Rothwell Residents 2022/2023

Dr Michael Zanardo, Rothwell Resident in Architecture and Callantha Brigham, Rothwell Resident in Urban Design, combine practice with a dedication to research and teaching.

These inaugural appointments provide an opportunity for postgraduate students to learn from leading practitioners and gain a deeper insight into professional life, while providing practitioners with time to explore and reflect on their practice and share insights with our students and the School through their program of research. 

Brief teaching highlights from the 2022 Rothwell Resident program:


Dr Michael Zanardo, Rothwell Resident in Architecture

What an Inclusionary Housing Policy Should be – January 2024 

Dr Catherine Gilbert and Dr Michael Zanardo have completed a research report commissioned by peak housing advocacy body Shelter NSW to constructively critique the provisions of the new affordable housing density bonus policy in NSW and to consider more broadly how inclusionary housing policies could be designed going forward to ensure they deliver meaningful public benefit outcomes. The report draws upon international practice and research evidence of the effectiveness of different planning policy design features to make recommendations for how inclusionary housing policies can be implemented and scaled up to deliver more affordable housing.

‘Housing for All: Waterloo — A Better Way’ M.Arch Design Studio – Semester 2, November 2023 

Time-lapse video of the final presentation day for the Masters studio, featuring the group model coming together. The model started as white ‘building envelopes’ and was gradually filled in over the course of the day with the students’ designs. 

Credit – ‘The Guthrie Project’.

‘Housing for All’ Master of Architecture design studio (MARC5010/MARC 5020) – Semester 2, December 2022
  • students explored the design of a speculative new mixed-use affordable housing project for a large Council-owned property in Ultimo with the Deputy Mayor of Sydney acting as ‘client’
  • to introduce the project, students undertook a 16km walking tour around Sydney visiting historical examples of affordable housing which they then researched as case studies
  • the students were then required to masterplan and design their own projects for the site working to the Deputy Mayor’s brief, set within realistic planning parameters
  • after the students’ final design studio presentation, they were invited to exhibit at the Sydney Town Hall, with a much broader audience including Councillors, Council staff, representatives from the NSW Land and Housing Corporation, Government Architects NSW, Shelter NSW and other members of industry

The students’ work was very well-received within the Council and broader forum and demonstrated the value of direct connection between teaching, research, and practice.

Above images: ‘Housing for All’ Master of Architecture – City of Sydney,  final design studio presentation, with Deputy Lord Mayor – Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore


Callantha Brigham – Rothwell Resident in Urban Design

Hidden Practice of Design in Government (ARCH 9085), an intensive elective held in December 2022, taught to a group of architecture and urban design students

  • a series of field trips were undertaken and formed the backbone of the course and assessments. The course coordinators and students met with professionals, listened to case-study presentations, heard reflections on practice and undertook site visits to gain an understanding of the role and impact of designers in government.  
  • case studies were selected based on diverse of social/environment/cultural/economic impact and including
    • Warrick Lanes precinct (Blacktown City Council)
    • Parramatta Park (Greater Sydney Parklands)
    • Warrawong District Library (Wollongong City Council)
    • City North and the redevelopment of the ADPG Block (City of Sydney)
    • Connecting with Country and the Eora Journey (GA NSW and City of Sydney)
    • Riverlink and Levee (Maitland Council)
    • Bathers Way (Newcastle City Council)
    • Parramatta CBD (City of Parramatta Council) and Green Grid / Parramatta Ways / Parramatta Light Rail Offset strategy and Green Tracks (GA NSW, CoPC, TfNSW)

Students learnt how designers within government are helping to set transformative visions, influence delivery processes and advocate for great public outcomes across diverse areas.

This experience was invaluable for the students, as many of them were unaware this type of work existed, and they also had not realised how much of their education had been shaped by a particular view of practice.