PRS Europe

3 – 7 May 2019, Barcelona

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.

Held in Barcelona and attracting 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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Keynote PhD exams

Program & Abstract Book

PRS Europe Launch

Friday 3 May, 6 – 8:30pm
Venue: RMIT Europe, Media-TIC, Level 5, Carrer de Roc Boronat 117

Welcome by Dr Marta Fernandez, A/Prof Paul Minifie, A/Prof James Auger, and Prof Martyn Hook.
Followed by Keynote and Book Launches.

Book launches

Design Practice Research in Architecture and Design at RMIT, 1986–2011
The Pink Book, Third Edition
Presented by Prof Leon van Schaik AO

Periphery | Archaeology of Light
Dr Erieta Attali

Place in its momentary status; durational unfolding

What does it entail – this manoeuvring between observation and speculation, between the figurative and the figural, between object and event, between measurability and the subject’s perspective, urging multiple points of view poised by iteration, implying time-related change?

It is an utterance of the world, a viewing of the world with the immanent collapse of an
object-subject viewpoint, in which the world of objects is replaced by a world of events.

It is the pleasure of architecture that lays in the discovery of compressed spatiality,
standing at the drawing board,
being kept at arms length from entering the drawing,
attempting to capture architecture without being an illustration of it.

These drawings are extracts,
every time the final draft of the immersion,
called architecture.

Riet Eeckhout’s practice in Architecture spans 20 years during which she worked as an architect in Brussels (Belgium), Valletta (Malta), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and London (UK). In 2007 she cofounded the architecture design studio APLondon with projects on various scales in close relation to architectural research. This research culminated in 2014 in the completion of her doctorate, entitled Process Drawing, under the supervision of Professor Martyn Hook at RMIT University (Melbourne).

Riet lectured at RMIT University (Melbourne), UCA University Canterbury (UK), Syracuse University (London Program, UK) and University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). She currently holds a teaching and research position at KU Leuven University (Belgium).

Her work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale 2014, Galerie d’Architecture (Paris), DeSingel Arts Campus, Flanders Architecture Institute (Antwerp) and Tchoban Foundation Museum for architecture drawing (Berlin).


Ruth Gibson | PhD candidate, School of Design RMIT

Falling Upwards: Somatic Sensing in Virtual Space

Friday 3 May, 10am – 12pm
Venue: Montoya – Carrer de Àvila 32, Barcelona

Examiners: Prof Steve Dixon, Prof Maikee Bleeker
Chair: A/Prof Suzie Attiwill
Supervisors: Dr Adam Nash, Dr Ben Byrne


Bruno Martelli | PhD candidate, School of Design RMIT

Performance Engine: Immersivity, Artist & Audience

Friday 3 May, 2:30 – 4:30pm
Venue: Montoya – Carrer de Àvila 32, Barcelona

Examiners: Prof Steve Dixon, Prof Maikee Bleeker
Chair: A/Prof Suzie Attiwill
Supervisors: Dr Adam Nash, Dr Ben Byrne


Eva Prats | PhD candidate, School of Architecture and Urban Design

“To observe with the client, to draw with the existing”. Three cases of architecture dealing with the As Found.

Friday 3 May, 2:30 – 4:30pm
Venue: Carrer de Roc Boronat 47-53, Barcelona

Examiners: Prof Gabriela Seifert, Dr Annacaterina Piras
Chair: A/Prof Paul Minifie
Supervisors: Prof Martyn Hook, Prof Leon van Schaik

This PhD is focussed on rehabilitation in architecture. It researches the introduction of our studio into working with existing buildings, and how the conversations between architect, client and the existing, builds a tri-polar relationship that informs an attitude towards the host building.

The examination will happen while visiting an exhibition that collects different material related to the 3 projects that are in the focus of this research. Five of the documents in the show were fabricated as responses to some questions that arose during the different Practice Research Symposiums, and some of them were part of our participation at the last edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale.


Karin Helms | PhD candidate, School of Architecture and Urban Design

Holding onto the Land. Projects and practices toward anticipatory large scale landscape strategies.

Tuesday 7 May, 11am – 1pm
Venue: BAU College of Design, Carrer de Pujades 118

Examiners: Dr Julian Raxworthy, A/Prof Gabriella Trovato
Chair: A/Prof Charles Anderson
Supervisors: A/Prof Mauro Baracco, Prof SueAnne Ware

This PhD describes a landscape architect’s activity over 25 years, working on large scale landscapes under pressure and enable, through the research, the understanding its modus operandi.

The research was carried through the creative practice-based PhD process, a programme run by RMIT Melbourne. Their PhD method (van Schaik and Johnson 2011) consists of a three-step process, research on, in and for design. The first step involves research on the practitioner’s approach to design by analysing past projects. The second step looks at defining the design process, in this case through a self-commissioned project run in Upper Normandy on the future of its cultural landscape patterns. The research questions were inspired by the author’s role as landscape architect government advisor in the region. The third step reveals shifts in the practitioner’s design process and enriches its practice. In this PhD process a five-step procedure (echo, weak signals, osmosis, facilitation and frameworks) was identified, and the importance of the multi-scalar spatial dimension was highlighted; the landscape’s multiple social dimensions as well as the future possible role of new landscape patterns in preventing climate change effects. I conclude that much of my work involves the design of proactive landscape frameworks which anticipate future changes, transformations, acceptance of disappearances, and the integration of new artefacts into large cultural landscapes.



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.