University of Melbourne's BE—150 program
Thursday 14 November
Introduction, welcome, acknowledgment of country:
Get Organised! action at the grassroots
A plethora of new activist groups has emerged in recent years. How do they demand change, support underrepresented groups, and shift the image and the shape of the built environment and design professions? Akua Danso, Catherine Griffiths, Suzie Hunt and April McCabe reflect on motivations and means, strategies and tactics, obstacles and opportunities in a panel discussion chaired by Justine Clark.
What are the ways that Indigeneity and gender intersect? How might gender equity advocacy groups work alongside First Nations peoples? A conversation between Sarah Lynn Rees (Palawa) and Carroll Go-Sam (Dyirbal bama) examines the issues.
Beyond the Binary
How can we increase the visibility and representation of diverse gender identities in discussions on equity? A conversation between Simona Castricum and A.L. Hu explores the lived experience, theory and practice of non-binary and gender non-conforming identities.
Leadership from the top – the potential of policy
What can equity policy offer? How do we ensure that it is deployed effectively to gain traction and achieve real change? Emily Grandstaff-Rice, Natalie Galea, Amy Muir and Jocelyn Chiew explore the challenges of putting policy to work in a panel discussion chaired by Naomi Stead.
Action in the Field – Feminist practice
How can practitioners and researchers help create more equitable built environments, which welcome and support underrepresented groups and disadvantaged communities?
Activists transforming injustice – This is what change looks like
Keynote presentation by Sharon Egretta Sutton
Sharon Egretta Sutton dares built environment professionals to accomplish an equitable future, not for themselves, but for the society they serve. She will challenge participants to begin their pursuit of gender equity by looking outward at today’s devastating social and ecological challenges. This keynote envisions built environment professionals who advance equity by digging deep into the well of feminist know-how. It asks them to facilitate community problem solving around today’s ruinous social and ecological challenges, and offers them strategies for doing so.
Friday 15 November
What does the research tell us about the shape and structures of careers in architecture and the built environment professions? Valerie Francis and Gill Matthewson discuss their findings, in a session chaired by Julie Willis.
What can we do to improve the mental health and wellbeing of architecture students and practitioners as they navigate the built environment professions? A conversation between Naomi Stead and Ben Channon.
Equity in Practice – New workplaces
What role can workplaces play in establishing equitable professional cultures? What has changed in recent years? How do we make the workplaces of the future? Brian Clohessy, Stephanie Bullock, Patricia Rhee and Angela Dapper discuss recent progress in a panel discussion chaired by Justine Clark.
Lunch + making new networks
An opportunity for delegates to build productive connections.
Challenging the Canon – Rewriting history
How and why do we recover the histories of women’s active participation in shaping the built environment? How does such knowledge reshape our understanding of the past and the present? What are the barriers, assumptions and disciplinary norms challenged by rewriting built environment histories? Jude Barber, Sarah Rafson, Madhavi Desai and Karen Burns discuss recent projects in a panel discussion chaired by Julie Willis.
Welcoming unruly bodies: re-thinking social, spatial and material practices
Keynote presentation by Dr Jos Boys
How is bodily difference made concrete in specific and inequitable ways in architectural processes? How can we unravel the social, spatial and material practices that turn ordinary difference into differentiation and inequality? To address such questions, Jos will review the work of Matrix, a feminist architectural collective active in 1980s London, then look at recent engagements with dis/ability, through the work of The DisOrdinary Architecture Project. Jos argues that rather than add ever more people to the architectural ‘club’, the club itself has to change, by making transformative social, spatial and material justice a core part of its responsibilities.
What have we learned and what do we need to do next? A closing panel to reflect on the symposium and precipitate future work, with a selection of speakers and emerging professionals Georgia Birks and Ekta Nathu.
General ticket sales for the symposium are now closed.
14–15 November, 2019
Transformations: Action on Equity Symposium will take place at the Melbourne School of Design in the Glyn Davis building, on the University of Melbourne's Parkville campus. Further information about public transport and parking options can be found online.
Transformations will have a dedicated room for those with small children. Parents can use this room for napping babies and a feeding room. There is the baby change room located just outside the theatre for changing. We hope to arrange a live feed so that parents can continue to watch the speakers while in the room.
1 formal CPD point for each hour available for architects, planners and landscape architects.
Symposium learning outcomes are as follows:
- To gain an increased awareness of the impact of gender-based bias in the built environment professions
- To understand the range of actions underway done to address this – from grass roots activism to workplace change and institutional policy
- To critically analyse the implications of gender inequities in built environments, including their intersection with other equity considerations
- To consider how to address gender inequity and its impact within practices, professional structure and workplaces
- To explore how the work of built environment professionals can help to create inclusive built environment that are welcoming for all, and help to mitigate entrenched inequities
These are relevant to the practice management and design competencies set out in the National Competency Standard for Architects.
To gain formal CPD, attendees must complete the reflective assessment task provided at the symposium, and have this stamped as completed. Attendees can do this at the symposium registration desk, or by emailing the completed task to Parlour.
Download the Transformations Visitor's Guide (PDF, 5.62 MB)