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Dr Karamia Muller wins AASA Education Prize for Early Career Academics

Group photo of finalists and Head of School
AASA Education Prize finalists, AASA Executive Members and Heads of Schools at the exhibition/presentation

Friday October 18, 2019

The AASA is delighted to announce that Dr Karamia Muller is the winner of the Inaugural AASA Education Prize for Early Career Academics! The Education Prize is a new initiative of the AASA, designed to support academics at member universities to gain recognition through a peer-reviewed competition. In 2019, this was focused upon demonstration of excellence in design studio pedagogy.

AASA education prize

The presentation was held at Warren and Mahoney in Auckland on 1 October 2019 with more than 80 guests attended the event. Each finalist was given 10 minutes to present their project in front of heads of schools from Australia, New Zealand, PNG and Hong Kong.

Our finalists were:

  • Dr Karamia Muller (University of Auckland). Project: Design 4: Counter Forensics Studio
  • Dr John Doyle (RMIT University). Project: Evolving the Grey
  • Dr Katica Pedisic (University of South Australia). Project: Research Through Design Studio
  • Dr Hannah Robertson (Monash University). Project: Visions of a Bushman
  • Ms Amaia Sanchez-Velasco (University of Technology, Sydney). Project: Factory of Hyper-ecologies

Dr Karamia Muller
Winner of AASA Education Prize 2019 Dr Karamia Muller (University of Auckland) presenting “Design 4: Counter Forensics Studio” at WAM

While topics for each project are vastly different, the majority of the finalists have shown an interest in incorporating the concept of collaboration into the design studio. For example, both Hannah Robertson (Visions of a Bushman) and Amaia Sanchez-Velasco (Factory of Hyper-ecologies) have utilised the idea by working closely with the local community (such as Indigenous elders, scientists, artists and scholars) that would inform their architectural design. In contrast, Karamia Muller (Design 4: Counter Forensics Studio) further developing the method by combining participatory design principles with activism that would encourage students to develop critical analysis skills. A different approach was undertaken by John Doyle (Evolving the Grey) where the focus was placed on how students can work collectively by examining the metropolitan agglomeration around Lake Taihu, a 100km2 region on the periphery of Shanghai with seven major cities and a population of more than 20 million.

Amaia Sanchez-Velasco
Finalist Amaia Sanchez-Velasco (University of Technology, Sydney) explaining her project “Factory of Hyper-ecologies” to the audience

An alternative architectural research method was investigated by Katica Pedisic (Research Through Design Studio). Building on her practice-based research exploring the role of storytelling in conveying architectural ideas, the studios interrogate the potential of communicative media. Some of the methods used for the investigation include analogue drawings and models; digital hybrids, stop motion animation and films, immersive VR and augmented reality that aim to provide mechanisms through which to examine and depict the temporal nature of architecture.

An exhibition of the finalists’ work was put on display at Warren and Mahoney from 2 – 4 October 2019 and their submissions will be archived and published on AASA’s website in due course.

Finally, a thank you to our sponsor: Warren and Mahoney for their generous support to the AASA Education Prize for Early Career Academics presentation and exhibition. A call for the 2020 Education Prize Committee, focusing next upon traditional research excellence, will be sent out in early 2020 with a call for submissions in March.

Dr Hannah Robertson (Monash University). Project: Visions of a Bushman

Dr John Doyle (RMIT University).
Dr John Doyle (RMIT University). Project: Evolving the Grey

Dr John Doyle assembling his project

Finalists Dr John Doyle and Dr Hannah Robertson with Dr Paul Loh (University of Melbourne)

Dr Chris Smith (National Education Committee Chair, Australian Institute of Architects/University of Sydney) and Dr Tanja Glusac (AASA Secretary/Curtin University)

Professor Alan Peters (University of Adelaide), Ms Jolanda Morkel (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) and Professor Cletus Gonduan (PNG University of Technology)

Associate Professor Eric Schuldenfrei (University of Hong Kong) and Professor Deborah Ascher Barnstone (AASA Vice President/University of Technology, Sydney)

Guests arriving at WAM
Guests arriving at WAM

Overview of the exhibition
Overview of the exhibition

Finalist Dr Katica Pedisic (University of South Australia), Dr Chris Brisbi (University of South Australia) and guest

Peter McPherson (AASA President/Unitec), Dr Michael Jasper (University of Canberra) and guest