2021 Superstudio National Winner announced

Congratulations to the national winners of SuperStudio 2021, Angela Xu and Thomas Li, currently in their third year at The University of Sydney for their submission, Sedimentary Fabrics


Registrations are now closed for 2021, but we will be back in 2022! 

SuperStudio is a national conceptual design competition open to all SONA members – Think of it as a creative license to do the things you wouldn’t get to do in a regular studio or assignment. Participants are encouraged to focus on the ideas and thoughts that can never be made real at all rather than a realistic approach 

Responding to one national brief, participants will be mentored to help with design development and present their proposal to a judging panel in each state and territory. 


The winners from each state will go into the national competition for the chance to win $3000! 


SuperStudio is open to All SONA members. 

SuperStudio 2021 aske participants to explore a vision of how architecture for the future may reflect the concept of evolving identity in connection to people, practice and country. Reflecting upon self, take the opportunity to rethink the future of education and practice working together.


Competition Date Time More info
Reading of the Brief Saturday 8 May 11am AEST Virtual Session Connect here
Last chance for teams to register Monday 10 May 7:30pm AEST Register for SuperStudio here
Design Day talk Monday 10 May 5:30pm AEST Virtual Session Connect here
Virtual Mentoring Tuesday 11 May from 5:30pm AEST Virtual Session link will be shared after registration
Design Day talk Wednesday 12 May 5:30pm AEST Virtual Session Connect here
Virtual Mentoring Thursday 13 May from 5:30pm AEST Virtual Session link will be shared after registration
Online Submission Due Saturday 15 May 9am AEST Submit Here
Face to Face Presentations Saturday 15 May from 3pm Local time Face to face session check the details for your state
National Judging and Announcement
National Winner Announcement Friday 21 May 5:30pm AEST Virtual Session Connect here

Find out more about the brief and the reading of the brief session on 8 May.

SuperStudio Design Day presentations are an opportunity for students to dive deeper into the themes of the SuperStudio brief, spark creativity and connect with other students and design professionals.

Details of local juries and mentor sessions to help with design development.

Designed for individuals with built environment related qualifications or those holding a degree from a recognised architecture course, but not registered. Maintain and extend your connection with the profession with opportunities for networking and continuous learning.

A profile of Caleb Lee and Nithya Ranasinghe from Victoria and their winning proposal – Ceremonial Shards.

Participants of SuperStudio make a submission online and present their idea face to face to a jury in their state

2021 Superstudio national winners congratulations Angela xu and thomas li

The clothes we wear are more than just pieces of fabric for keeping warm. They mould to our bodies, like skin, shaping our personal identity. It changes the world’s view of us and our view of the world. What we propose unites past and present, to invite a future that celebrates the fluidity of identity. The sites we have chosen are abandoned industrial spaces across Sydney, that have not only become a neglection of land, but also our heritage and cultural identity.

Our design blends architecture with sculpture, inviting the community to bring a part of themselves, their clothes, to partake in an act of collaboration and sharing. We provide a tectonic cable-frame that occupies the husks of these existing buildings. This allows the garments to be hooked on or released by visitors. Over time, the space warps according to the collective input from the community. It becomes a process of giving and accepting, an anonymity that opens a conversation across racial divides. The celebration here lies not within your culture, but through the acceptance of another. Clothes can be expressive yet nameless, gathering to form a collage, blurring the barriers of societal categorisation, exalting the essence of the self.


Creative Directors

The Creative Directors working closely with Aremel Tibayan, SONA Vice President Competitions and Events will formulate the 2021 SuperStudio brief. The creative team is also responsible for curating the design inspiration talks and deciding the National winner of SuperStudio.  

Susan Ang 
Associate Head (International) of School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University 

Susan was a registered practicing architect in Geelong, Melbourne and Byron Bay for 15 years before entering academia where she is in her 23rd year of teaching, research and academic leadership. 

Through her teaching and research Susan is a champion of socially consciousness architecture, inclusive design and inter-professional education.  Susan is the Founder and Consortium Chair of Intercultural Dialogue Through Design (iDiDe est.2010) – Sustainable Rural Built Environments (SRBE est.2019), a global community design study tour that acts as a collaborative education platform and research network consisting of students, researchers, academics, and industry professionalsThe iDiDe-SRBE Consortium is particularly vested in meaningful engagement in participatory design with vulnerable and underrepresented communities around the world and addressing the imbalances between rural and urban environments and orientating these concerns towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 


(Wei) Wei Yap, Ooi 
Principal, HAYBALL Architecture 

Wei is a Principal at HAYBALL, and he leads practice-based research and design. With over 20 years of architectural practice experience, Wei has worked on prominent award-winning public and private sector projects of varying scales across Australia and Southeast Asia. Currently, Wei serves as a Jury for the AIA International Chapter ‘s 2021 International Chapter Architecture Awards. During his undergraduate years, Wei was the recipient of the University Medal from the University of Newcastle, the NSW AIA Graduate Prize and was the second recipient of the AIA Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture in 2000. 

design day Talks

Participants of SuperStudio and all design students are invited to attend SuperStudio Design Day Talks. 
These presentations are an opportunity for students to dive deeper into the themes of the SuperStudio brief, spark creativity and connect with other students and design professionals. 

Evolving Identities – A discussion with Dr Samantha Ratnam, Leader of Victorian Greens

Samantha is the MLC for Northern Metropolitan and the Leader of the Victorian Greens. Prior to entering the Victorian Parliament, Samantha was a social worker for over 15 years and also spent five years as a Councillor at the City of Moreland, where she was elected the first Greens Mayor of Moreland in 2015.  

Samantha discusses her personal migration journey and how the process of migration and change have helped to shape her identity. In this discussion Samantha also reflects on how differences in the built environment can influence the sense of who you are, how you relate to your community and your sense of well being. 

Evolving Identities – A discussion with Luke Hayward 

Luke is an Australian architect and Japanese 1st-class Kenchikushi, Architect and Building Engineer. Through his practice, atelier Luke, he collaborates closely with clients and local craftspeople to create uniquely personalised and culturally sensitive designs in both Australia and Japan.

Luke will reflect on the role of empathy in architectural practice when operating across cultures and borders. He will also examine the ways identity is defined and evolved by context and events

Evolving Identities – A discussion with Dr Tyson Yunkaporta  

Dr Tyson Yunkaporta is an Author, academic, educator, Indigenous thinker, maker (traditional wood carving), arts critic, researcher, poet. Apalech clan (west cape) with ties in the south, born-country is Melbourne and adoptive and community/cultural ties all over, from Western NSW to Perth.

In this presentation our Creative Directors Susan Ang and Wei Yap Ooi discuss the theme of the SuperStuio brief, evolving identities. Tyson shares stories of personal identity and his perspectives on evolving identity and what this means to him.  

Evolving Identities – A discussion with Kieran Wong 

Kieran is a co-founder and Partner at TheFulcrum.Agency, a creative consultancy that leverages community and social outcomes through evidenced-based design strategy, advocacy and research

Kieran discusses in particular how the practice has started to re think the work they do in community housing and infrastructure and strengthening the ways the practice connects to community. Thinking about what does practice mean not just in the professional sense but practice as an individual. 
Kieran shares advice for participants of SuperStudio on managing ideas to tackle the competition brief. 

Evolving Identities – A discussion with Dr Gary Presland and Professor Mel Dodd 

Dr Gary Presland
Over a 25-year period, Gary held positions as an archaeologist, historian, archivist and museum curator in the Victorian Public Service. He is a prize-winning author of nine books on aspects of Melbourne’s history.   

Gary discusses  the intricate ways in which  identity (in both Aboriginal and colonial settler society) is connected to ‘place’, and how they differ so markedly from each other and also how elements of Melbourne’s landscapes features were regarded in vastly dissimilar ways, through disparate cultural frameworks. 

Prof. Mel Dodd
Mel Dodd has led architecture at a range of Universities in London and Melbourne, and is currently Professor and Head of Department of Architecture at MADA, Monash University. Responsible for pedagogy that bridges the gap between the academic institution, the profession, and wider society, her practice-based research critically engages with urban place-making as evidenced in her recent publication ‘Spatial Practices: Modes of Action and Engagement with the City (Routledge 2020). Mel sits on the Architecture Committee for the Royal Academy of Arts, and is an Adjunct Professor at Central Saint Martins in London.


Each state will hosted a presentation day on Saturday 15 May for participants to present their proposal to their state jury.  


Participants of SuperStudio can access 2 mentoring sessions to help with design development, ask questions and to get some advice. Mentoring sessions are virtual, and participants could be connected to any of our below mentors from all over Australia, 

Levi Fletcher, City Geeks QLD
Sam Mcqueeny, Vokes and Peters QLD
Paul Worroll, Reddog Architects, QLD
Alistair Kirk, Local Architects PTY LTD
Sam Auckland, SA
Taya Brooks, BHI Architects, NSW
Paola Incer, QLD
Sarah Yap, JPW, NSW 
Benjamin Greaves, NSW
Saxon Hall, SAXON HALL architecture, TAS 
Gary Henighen, Architectus, NSW

Kim Mudie, VIC 
Angus McNichol, John Wardle Architects, NSW
Matias Chadwick, HASSELL, QLD
Belinda Allwood, POD (People Orientated Design) QLD
Colin Strydom, design+architecture, QLD
Paola Incer, QLD
Sarah Aisworth, Cottee Parker Architects, QLD
Chloe Pellicer, TKD Architects, NSW
Simon Rochowski, studioplusthree, NSW
Bronwyn Litera, Litera Trotta Architecture, NSW
Mary Ann Jackson, Visionary Design Development Pty Ltd
Hugh Michelmore, Walter Brooke & Associates, SA
Robert Davidov, Davidov Architects. VIC
Paul Bartsch, Troppo Architects, NT
Ursula Chandler, Ursula Chandler Architects, VIC
Gina Taylor, Nettletontribe, QLD 

State Juries

Each state will host a presentation day where a local jury will decide the top 3 teams in their state. See who is on the jury in each state here 

online submission

Submissions are now closed.  

Online Submission: 

Due on/or before Saturday 15 May 9am AEST
Specific submissions requirements and instructions can be on the brief document 

Face to Face Presentations:  
Saturday 15 May check here for information about your states presentation day 

If you cant present live, pre-recorded submissions are due at 9amAEST along with online submission. 

For the face to face presentations, there is no limit to the number of supplementary slides you can use for this presentation. If you want to include a video or other forms of media, it’s up to you. The time each team has to present is 5mins + 2 mins q&a with the jury. All teams should be ready to present a 3pm.

2020 superstudio winner

Congratulations to Caleb Lee & Nithya Ranasisinghe

Our team immediately recalled the devastating Beirut port explosion in August, streets littered with shattered glass, possessions and paraphernalia strewn on the ground like trash – compounding Lebanon’s waste problem. We critiqued this year’s brief to be respectful of place. In order to be considerate, we strongly believed that we needed to be knowledgeable too. Thus we began the project by questioning the systems, culture, history and how would those indirectly affected resonate with this tragedy?

Under quarantine, the sphere in which we experience space has condensed yet conflated. Objects that surround us suddenly have a profound influence in how we act. Building upon the idea of lost possessions and sustainability, our team was interested in how material transmutation of objects affect our behaviour. What if we woke up and all our possessions were made from glass? Would we value them as much as our memorabilia? What would we be willing to discard?

Those who have been through trauma tend to gravitate towards rituals of consistency and routine, aspects found in religion. Therefore, we believed that a built outcome was not the answer to grief. We saw an opportunity to address Lebanon’s pre-existing problems surrounding waste disposal. Resonating with this year’s theme of “renewal”, we sought to propose a gradually dissipating ceremony, in a domestic setting to empathize with those in grief.

View the winning proposal here.


Yes you can, you must register yourself/your team as usual. 

How to submit if you can’t present live:

Record your presentation via Zoom as if you were presenting live – this cannot exceed 7 minutes in length – if it does, we will cut the recording short. On the briefing document there will be clear instructions on how to submit your recording. This is due Saturday 15 May 9am AEST along with your online submission. 

It is highly recommended participants present live. If you are prerecording, you will miss out on a Q&A session with the jury and the opportunity to clarify elements of your proposal.

To participate in Super Studio, you firstly need to register your team (4 people max) or register as an individual.

At the time of registering select your preferred mentor time slot links to access mentoring are above ensure you connect at the time you register for. 

Attend the reading of the brief session. If you are unable to participate in this session, the recording will be available on our website afterwards.

Start designing!

Connect to one of the design day presentations during the week. We have some interesting speakers who will be conducting interactive chats around topics connected to our brief to help you to expand your thinking.

Connect to your mentoring session to get some feedback about your proposal from an industry professional.

Presentations and submission due on Saturday 15 May.

You can participate as an individual or as a team of 2,3 or up to 4 students.

Team members don’t need to come from your university but all team members should be SONA members.

Get in touch with Madelynn at the Institute –

This is important to let us know rather than not turning up as our mentors are giving up their time to help you.

There will be two virtual mentoring sessions available for all teams to help with their proposals.

Tuesday 11 May & Thursday 13 May from 5.30pm onwards. 

At the time of registering you select your preferred mentoring time slot. The link to access mentoring time slots is above in the table titled SuperStudio dates and activities.

Refer here for more information on who the 2021 SuperStudio mentors are

Register for SuperStudio here. The last chance to register is Monday 10 May 7.30pmAEST

The Design Day Talks are not compulsary for participants. We do encourage you to come along though, its a chance to explore the themes of the SuperStudio brief further with fellow participants and design professionals. Refer here for more information about the Design day presentations. 

1-2 business days after you register for SuperStudio you will receive an email with information about your states presentation day and access to your mentoring session. 

you can also refer here to view the location of your states presentation day. 


Review the Terms and Conditions for SONA competitions here