TUDLab Opening Day – 20th October 2017

This is a very exciting week at JCU. A week where our Tropical Urbanism and Design Lab (TUDLab) will come to life. Our beautiful website is already online, so make sure you check it out here.

The opening event will happen on Friday 20th October from 8.30am to 4.30pm. We will have two keynote speakers Charles R Wolfe, author of Seeing the Better City, and Richard Briggs, architect and artist member of the Urban Sketchers (both bios below). The event will have an opening note from our College Dean Marcus Lane, then introductions to the Lab and some of our current projects, and then Charles and Richard’s presentations. After that we will have lunch and head to town for a masterclass based upon a city walk and urban diaries using photography and sketches. The full program is available here.


Here is a little bit about our stellar speakers:

Charles R Wolfe provides a unique, broad-based perspective about cities as an urbanist writer, Seattle-based land use attorney, photographer, and affiliate associate professor.

He recently founded Seeing Better Cities Group (SBC) to improve the conversation around how cities grow and evolve both nationally and across the world. He helps developers and municipalities with policy-related issues and community involvement strategies, shares his insights and expertise as a dynamic speaker, and leads explorations of urban spaces impacted by rapid change and growth.

Chuck is the author of two books, Seeing the Better City (2017) and Urbanism Without Effort (2013), which serve as the foundation of his work at SBC. He has contributed regularly to: Planetizen, CityLab/The Atlantic Cities, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, Grist,, and his blog, Chuck is also an Affiliate Associate Professor in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington, where he teaches land use law at a graduate level. This November and December, he will serve as a visiting affiliate faculty researcher at KTH University and its Centre for Future of Places in Stockholm.


Richard Briggs is a practising artist and UK registered architect based in Sydney. After graduating from the Manchester School of Architecture in 1999, Richard worked for architects such as SOM in London, and SJB in Sydney before forming his own design practice in 2010. Working on a mixture of small scale residential and art projects, he also teaches design at University of New South Wales in Sydney. Richard’s artworks and drawings encourage a different way of looking at our built environment. He looks at how we can describe our cities, streets and laneways, by filtering what we see to produce focused sketches which can portray a strong social, political or environmental message. Using this approach, he has completed several large-scale murals for clients such as DEXUS Property Group, Lend Lease and Sydney councils. Richard is also part of urban sketchers (USK) a worldwide organisation which encourages sketching in the street, and ran workshops and lectures at the 2016 USK Symposium in Manchester, England. As a past director of Emergency Architects Australia (EAA), Richard also has a strong interest in social and community based projects. He has worked on projects in Timor-Leste and spent a year working in the field as part of a rehabilitation and reconstruction program for over 100 schools in the Solomon Islands. This grassroots experience focused on the construction of a prototype school, which won the International category at the 2010 Australian Timber Design awards and the World Architecture Community award in 2011. This varied range of experience enables Richard to cross the boundaries between, architecture, art and community based design, with collaboration being a key driver in how projects and ideas are realised.

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