Architecture, Urban Anxiety and Cultural Divergence

Architecture, Urban Anxiety and Cultural Divergence

Architecture, Urban Anxiety and Cultural Divergence

1 Formal CPD Point

Available on demand


Urban anxieties and cultural differences are examined through the microcosm of an Alice Springs architectural practice. Alice Springs has a suburban fringe but this is not where its edges lie. Knives, exit plans, a swamp and a science fiction posed paradigm offer insight and a framework for review of recent public and commercial projects from the SDA team, in particular the CBD Revitalisation, an urban renewal project.


This presentation is equivalent to 1 hour/point of formal CPD and will deliver outcomes related to the following Competency/s from the National Standard of Competency for Architects:

2015 Competencies:

Design: Pre-Design

2.2 Application of principles controlling planning, development and design for the project site.
2.6 Preparation and analysis of project development options in response to project brief.

Design: Conceptual Design
3.3 Design response incorporates assessment of the physical location and relevant wider regional, contextual and environmental issues

Design: Schematic Design
4.2 Evaluation of design options against values of physical, environmental and cultural contexts. 

2021  Competencies:

Practice Management and Professional Conduct:
PC 3 Apply principles of project planning, considering implications for Country, environmental sustainability, communities, stakeholders and project costs. 

Project Initiation and Conceptual Design:
PC 26 Be able to undertake site, cultural and contextual analysis as part of preliminary design research. 
PC 29 Be able to develop and evaluate design options in terms of the heritage, cultural and community values embodied in the site, and in relation to project requirements.  
PC 30 Be able to explore options for siting a project, including integrating information and analysis of relevant cultural, social and economic factors. " 

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this session participants should be able to:

  • Explain why edges are not just physical boundaries
  • Describe how the public realm can be occupied simultaneously by different “towns”
  • Describe the underlying issues of culture and permanent transient communities addressed by Sue Dugdale
  • Discuss the role of architecture in shaping urban boarder zones.




    Director, Susan Dugdale and Associates

    Sue Dugdale grew up in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Britain. She studied architecture at Queensland University and RMIT and worked in several practices in Melbourne before relocating to Alice Springs in 1994 where she now lives.

    Six years working with the Aboriginal-owned architectural practice Tangentyere Design gave Sue an appreciation of the unique cultural depth and climatic context of central Australia. Through her own practice started in 2000, Susan Dugdale and Associates, Sue pursues a personal passion for exploring and giving form to the cultural narrative and environment of the region. Sue has produced a body of work whose influence is notable in the fabric of Alice Springs and beyond. The work of her practice has won numerous awards, and was featured in the 2014 Venice Biennale.






    Non Member


    SONA Member



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