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Innovation in Concrete Keynote Lecture: Mark Burry

Innovation in Concrete Keynote Lecture: Mark Burry

Professor Mark Burry AO is a registered architect and the Founding Director for Swinburne University of Technology’s Smart Cities Research Institute (SCRI), an appointment he took up in May 2017.  His role is to lead the development of a whole-of-university research approach to ‘urban futures’, helping ensure that our future cities anticipate and meet the needs of all – smart citizens participating in the development of smart cities. 

Mark Burry is a practising architect who has published internationally on two main themes: putting theory into practice with regard to procuring ‘challenging’ architecture, and the life, work and theories of the architect Antoni Gaudí.  He has been Senior Architect to the Sagrada Família Basilica Foundation since 1979, pioneering distant collaboration with his colleagues based on-site in Barcelona concluding in late 2016 on his completion of the full proposal for the main front (Glory Façade) based on Gaudí's surviving material.   

In 2001 Mark Burry founded the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL) at RMIT University before establishing the Design Research Institute (DRI) in 2008.  He joined the University of Melbourne in 2014 as Professor of Urban Futures at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning where he helped develop the Faculty’s capacity to consolidate research in urban futures, drawing together and augmenting expertise in urban visualisation, urban analytics, and urban policy.  

In February 2004, the Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi (Academy of Fine Arts, Catalonia) awarded Mark Burry with their prestigious Diploma i la insignia a l’acadèmic corresponent with the title Il·lustríssim Senyor (English equivalent Honorable)in recognition of his contribution to the Sagrada Família Basilica project as a lead architect. 

In May 2006 he was awarded an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship (now known as ‘Laureate Fellowships’), Australia’s most prestigious peer-assessed funding award, in acknowledgment of his international leadership in the field of ‘Complex Architecture and Convergent Design’.  Up to 25 of these awards were made annually for a five-year period, competed for across the whole of the Australian academic community.  The majority of these grants are awarded to researchers in science and technology areas, with just one or two awarded within the creative arts and humanities disciplines.  In 2006 he was also recipient of the USA Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) annual Award for Innovative Research, and in 2012 he was awarded the Biennial Sasada Award by CAADRIA (The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia).  This award is given to “an individual whose sustained record of contributions demonstrates or promises significant impact on the field of computer aided design”.

In 2018 Mark Burry was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to spatial information architecture as an academic, researcher and author, and as an innovator in the application of digital manufacturing and construction methods.” 

In the same year he was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (FTSE), a rare honour for an architect.

The keynote lecture will kick off a full-day symposium, From Lab to Site: Innovation in Concreteon Friday, November 1, 2019.