Architecture education in the Territory – our Degree, our students, our future

Aspiring architects will be able to study design and architecture for the Northern Territory from next year, with the return of local tertiary education in the discipline after more than a decade.

Charles Darwin University will offer a Bachelor of Arts – Architectural Design from February 2020 and the Institute, supporting CDU, will work towards a pathway for the Masters of Architecture, enabling students to complete the educational requirements to become an architect without leaving the Territory.

The course will focus on tropical and arid design, climate-orientated design and designing for disaster management.

The Australian Institute of Architects’ Northern Territory Chapter Executive Director, Raquel Nicholls-Skene, said student demand had led to the expansion of the course which we have been working on together for the last couple of years.

‘We are delighted students will be able to pursue education in design and architecture in the Territory,’ she said. ‘This will help to keep our next generation of architects here in the Territory, delving into the specific challenges and opportunities of our climate and landscape.

‘We applaud Charles Darwin University for meeting the student demand for this course. It’s great more people are recognising the value architects provide through their diverse work.’

Registration as an architect requires a Bachelor degree and a Masters qualification. Accredited architecture programs in Australia require ten semesters – generally five years of study – followed by a practical component.

Charles Darwin University Provost, PVC – Higher Education, College of Indigenous Futures, Arts and Society, Ruth Wallace, said the revised program would also spur research into local design and architecture.

‘We want to encourage Australian students to learn about design and architecture in the Territory,’ she said. ‘This is not only to grow our future pool of architecture-training professionals but to encourage understanding of the challenges and rewards of great design at the extremes of our society.

‘The real-world insights into designing for climate and disasters will be far-reaching and generate fresh insights for industry and research.’

Co-lab Architecture’s Irma Lamaya had to leave the Territory after she completed her Bachelor of Design at Charles Darwin University in 2006.

‘We hope the return of formal architecture education in the Territory will help young people to study and stay here in this great melting pot of design and culture,’ she said. ‘As a practicing architect, there is no better place to dive into complex problem-solving than in our own backyard.’

Northern Territory architects are among the nation’s best. In 2014 Troppo was awarded the Institute’s highest honour, the Gold Medal, highlighting their ‘irreverent but sophisticated, inventive with a touch of larrikin spirit’.

Alice Springs-based architects Susan Dugdale & Associates were honoured with the 2019 Tracy Memorial Award for their crystalline commercial building and in 2018 with the Alice Springs Chapel.

The Degree is being launched at the Australian Institute of Architects NT Chapter end of year function, featuring a presentation Somebody, anybody, nobody – a collection of stories from an AWOL architect by Allison Stout who volunteered for six months with Architects without Frontiers.

For media enquiries contact:

Northern Territory Chapter
Australian Institute of Architects
P. 08 7969 6000 | E.

Featured image courtesy of Charles Darwin University.

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