Carey Lyon, one of the founding directors of the well-known Australian design practice “Lyons”, recently presented a lecture to RMIT staff, students and industry on the design thinking behind the Swanston Academic Building.
Adjunct Professor Lyon discussed the development of the design for the building and showed how it reinforced RMIT’s unique positioning in the city, with stunning views from each student portal.
He also discussed how the urban environment can be used to create diverse spaces for both learning and research activities within the concept of a ‘vertical campus’ which position students at the very centre of the learning experience.
Associate Professor Vivian Mitsogianni, who convened the lecture, said the SAB (RMIT Building 80) anticipated future learning practices.
“The building is highly innovative in the context of the design of university learning environments internationally,” Associate Professor Mistogianni said.
“Lyons understands that the university building is a part of the city and sought to weave the city through the building.
“They also have a deep understanding of the importance of social spaces on campus in assisting learning and have sought to adopt spatial models which assist interaction amongst students and that assist to make learning visible.”
The event was hosted by the RMIT Design Research Institute’s Future Fabric of Cities Flagship as part of its WORK/LEARN research project, along with the RMIT School of Architecture and Design, where Carey Lyon is an Adjunct Professor.
The work of acclaimed design practice Lyons was recognised in 2000 with the Victorian Architecture Medal.
Lyons has also represented Australia at the Venice Architecture Biennale on multiple occasions.
Lyons work has been extensively published in a range of national and international publications including the Phaidon World Atlas of Contemporary Architecture and the recent Modern Architecture A-Z by Taschen.
In 2012, a major monograph of the practice’s work was published by Thames and Hudson called More – The Architecture of Lyons 1996 – 2011.