PRS Europe

The Practice Research Symposium in Europe features Higher Degree by Research examinations, candidate presentations, a keynote lecture and various social functions associated with the symposium.

Attracting presenters and participants from influential academic institutions and practices across Europe, the PRS provides an opportunity for shared reflection between distinguished practitioners about creative design practice.

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PRS Dates (2018)

27-29 April

23-25 November


2014 - 2017

PRS Program and Abstracts 27 - 29 April 2018

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PRS Examinations - PhD (Architecture and Design)

Siobhán Ní Éanaigh

UNEARTHING GROUND in Architecture: ethical behaviour... physical manifestation... colour register

Please arrive 15 minutes early to exam as no late entry.

Friday 27 April 2018 10am - 12pm
Venue: Herriaz Soto & Co, Badajoz 127, Barcelona

Examiners: Prof. Ir. Bart Lootsma, Dr Annacaterina Piras
Chair: A/Prof Paul Minifie
Supervisors: Prof Leon van Schaik, Prof Katharine Heron, Prof Richard Blythe

With this PhD, I seek increased understanding on the nature of ‘design intelligence’, as evidenced by the discipline of architecture through practice.

While understanding the process of getting large buildings / infrastructure built, what interests me specifically with this research is insight into how we get as thinkers / designers / practitioners…as architects, from a site and sheet of paper with a list of rooms / schedule of accommodation, numerous prescriptive do’s + don’ts…to…‘a great blue lump of a school’*…‘a crimson creature’*…‘design gets its full citizenship’.*

Paralleling my quest for new insight into ‘design intelligence’…spatial…formal…visual…material…is a preoccupation with exploring the ‘physical’ in a world seemingly favouring the ‘virtual’ and specifically, the place of our visual tonal register or judgement as architects, applied to the phenomenon of…colour / light / pigment…as a medium of ‘design intelligence’ exercised through venturous practice in architecture.

*denote descriptions given to our projects by judges / reviewers



Please arrive 15 minutes early to exam as no late entry.

Friday 27 April 2018 2:30 - 4:30pm
Venue: Herriaz Soto & Co, Badajoz 127, Barcelona

Examiners: Prof. Ir. Bart Lootsma, Prof Zeynep Mennan
Chair: Prof Martyn Hook
Supervisors: A/Prof Paul Minifie, Dr. phil. habil. Marcelo Stamm

Architecture’s “superpower” resides in the complex synthesis of a multitude of agencies, such as program, site, constraints of construction and economics. This thesis explores new approaches for achieving this architectural synthesis, under conditions of the rapidly expanding volumes of computation and information available, proposing that a radical increase in resolution is an important dimension with which to understand this change. If the linearity of established architectural processes emphasises determinacy, deductive, hierarchy and stasis, then renewed architecture – the kind of high resolution architecture proposed here answers to indeterminacy, volatile, contingency and openness. Recognising that architecture is as fundamentally informational as it is material, with an intrinsic structure of information and concepts on which to operate, this work rewrites architecture’s logical core by inhabiting the ecology of new tools and accelerating processing of information. Instead of mimicking human logic, it embraces a new kind of logic, with the capacity to solve problems and reveal territories that were previously unreachable to human cognition. Resultant structures are characterised by enhanced resiliency, plasticity, and malleability of complex interrelated systems; in short, increased designability within complex ecologies, allowing for speculative proposals of unprecedented nature, complexity and scale, uncovering an architectural superperformance and previously unseen aesthetics.

PRS Opening Events 27 April 2018

Friday 27 April 2018  6:15 for 6:30pm start
Venue: Media-TIC, Carrer de Roc Boronat 117, 08018 Barcelona


Paul Minifie - PRS EU Director, School of Architecture and Urban Design, RMIT (Acting)
Martyn Hook - Dean, School of Architecture and Urban Design, RMIT
Marta Fernandez - Executive Director, RMIT Europe


Sadie Morgan - Director, dRMM Architects

People, Place and Time
Infrastructure is key to the quality of our lives, yet architects are rarely involved in its design. This is the dilemma Professor Sadie Morgan will address in her keynote presentation. She believes, as we move into a decade where many big infrastructure projects are to be designed, delivered and built, it is incumbent on us all to make sure that our built environment interacts with people and place at every scale; that it is fit for purpose, designed for the needs for all, now and in the future, and is not wasteful of the world’s resources.
“So how as a profession do we better influence the decision-making process and use our skills to tackle the big issues of our day?” asks Sadie. The good news is that if anybody has the ability to navigate and adapt to a changing and highly challenging new environment, she believes it is architects and designers. We are adaptable, inventive and imaginative problem solvers, who can multi-task and make decisions quickly, she says.
Through her work as a founding director of dRMM architects, the chair of the Independent Design Panel for High Speed Two, and a National Infrastructure Commissioner, Sadie will explore ways in which we can work collectively to effect change much earlier on in the process, where design and creative thinking adds its greatest value.

Book Launches

Leon van Schaik

Petra Pferdmenges
Founding Alive Architecture: From Ephemeral to Durational Lived Space

Kester Rattenbury
The Wessex Project: Thomas Hardy, Architect



RMIT gratefully acknowledges that research leading to these results was funded by the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013/ under REA grant agreement n° 317325.