A group of Architecture students from 1925
Faculties and schools_

History of the school

Since 1918 the school has led innovative thinking and research

In our future-focused environment we have pioneered many firsts, including launching Australia’s first programs in Architecture, Urban Planning, Architectural Science and Design Computing.

A century of innovation

  • Origins

    1918 The School of Architecture is established, offering the first architecture degree under Leslie Wilkinson as Chair of Architecture.

    1919 An undergraduate Bachelor of Architecture degree commences, with the Faculty of Architecture forming the following year.

    The first Bachelor of Architecture intake is gender balanced, with four women and four men.

    1920 The Faculty of Architecture is established with Professor Leslie Wilkinson as Dean.

  • Middle years (1940s–70s)

    1947 The Department of Town and Country Planning is established (now Urban and Regional Policy and Planning).

    1953 The world's first chair in Architectural Sciences is established under Jack Cowan.

    1959 The first stage of the Wilkinson Building, current home of the school, is completed.

    The second stage opens in 1976, which is a radical departure from the first stage, adopting the Brutalist style.

    1964 The world’s first graduate program in Architectural Science, the Master of Building Science, is offered.

    1970 The first Illumination Design course in Australia commences.

    1974 The Graduate School of Planning is set up, responding to the growing interdisciplinary nature of planning.

    Envisaging a future in which new materials may not be so plentiful, a group of our students builds a self-sufficient or 'autonomous' house on the University campus in Darlington.

    1993 The first Design Computing program in Australia commences.

  • Turn of the century (2000s)

    2006 The faculty is renamed the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning.

    2007 The first professional Master of Architecture in NSW begins.

  • A series of firsts (2009-16)

    2009 Launch of the first Interaction Design and Electronic Arts program in the Asia-Pacific region.

    2012 The faculty launches its IEQ Lab, the only facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere that enables researchers to investigate the principles of energy efficiency in relation to human comfort.

    2013 Initiation of the Architecture Robotics lab with the first symposium on Robots in Architecture.

    2015 Launch of our Homebase architecture studio designed by Bennett and Trimble. The first Master of Urbanism Program in Australia begins.

    Our Architectural Science (High Performance buildings) degree begins.

    The Bachelor of Architecture and Environments begins.

    2016 The faculty hosts the International Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design Conference.

    Fifteen students from the Master of Architecture program exhibit at the Venice Architecture Biennale as part of their studies.

    The faculty is ranked number one in Australia and 17 in the world for Architecture and Built Environment.*

  • 2017

    The faculty is renamed the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, retains its number one position in Australia and moves up to 15 in the world for Architecture and Built Environment in the QS Rankings.
  • 2018

    The school retains the number one position in Australia for the third year running following the release of the QS 2018 Subject Rankings. Our centenary year – the school celebrates 100 years of innovation.
  • 2019

    First female appointed Dean of Architecture, Design and Planning. Professor Robyn Dowling brings an impressive record of academic achievement, leadership, research and teaching into her new appointment of Sydney’s School of Architecture, Design and Planning.