University of Sydney Handbooks - 2017 Archive

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Research centres and areas of interest - Architectural, History, Theory and Criticism

Architectural History, Theory and Criticism

The group is a collaboration of expert academics, consultants and higher-degree research candidates in the areas of Contemporary Architecture Theory, 20th Century history and theory, Australian architecture, East Asia architecture, European architecture, and Urban history and theory.

For further information contact Professor Andrew Leach (

) or any member of the research group.

Research centres

Ian Buchan Fell Housing Research Centre

Ian Buchan Fell, who died in 1961, left the income from his estate to the University for the promotion and encouragement of education and research on housing. The centre is concerned with the needs of people relative to their housing. These needs are related to the complex interactions between people, their housing and other aspects of the built environment.

Planning Research Centre

The Planning Research Centre's main purpose is to further fundamental research into physical planning and development. It also sponsors seminars in specialised fields, undertakes research and consultancy projects, runs professional development courses and promotes the publication of research material. It has an active membership comprised of members of government and industry.

Areas of research interest

  • twentieth century architectural history
  • contemporary architectural theory
  • Australian architecture
  • East Asian architecture
  • European architecture
  • urban history and theory
  • history and theory of sustainable architecture.

Heritage conservation

  • landscape conservation
  • conservation of render and decorative plasterwork
  • facade retention
  • conservation of 19th and 20th century architecture
  • social and aesthetic values in heritage
  • acknowledging and evaluating the social and aesthetic values of heritage landscapes
  • urban places and their assessment in World Heritage terms.


  • Aboriginal housing
  • student housing
  • owner-building
  • homeless youth
  • high-rise housing for the elderly
  • medium-density housing
  • measurement of local and regional economic impacts
  • regional development and planning
  • computer applications in planning and measuring housing need
  • allocating government resources for low income housing.