Luminaries from the world of architecture launch Skyplane - a book which explores the impact of high-rise towers on city life and culture.
Richard is the Design Director of Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp. He has led the design of many international competition and award-winning projects.
Commissions have won the highest Australian Institute of Architects awards including the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings; the Sir John Sulman Medallion; the Lloyd Rees Award for Excellence in Civic Design; the Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage; and the Greenway Award for Conservation.
Recent completed projects led by Richard include the University of Sydney Law School, the Surry Hills Library and Community Centre, and the Mint. Projects currently in construction include the Auckland Art Gallery, Chatswood Civic Place and the six GreenStar Darling Walk commercial campus.
Richard is a Visiting Professor at UNSW and has taught architecture at many universities in Australia and abroad. He is an editor of Content, a critical journal of architecture, has written theoretical papers for several journals, was President of the AIA (NSW Chapter) from 2001 to 2002, and was Creative Director of the 2008 AIA National Architecture Conference: Critical Visions.
Richard studied architecture at the University of Sydney, receiving the University Medal for Architecture upon graduation. He subsequently completed a masters degree in architectural design and theory at Columbia University in New York. He is a registered architect in all Australian states and New Zealand.
Professor Philip Goad is internationally known for his research and is an authority on modern Australian architecture. He has worked extensively as an architect, conservation consultant, and curator.
Goad is an expert on the life and work of Robin Boyd, and has held visiting scholar positions at Columbia University, Bartlett School of Architecture (London) and UCLA (Los Angeles). He is a past editor of Fabrications, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, and is a contributing editor to Architecture Australia. Along with Associate Professor Julie Willis, he is the editor of the proposed Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture.
An urban design architecture and sports planning enthusiast, Lawrence Nield has seen his fair share of the world. He has worked in Australia and New Zealand, Greece, China, Vietnam, Italy, France and Britain.
Having been appointed head of masterplanning for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in 1994, he later contributed to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the Buenos Aires Olympic bid. He was a Professor of Architecture at the University of Sydney from 1992-1996 and is now an Adjunct Professor at the University of NSW.
He founded the firm Lawrence Nield & Partners in 1976, which merged with Bligh Voller in 1998 to form Bligh Voller Nield, of which he was principal until Novermber 2008 He recently began his own practice Studio Nield for high level consulting in urban design and architecture. His designs have won numerous awards, including the RAIA Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings in 1997.
Xing Ruan joined the University of New South Wales as Professor of Architecture in 2004. His present position - the Chair of Architecture Discipline Group - involves academic planning for the discipline. Prior to this appointment, he was the Head of Department of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
Before joining UTS in early 2002, Xing was Associate Professor of Architecture at Curtin University. Born in China, Xing received his architectural education from the Southeast University in Nanjing. From 1986 to 1991, Xing practiced architecture in China; he has maintained an ongoing involvement in architectural practice in Australia. Currently he serves as an architectural consultant for Bligh Voller Nield and atelier s-h.
Alec Tzannes is the Faculty Dean of UNSW Built Environment. He is also Director of Tzannes Associates, which has received more than 40 major state and national awards, including Australia's top award for new residential work, the RAIA Robin Boyd Award. Some of Prof. Tzannes's best known projects include the Federation Pavilion and Federation Place at Centennial Park, Overflow Park at Homebush, Aria, Centennial and Bistro Moncur restaurants, commercial buildings in Surry Hills, Woollahra and Double Bay and numerous residential works such as the John Symond residence.
Tzannes has been a member of numerous boards and committees, including design panels for Sydney Olympic Park, Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust. He is a Member of the Historic Houses Trust and of the NSW Public Library Architecture Foundation. He has published widely and lectures regularly around Australia. The NSW Public Library holds many original drawings and sketchbooks of his work.
He is a graduate of the University of Sydney, where he completed a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Architecture (winning the University Medal), and has a Master of Science (Architecture and Urban Design) from Columbia University.
Dr. Deborah van der Plaat
Dr Deborah van der Plaat is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Architectural Theory Criticism History Research Group (ATCH). She has studied at the Australian National University (BA Hons) and the University of New South Wales (PhD). Her research considers the intersection of ideas on art, climate, and modernity in 19th-century British and Australian architectural theory and practice.
A particular focus of her work is the writings of the architect William Lethaby, the critic John Ruskin, and the naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.
Since 2002, she has also collaborated with art historian Catherine de Lorenzo (UNSW) on nineteenth-century French-Australian photographic exchange and representations of the Australian landscape.
Philip Goad argues that modern skyscrapers are simply "very larger consumer objects" that value excess over practicality and often indicate approaching economic doom. Goad says high-rises like the new Burj Dubai are a "result of too much money...and too little thinking."