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Transformations: Action on Equity

Held in November 2019, Transformations: Action on Equity presented two days of lively, incisive and necessary exchange on gender equity and the built environment professions. Presented through a collaboration between the Melbourne School of Design and Parlour, the symposium brought together an extraordinary group of researchers, professionals and activists who are challenging and changing the way we think about gender in the built environment, and actively creating new futures for these professions and the communities they serve.

Included below are videos of highlights from the event, including presentations from the keynote speakers Sharon Egretta Sutton and Jos Boys. The program was a series of discussions investigating organising at the grassroots, leadership through policy, reshaping the workplace, and rewriting history. It aimed to expand our knowledge through exploratory conversations on topics that intersect with and expand understandings of equity in the built environment.

Photo credit: Peter Bennetts

challenging and changing the way we think about gender in the built environment

keynote speakers

Sharon Egretta Sutton

In her presentation, Sharon Egretta Sutton – a distinguished visiting professor of architecture at Parsons School of Design in New York, and the twelfth African American woman to be licensed to practice architecture, the first to be promoted to full professor of architecture, and the second to be elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects – dares built environment professionals to accomplish an equitable future, not for themselves, but for the society they serve.

107 minutes duration


Jos Boys

Jos Boys – from the Bartlett at University College London and co-founder of The DisOrdinary Architecture Project, which brings disabled artists into architectural education and practice to critically and creatively re-think access and inclusion – explores how everyday social, spatial and material practices come to frame what is ‘normal’ and ‘ordinary’ and questions our assumptions about who gets valued and who doesn’t (in society, in the design of built space and in architecture as a discipline).

100 minutes duration


symposium highlights

Beyond the Binary

Increasing the visibility and representation of diverse gender identities in discussions on equity in the built environment. This is a conversation between Simona Castricum and A.L. Hu that explores the lived experience, theory and practice of non-binary and gender non-conforming identities.

59 minutes duration

Equity in housing

A discussion with Samantha Donnelly and Sophie Dyring looking at how practitioners and researchers can help create more equitable built environments, which welcome and support underrepresented groups and disadvantaged communities.

56 minutes duration

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