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Blue background, with a map of New Zealand with flight paths moving out from the country. Text on top says FFWD21 Alumni Abroad.

Fast Forward lecture series – Spring 2021

Alumni Abroad

With COVID-related travel restrictions still in place, Fast Forward Spring 2021 capitalises on the opportunity afforded by webinars to catch up with a series of the School of Architecture and Planning’s high-achieving alumni doing extraordinary work overseas. Developing a long list of possible speakers was easy, as we have alumni of all generations working in many exciting places. They show that a University of Auckland education in architecture and urban planning opens up a world of fascinating career pathways. Moving to a shortlist of speakers was much harder. All of those invited to participate are stars in their fields.

The format for the majority of sessions will be Q&A rather than lecture-style to tease out career development from formative experiences and student days to overseas journeys and accomplishments. We’ll ask about chasing dreams, having a plan, and the role played by luck, timing and chance encounter. We congratulate all the speakers on their careers to date, take pride in the School’s contribution to their career development, and continue to admire and celebrate their work and achievements. The Fast Forward Spring climaxes with an in-person exaugural address from alumna Professor Diane Brand reflecting on a trailblazing career and the series’ themes.

About Fast Forward

Fast Forward is the School of Architecture and Planning’s biannual lecture series. It aims to foster debate, discussion and development within the disciplines of architecture, urban design and urban planning. A well-known and respected event in the community, Fast Forward is generously sponsored by GIB® and supported by Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects. 10 NZRAB CPD points are available at each lecture. Attendance at each talk is free. All welcome. Register for a ticket to book your spot.

Fast Forward is made possible through the generous support of GIB®

Watch the recordings with our speakers below

Talk 1: Julia Gatley in Conversation with Mark Wigley, Professor of Architecture and Dean Emeritus at Columbia University, New York

Tuesday 3 August 2021, 6.30pm (NZT)

The School of Architecture and Planning is delighted to open Fast Forward Spring, Alumni Abroad, with a conversation with one of our most acclaimed alumni, Professor Mark Wigley (UoA BArch, 1979, and PhD, 1986). 

Mark has had a stellar academic career in the United States, at Princeton and Columbia Universities, and is currently Professor and Dean Emeritus at Columbia in New York. Mark is a historian, theorist and critic who explores the intersection of architecture, art, philosophy, culture and technology. His books include Konrad Wachsmann’s Television: Post-Architectural Transmissions (Sternberg Press, 2020); Passing Through Architecture: The 10 Years of Gordon Matta-Clark (Power Station of Art: 2019); Cutting Matta-Clark: The Anarchitecture Investigation (Lars Müller, 2018); Are We Human? Notes on an Archaeology of Design (written with Beatriz Colomina; Lars Müller, 2016); Buckminster Fuller Inc.: Architecture in the Age of Radio (Lars Müller, 2015); Constant’s New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire (010 Publishers, 1998); White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture (MIT Press, 1995); and Derrida’s Haunt: The Architecture of Deconstruction (MIT Press, 1993). Mark has curated exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Drawing Center, Columbia University, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Het Nieuwe Instituut, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Most recently he curated “Passing Through Architecture: The 10 Years of Gordon Matta-Clark” at the Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2019-20).

Talk 2: Elizabeth Aitken Rose in Conversation with Dr Elizabeth Farrelly, Opinion Columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney

Tuesday 10 August 2021, 6pm (NZT)

Spring Fast Forward continues with an outstanding graduate, taking architecture and urbanism into the public sphere, Elizabeth Farrelly. 

Writer and columnist Elizabeth Farrelly (UoA BArch,1982) is a Sydney-based author and columnist trained in architecture and philosophy. She also has a PhD in urbanism from the University of Sydney. She is a former Associate Professor (Practice) at the UNSW Graduate School of Urbanism and a former City of Sydney Alderman and Councillor. A weekly columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald, she has published several books including Glenn Murcutt: Three Houses (launched by PM Paul Keating, 1993), Blubberland: The Dangers of Happiness (2007) and Caro Was Here (2014), a crime novel for children. She is a Walkley-shortlisted writer, an internationally awarded architecture critic, a former Assistant Editor of the Architectural Review, London, and a regular commentator on urban affairs in Sydney and internationally. She was inaugural Chair of the Australia Award for Urban Design and a winner of the Paris-based CICA Award for Architectural Criticism. Her portrait by Mirra Whale was a finalist in the 2015 Archibald Prize and she is currently building an off-grid barn-dwelling in rural NSW. Her latest book is Killing Sydney: The Fight for a City’s Soul (2021).

Talk 3: Jenny Dixon and Elizabeth Aitken Rose in Conversation with Jude Kohlhase, Senior Urban Development Specialist, Urban Development and Water Division, South Asia Department, Asian Development Bank, Manila

Tuesday 17 August 2021, 6pm (NZT)

The Asian-Pacific region is of fundamental importance to New Zealand’s future. The School of Architecture and Planning has alumni throughout the region, among them, Jude Kohlhase (UoA BPlan, 2000 and MEngSt, 2011), an urban planner with an impressive academic and professional pedigree. 

Jude Kohlhase is an alumnus of not only the University of Auckland but also the University of Hawai’i, Manoa (MURP, 2004); the East-West Center, Hawai’i; the Wharton School of Business, Pennsylvania; the Public Utility Research Center, Florida; and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, Canberra. With twenty years of experience identifying, designing, and implementing international multidisciplinary projects in the public and private sectors. In the past eight years, with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Jude has been responsible for sovereign operations in urban transport, rural water supply and sanitation, climate resilience, power, urban planning, and urban housing. His experience with ADB spans Pacific operations in Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga; the Central West and Asia operations in the Kyrgyz Republic and Pakistan; and South Asia operations in India and Bhutan. Before joining ADB, Jude worked with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Works/Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Samoa when planning law was in its infancy. During that period, he led Samoa’s planning agency. He worked with bilateral and multilateral development partners to design and implement a range of complex infrastructure projects and supported the development of staff capacity.

Talk 4: Michael Milojevic in Conversation with Brendan MacFarlane, Director of Jakob + MacFarlane Architects, Paris

Tuesday 14 September 2021, 6.30pm (NZT)

New Zealand-born Brendan MacFarlane (UoA 1980-81) completed his architecture degree at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (Sci-Arc) in Los Angeles (1984), followed by a masters at Harvard (1990). In 1998, MacFarlane and his partner Dominique Jakob founded Jakob + MacFarlane – an architectural, urban planning, and design practice based in Paris. Their work is centred on the development of innovative and socially committed architecture tailored to meet the environmental and other challenges of the twenty-first century. At the forefront of digital technology for more than 20 years, the practice is renowned for designs that become real urban markers recognised for their cultural and societal value. Their work has been exhibited in museums around the world, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Key projects include L’Eclat Theater (Pont-Audemer, 2000); the Renault Communication Center (Boulogne-Billancourt, 2004); the Ricard Contemporary Art Foundation (Paris, 2007); 100 Social Housing Units Hérold (Paris, 2008); the Swiss Cultural Center library and offices (Paris, 2010); the Orange Cube / Groupe Cardinal Headquarters and the Global Headquarters of Euronews TV (Lyon, 2010 and 2014); the Docks – City of Fashion and Design (Paris, 2012); the Contemporary Arts Foundation of the Centre region (Orléans, 2013); the Music and Dance Conservatory (Noisy-le-Sec, 2017); the leading biomedical research center Méary – University Paris Diderot – St Louis Hospital (Paris, 2017); and mixed-use housing, office and retail complexes in Montpellier and La Rochelle (2020, 2021).

Photo credit: © A. Tabaste 

Talk 5: Julia Gatley in Conversation with Dr Alexandra Jayeun Lee and Rowan Fraser, architectural graduates making careers outside of architecture

Tuesday 21 September 2021, 1pm (NZT)

Many architecture students make careers in disciplines other than architecture, including the full range of design disciplines as well digital platforms and the film industry. In this session, Julia talks to two such graduates, who share interests in sustainability and humanity, but are working in very different environments. 

Dr Alexandra Jayeun Lee (UoA BArch, 2007, and PhD, 2014) is a Principal UX Research Manager and serial changemaker currently working on democratising design insights at Microsoft’s Digital Transformation Platform group. Based out of Seattle, WA, Alex works with clients worldwide to innovate, design, research and launch services and products across multiple channels and platforms. Previously, she co-founded the Civic Design Lab, a California-based civic policy incubator, as well as establishing local chapters for Architecture for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity. Alex is passionate about human-centred design, data-driven solutions and Design Thinking.

Rowan Fraser (UoA MArch(Prof), 2010) helps clients reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve sustainability targets. He currently leads the Laos Country Office of GGGI, a global non-profit climate organisation, implementing a portfolio of low-carbon investment projects and public policy initiatives in the energy, waste, transport sectors. Prior to this, Rowan led the Nepal Country Office of GGGI, and, earlier, worked with the United Nations across Asia on sustainable urban development. He followed his University of Auckland architecture degree with a Master of Urban Policy at Sciences Po Urban School in Paris (2012). He’s excited about a net-zero future.

Talk 6: Diane Brand, Dean of the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries, “Miss Mondrian’s Architectural Journey: From Courtyard House to Creative Arts” 

Postponed to 2022. New date to be announced.
In-person lecture, University of Auckland City Campus. 

Professor Diane Brand grew up in an Erwin Winkler-designed courtyard house in Wellington. The experience of seeing the modernist building designed and built informed her decision at 12 years of age to become an architect. In 1976, in her first year at the University of Auckland School of Architecture, Diane earned the nickname Miss Mondrian for her spare, geometric, primary coloured studio work. Her 45-year career in architecture has traversed public service hydroelectric infrastructure provision, commercial projects in corporate architectural practice in Australia, urban design studies at Harvard, teaching and research, university executive management and jewellery making, demonstrating the career reach of an architectural education. This lecture will follow that trajectory and show that in all dimensions of her work, design has been a central concern.

Close up headshot of Diane Brand

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