Anna Rubbo wins prestigious US award for leadership of Global Studio

18 November 2009

Anna Rubbo, Associate Professor in Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney, received a major architecture award for her international work in disadvantaged urban communities.

The Skandalaris award was presented to A/Professor Rubbo at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and National Council of Art Administrators (NCAA) conference at Washington University in St Louis on November 5.

The award honours individuals who have demonstrated leadership and entrepreneurship in architecture, design and the visual arts, particularly through community-based and/or sustainable practices.

Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton presented the award, which recognises Rubbo's leadership of the international program, Global Studio. To date Global Studio has provided intensive programs and associated conferences in Istanbul (2005), Vancouver (2006) and Johannesburg (2007-09).

Over the past three years Global Studio has worked in Diepsloot, a township on the northern edge of Johannesburg. This year University of Sydney students from Architecture, Planning and Innovation and Enterprise programs participated with their national and international counterparts, bringing practical support, design, planning and business skills to the work of Global Studio.

2009 projects include an arts and culture, community radio and university shopfront centre, public spaces, designs for a bridge crossing over floodplain, as well as the drain and toilets upgrade now being carried out by the Johannesburg Development Agency.

Some of this year's work by Global Studio is on the City of Johannesburg. Films produced by Global Studio include thefilm 'New Mindsets' on YouTube. A new film 'Diep Salute' profiles the talent of Diepsloot's hip hop artists, and their use of the medium to promote community development.

Global Studio grew out of Rubbo's work with the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers, and has been a partnership with Columbia University and the University of Rome.

Global Studio has partnered with local universities and organisations including Istanbul Institute of Technology, Middle East Technical University, University of British Columbia, University of the Witwatersrand, the City of Johannesburg and local government in Diepsloot.

In the five years since it began Global Studio has involved some 500 participants from more than 50 universities and 30 countries(see previous story here).

Global Studio is currently on display at the 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (September 25- January 13).

Contact: Kath Kenny

Phone: 9351 2261 or 0434 606 100

Email: 534f3e073d251c0639263f0f6b03065a6a310c