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Architect calls for more sustainable architectural designs

Media release

A respected Melbourne architect wants to see more sustainable architectural designs that fit with the natural environment.

Dr Richard Black, of RMIT University, will present his views at the 2009 Robertson Memorial Lecture titled Transitory Architecture at Curtin University of Technology’s Bentley Campus today.

” I would argue that you simply don’t need to build on fragile sites such as the coastal dunes systems of Ningaloo or Leighton Beach,” he said.

” I am challenging architects to spend more time assessing a site before building because they may decide to abandon building on it.

” They might choose a better site that is less fragile or susceptible to natural events such as sea level rises, floods or fires.

” Many architects are guilty of never even visiting a site, whether it is urban, city or rural.”

Dr Black has just completed his PhD looking at the impacts of floods on settlements along the Murray River in Victoria. He created tools for recording the impacts of floods on towns on the riverbanks and came up with a range of designs that are necessary for the health of both the river system and its residents.

He is a senior lecturer at RMIT University where he coordinates the first three years of the architectural design studio. In 2006, with Michelle Black, he formed Times Two Architects. Dr Black completed his undergraduate degree at Curtin in the late 1980s and a Master Degree at RMIT in 1998.

The Robertson Memorial Lecture, hosted by Curtin’s Department of Architecture and Interior Architecture, honours Mr W. H. Robertson, the inaugural Head of the Department of Architecture at Perth Technical College (now Curtin).