arch-peace news and articles


Sustainable University Campus: neighbourhood and surroundings

The following article (in Spanish) describes the work undertaken by 2nd. year students of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Chile. The challenge was to situate an existing campus (in a transition to sustainability) and improve its presence within the city and with its citizens--how can a sustainable campus become a positive element in the urban fabric?
The proposals and details of the exploration can be found in the webpage developed by the students:

Escenarios sustentables para el campus Beauchef y la FAU

Campus Sustentable
Campus Sustentable
A principios de diciembre finalizó el curso "Hábitat Sustentable: el Campus Universitario, su Barrio y su Entorno", dirigido por la académica del Instituto de la Vivienda (INVI) Beatriz Maturana y su ayudante Scarlet Campos. El objetivo de esta asignatura era introducir la reflexión sobre la dimensión sustentable de los campus de la Universidad de Chile desde la perspectiva de hábitat residencial, identificando prácticas cotidianas de la comunidad universitaria, diseño y construcción de infraestructura y equipamiento, y la relación del campus con su entorno barrial.
En esta oportunidad se presentaron las propuestas físico-espaciales de los alumnos de segundo año de Arquitectura para el campus Beauchef y nuestra Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo de la Universidad de Chile. En ambos casos de estudio se realizó un diagnóstico, una postura teórica sobre el concepto sustentabilidad, pautas y criterios de diseño y la presentación de escenarios mediante imágenes objetivos de la propuesta.
Esta asignatura contó con la contribución de cátedras presentadas por los profesores Claudia Mac Lean (Beauchef), Carlos Lange (INVI), María Cristina Fragkou (Geografía), Andrea Wechsler (diseño), Mariela Gaete (INVI) y Carolyn Whitzman (invitada internacional).
La presentación de los trabajos contó con la participación de la profesora Carolina Devoto (Departamento de Arquitectura), Andrea Wechsler (Escuela de Diseño), Claudia Mac Lean (encargada oficina de la ingeniería para la sustentabilidad, Beauchef), Natalia Escudero, Gonzalo Arce y Constantino Mawromatis (Departamento de Urbanismo), quienes comentaron y dieron sus apreciaciones al trabajo realizado por los estudiantes.
Tanto la profesora, como los invitados y los alumnos se mostraron muy satisfechos con el trabajo presentado y rescataron la relevancia de estudiar y proponer estrategias para convertir los campus universitarios en sustentables, explorar el impacto social y medioambiental que estos tienen en su población universitaria, su entorno inmediato y su barrio y a contribuir a hacer realidad el compromiso adquirido el 5 de diciembre por esta universidad a la sustentabilidad de sus campus.
Los invitamos a visitar la página web desarrollada por estos entusiastas alumnos y donde se pueden ver las propuestas:


Annual General Meeting - Tuesday 9 December 2014

Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 9 December 2014 in Melbourne. At the AGM our Committee of Management will be re-elected, positions include President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Public and General Members. Please email us for further information and/or confirm your attendance at

Details for the AGM are as follows:
Date: Tuesday 9 December 2014
Time: 6:30pm for a prompt 7pm start
Venue: Visionary Design Development
8/204 Dryburgh Street, North Melbourne

As mentioned in our previous email, we are also looking for members who would be interested in getting involved in the following Key roles and teams: Volunteer Engagement Officer / Membership Coordinator, Partnerships facilitator, Communication / Marketing / Publicity, Website coordinator, Grant writer / Fundraising, Editor / Editorial team, Newsletter editor, Social media coordinator, Event coordinator, Bloggers / writers. You can view the full Key Position Descriptions here.

All members are welcome to apply and we will consider applications from interstate and overseas members where suitable. Please note that these positions are to be filled independently to the election of the Committee of Management and you will still be able to apply after the AGM. Applications may be made by emailing us an expression of interest. Remember to state the position for which you are applying.

Please also continue to contact us about any other ways you would like to contribute, or ideas you might have for putting into practice the mission of Architects for Peace. As a volunteer-run organisation, our growth depends very much on the initiative and enthusiasm of those who actively participate.


Come celebrate the launch of our new Strategic Plan - Tuesday 11 November 2014

After months of brainstorming, questioning, consultation and critical reflection, it's time - we're about to launch our new direction!

Date:    Tuesday 11 November 2014
Time:   6 - 8:30pm
Venue: RMIT Design Hub, Roof Pavilion
            (Building 100, corner Victoria & Swanston St, Carlton VIC)

On the night, we will reflect on our past 11 years in existence and present our new framework, including the key goals that will be our focus over the next four years. As we move into putting our goals into practice - we will be building an action plan and seeking to connect with external collaborators - new and old. Do you have a project we might be able to support or develop together? Tell us about it on the night, or email us at

Speaking on the night will be two special guests: Professor Michael Buxton (RMIT) and Associate Professor Soumitri Varadarajan (RMIT Industrial Design). Drinks and canapes provided.

Soumitri Varadarajan is Deputy Dean of Industrial and Interior Design, at RMIT University and editor (South and South-East Asia) of the Encyclopedia of Asian Design. Soumitri previously worked at Hitachi in Japan and has directed studios in Israel, India, Netherlands, China, Turkey, Portugal and France. Focused upon the social, Soumitri approaches design from a range of social, aesthetic and material culture perspectives. In health, his practice takes the approach of de-medicalising and re-contextualizing everyday practices of 'patients' by developing new traditions and artefacts.

Dr Michael Buxton
is Professor of Environment and Planning with the School of Global Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University. He has held senior positions in four Victorian planning and environmental agencies and has contributed extensively to national and state environmental and planning policy. Michael led the intergovernmental process developing a new National Greenhouse Strategy between 1994-96 and was Chairperson of the Premier’s Green Wedge Working Party which advised the government on the adoption of a legislated urban growth boundary. His research interests include urban intensification, peri-urban development and outer urban development.

Help us celebrate this important moment in our organisation's history, and find out how together we can work towards our vision for a socially and spatially just future!

Check out the Facebook event here.
Entry is free, please RSVP for catering purposes here before Friday 7 November.

Venue sponsor: CAST: Centre for Art, Society and Transformation, RMIT School of Art Research


Update on our recent happenings...

Our strategic plan is taking shape!  Following on from the public session we held in May, where many constructive comments were received, we have continued to meet fortnightly to develop the content.  We have been joined by new friends (Yusef Taibeh and Katica Puga) and old ones (Peter Johns, Mary Ann Jackson, Ralph Green, Anthony McInneny, Kieran McKernan, Ammon Beyerle, Edith Wong, Kamil Muhammed and Lynda Roberts) and even a founding member (Eva Riestra) residing in Sydney who many of us met for the first time.

Contributions from the expanded team of people have led to many new ideas, insights, and questions on what and where our organisation wishes to focus our services on, what are our values, what do we stand for, how we could make an impact on our communities, and whether we wish to keep the name ‘Architects for Peace’.   These robust discussions have been crucial in determining and justifying our evolving goals, objectives and the actions. Considering it’s less than 5 months since we embarked seriously on this exercise, the progress we have made in a such a short time is quite remarkable.

In order to gather thoughts and feedback from our members and supporters on what you value about our organisation and how we might improve, we sent out a survey in late April. We were unable to draw conclusive information from the results due to the small sample size, and have found our face-to-face engagement through our Melbourne meetings to be a more successful forum. We do however value our members outside of our home town, and will continue to strive to maintain our international connections, and get to know our overseas members. We would love to hear from you as to how we might do this better! We hope to continue to make opportunities available to you to make comments or to get involved as the first part of our strategic plan unfolds over the coming year.

Now that we are close to finalising our Strategic Plan, we are very excited that we can soon start preparing for its official launch in late Spring – stay tuned for more details coming soon!  If you’d like to know more about what we’ve been up to, you can read up on our submission to the City of Melbourne Homes for People Draft Housing Strategy 2014 – 2018 here 

Once again, we would like to express our most sincere thanks to Sarah Davis, our amazing strategic planning facilitator, who has not only so generously guided us throughout this process but has also become a good friend of our group!

Submission to the City of Melbourne Draft Housing Strategy 2014 – 2018

In June 2014, the City of Melbourne invited comments on its draft Housing strategy: Homes for People.   Affordable housing and shelter as a human right have emerged as a key concern for our organisation recently, in the process of developing a strategic plan to better focus our efforts in future. The CoM strategy is commendable, however we believe its frame of reference could be expanded to improve amenity, design quality, housing affordability and social equity. With special contributions from Kieran, Peter, and Yusef, we made a submission to this effect. 

More information on the draft Housing Strategy can be found here and the A4P submission can be viewed from here.