The Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC) is an interdisciplinary hub for excellence in Urban Design research and education. Situated in the heart of a rapidly changing city, in a nation with the world’s most urbanized population linked to the dynamic Asian region, the AUDRC is well placed to serve as a nerve centre for contemporary discourse on the city.
The AUDRC’s inner-city studio and gallery offers a 24/7 hot-house atmosphere for creative thinking, design speculation and methodical inquiry into the innovative design of urban environments. The Centre is comprised of students from all over the world and offers a personalized, atelier-style education tailored to suit individual career paths.
The Centre’s primary focus is on educating graduates who will go on to work professionally as urban designers. Typically AUDRC students are expanding and building upon backgrounds in related fields such as architecture, landscape architecture and planning. The Centre is selective and applicants must demonstrate both a willingness and a capacity to engage in creative design and research.
The Centre offers a flexible course structure consisting of a one semester Graduate Certificate in Urban Design, a one year Graduate Diploma in Urban Design and a two year Master of Urban Design. The Centre also has an active PhD program. The first year of the 2-year Masters program is comprised of subjects necessary to acquiring a holistic understanding of contemporary urban issues, and prepares students for a second and final year of supervised creative research. During the second year students can elect to apply for entry into the PhD program.
The AUDRC is developing two major research streams. The first: ‘High Performance Public Open Space’ concerns the ways in which the public realm can improve both the livability and the sustainability of our cities. The second: ‘Developing the Polycentric City’ concerns ways in which we can transform mono-centric and car-dependent cities into more diverse networks. Both these streams concern the immanent densification of Australian cities in relation to infrastructure, ecosystem services, public health, productivity and livability.
The AUDRC also offers consultancy services in relation to all aspects of Urban Design.
The Centre is supported by the University of Western Australia and the Department of Planning and directed by Winthrop Professor Simon Anderson. The Centre has two permanent teaching staff, Dr Julian Bolleter (BLarch, PhD UWA) and Dr Anthony Duckworth Smith (BEng, BArch PhD UWA) and a dedicated team of part-time staff and professional guest lecturers. The Graduate Program Coordinator of the Centre is Jill Penter.