DAY 1: United Nations Urban Thinkers Campus

Monday 30th September

Join experts in urban design across a program of keynotes and workshops aimed to promote sustainable urbanisation, and explore how we can create cities that are clever, compassionate and brave. This Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) is designated United Nations event, designed to assist with the implementation of the UN Habitat’s New Urban Agenda and the World Urban Campaign. Participation in the UTC is free.

The QUT United Nations Urban Thinkers Campus day is free and proudly sponsored by Arup. Registrations via Eventbrite. Find out more information and register for QUT Design Week 2019 on our Event Registration page.


Being Urban: an exploration of new urbanities for a resilient future

Location: Owen J. Wordsworth Room, S Block, QUT Gardens Point Campus (map)

Registration opens at 10:15am

Download a full QUT Design Week Event Program on the QUTDW19 Event Information Page.


10:30 – 11:00am

Welcome to Country by Uncle Des Sandy, Yuggera Elder and Traditional Custodian

Welcoming address from Professor Margaret Sheil AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, Queensland University of Technology

Opening remarks by Dr Mirko Guaralda, Senior Lecturer in Architecture, Queensland University of Technology



11:00 – 11:45am panel; 11:45am – 12:30pm design charrette

This session will address design, planning, and governance practice that shape our built environment. Starting from the premises of the current debate about smart cities, this session will explore how design thinking can inform governance and planning practice. Suggesting a broader approach to the management of our urban environment, the session will enquire the paradigm shifts necessary to foster resilient cities in terms of governance culture and practice, going beyond the mere implementation of technological or smart solutions.

Chair: Prof. Marcus Foth, Professor of Urban Informatics, Queensland University of Technology

Dr Natalie Osborne, Urban Research Program, Griffith University

Assoc. Prof. Martin Tomitsch, Director of Bachelor of Design Computing, University of Sydney

Dr Anne Kovachevich, Australasian Foresight & Innovation Leader, Arup


12:30 – 1:30pm lunch



1:30 – 2:15pm panel; 2:15 – 3:00pm design charrette

This session will focus on responsible design at different level. The concept of care will be explored in terms of inclusive design to engage communities left at the edge of our urban culture; debate gentrification and commercialization of our cities, considering how affordability can be built in our urban praxis. The session will also consider care for the environment and debate how to move from the current anthropocentric model to a more-than-human urbanity.

Chair: Dr Simone Brott, Senior Lecturer in Architecture, Queensland University of Technology

Dr Mary Graham, Adjunct Associate Professor, Consultant in Aboriginal Community Planning and Development, The University of Queensland

Cr Jonathan Sri, Councillor for The Gabba Ward, Brisbane City Council

Jyi Lawton, Senior Manager of Industry Engagement, Indigenous Business Australia


3:00 – 3:30pm afternoon tea



3:30 – 4:15pm panel; 4:15 – 5:00pm design charrette

This session will debate innovative design practice that promote a people-centered approach aiming to empower communities at different levels. Focusing on lifestyle as the main driver of contemporary urban development, this session will enquire how to affect change in people lives, at multiple level, to foster new urbanities, new urban culture. The role of spatial disciplines, such as architecture, planning, or landscape architecture, and not-spacial disciplines, such as fashion, industrial design, or interactive design, will be discussed as an avenue to promote vibrant, dynamic, and resilient cities for our future.

Chair: Assoc. Prof. Karen Vella, Associate Professor in Planning, Queensland University of Technology

Dr Kathi Holt, Vice-President, UDAL Urban Design Alliance of Queensland

Malcolm Middleton OAM, Architect and Urban Designer, Queensland Government Architect

Ella du Plessis, Place Management Team Leader, Logan City Council



5:00 – 5:30pm

Closing remarks by Dr Mirko Guaralda, Senior Lecturer in Architecture, Queensland University of Technology



5:30 – 6:30pm

Hosted in the Owen J. Wordsworth room, enjoy panoramic views of Brisbane city, including the Brisbane River and Southbank Parklands, network with the delegates and speakers of the United Nations Urban Thinkers Campus alongside QUT Urban Informatics academics and the QUT Design Lab leadership team.

This event is proudly sponsored by Urban Design Alliance Queensland (UDAL).



The Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) model is an initiative of UN-Habitat’s World Urban Campaign:

With thanks to our event sponsor: