CSD Ambassadors

The Centre for Subtropical Design partnered with MECU to provide an annual international travel bursary prize to built environment professionals whose body of work demonstrated exemplary subtropical design thinking and qualified them as the Centre for Subtropical Design Ambassadors.

Travel bursary winners studied diverse responses to contemporary subtropical urban issues, including walkability and public open space, approaches to higher density living and urban agriculture in subtropical locations around the world.

This successful program is currently being reviewed and we hope to reignite this initiative in the very near future.

Our current Ambassadors are:

Amalie Wright

Amalie Wright is a landscape architect and architect, passionate about achieving positive change through great design.

Prior to establishing her own business, Landscapology, in 2012, she held senior roles in international design practices, working on projects in Australia and overseas.

Her work has included boutique waterfront residential developments, integrated art, transport infrastructure, commercial and hotel developments, and many other public realm projects for clients including Mirvac, Lend Lease, Brookfield Multiplex, and local and state governments.

She currently serves on the Queensland Executive of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, and tutors in landscape architecture at the Queensland University of Technology.

In 2007 Amalie won the mecu Travel Bursary, awarded by the Centre for Subtropical Design. She travelled to Colombia and the United States researching the changing role of city parks. On her return she was approached by CSIRO Publishing to turn her emerging thinking into a book. Future Park: imagining tomorrow’s urban parks was published in September this year.

Outline of Bursary study

Amalie used her mecu bursary to travel to Colombia and the United States. In Colombia she visited Medellin, where parks were being used as agents of social change, helping people re-engage with their city after the devastation of the cocaine wars. New parks, plazas and people places were being built in association with other public facilities such as schools, libraries and museums. These places inspired a large part of Amalie’s subsequent research into parks that provided social, environmental and economic benefits that reach far beyond our initial image of parks as ‘just grass and trees’.

Following this Amalie travelled to New York to study the latest wave of post-industrial parks. She met with Friends of the High Line and saw the early work happening on this now iconic park. the High Line and other New York projects demonstrated to Amalie that people had a genuine interest in seeing familiar parts of their cities in new ways, and that growing urbanisation would continue to require creative ways of making parks in our cities.

Nick McGowan

Nick is a Principal Landscape Architect and Urban Designer with GHD. He is an experienced designer and is regularly engaged to give evidence on design issues in the Planning & Environment Court.
Nick is currently undertaking his PhD at QUT, focusing on the relationship between urban resilience and emergence.

Nick also lectures in the Masters of Design course at QUT, and is on the Board of the Urban Design Alliance.

Elizabeth Watson Brown LFRAIA

Elizabeth Watson Brown has been Design Director of Architectus since 2011, having directed her own practice for 21 years. Highly regarded for exemplary place responsive and socially responsible design, Elizabeth has been the recipient of many major architectural awards.

Elizabeth is an active participant in architecture and urban design discourse in her many roles beyond practice, as member of the Queensland Board for Urban Places , as Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the University of Queensland, as a Queensland State Awards Director and National Awards juror for the Australian Institute of Architects, as Jury Chair of the Gold Coast Urban Design Awards, and as member of the Brisbane City Council Urban Design Advisory Panel. Elizabeth was the inaugural recipient of the Centre for Subtropical Design travel bursary. Elizabeth’s work has been exhibited at the seminal ‘Place Makers’ exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art and at the Venice Biennale. Elizabeth lectures, teaches, and writes for respected architectural journals.

Elizabeth’s understanding of and design response to the unique particularities of Australia ranges across all the scales from the intimate to the urban and contributes to the nurturing and sustaining of people and place in our subtropical and tropical urban realms.

Shaun Lockyer

Shaun Lockyer is a register Architect who is passionate about design, comfort and lifestyle.

He established his own practice SLA (Shaun Lockyer Architects) in 2010, to focus on modernists architecture that connects people and place. Inherent within each project is a desire to craft memorable, sustainable and efficient design solutions that add value to their inhabitants’ lives.

Outline of Bursary study

Shaun Lockyer travelled to the United States, visiting Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York to review high density living and housing typologies. The topic of his research was “How to achieve more sustainable, high quality high density living in a subtropical environment.”

Given the cultural similarities with Australia in terms of design, lifestyle and landscape, Shaun sort to review a number of successful projects in particular regard to affordability, sustainability and integration. His insights can be found in his Bursary paper.