DesignBUILD 2017 kicks off today in Sydney, with a program tailored to addressing contemporary issues and trends in design, construction and planning.

Held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney, the tradeshow’s program consists of a combination of keynote presentations, panel discussions, practical workshops, product exhibitors, and behind-the-scenes tours.

This year’s event is collaborating and audience-sharing with the Australian Institute of Architects’ (AIA) National Conference and the Planning Institute of Australia’s (PIA) Planning Congress. Audiences will be able to move around the three conferences.

DesignBUILD will run from 3 to 5 May.

Below is a summary of the 2017 program highlights:


PIA's 2017 Planning Congress will run alongside DesignBUILD. Image: DesignBUILD

DesignBUILD has this year found a housemate, co-locating with the AIA’s 2017 National Conference, Praxis. All conference delegates will receive free access to DesignBUILD, meaning attendees not only have access to leading design thinkers but also access to 700+ architecture products on the DesignBUILD show floor. The conference will run between 4 and 6 May at ICC Sydney.

PIA’s 2017 Planning Congress will also run alongside DesignBUILD. Conference delegates will be able to move freely between both events, bringing these two communities closer together for the first time. The Planning Congress starts today and will run until 5 May.


speaker-series-designbuild-2017-sydney-icc-australia_dezeen_2364_col_10-852x568.jpgImage: DesignBUILD

With the help of their content partners at Hassell + Populous (responsible for the design of ICC Sydney), DesignBUILD has ensured an extensive speaker series to cater to people in the architecture, building, construction and design industries.

Leading professionals will discuss new products, policy and applications that you need to know to keep ahead of the game. Sessions include ‘Buildings that breathe’ (3 May), ‘Realising the potential for mid-rise timber buildings’ (3 May), ‘Iterative design processes in architecture’ (4 May), and ‘Hassell + Populous presents: ICC Sydney, collaboration + design at its best’ (5 May).

One particular highlight will be the Australian Construction and Industry Forum’s (ACIF) annual breakfast forecast. On May 4, ACIF will launch the May 2017 ACIF Forecasts for the building and construction industry, outlining the prospects and challenges ahead for residential building, commercial building and engineering construction sectors for the next 10 years.


A wall that drives itself with Tesla technology is one of 10 products that will be exhibited as part of DesignBUILD Incubator. Image: Eness

Returning this year is DesignBUILD Incubator. This session provides an opportunity for 10 emerging businesses to present their new, cutting-edge products and ideas directly to industry through a dedicated commercial platform. Some of the products launching this year include a formulation of industrial carbon and graphite particles that produces heat when provided with a low charge, and a wall that drives itself with Tesla technology.

In addition to Incubator, over 300 exhibitors, suppliers and manufacturers will present over four different sectors: landscape and outdoor, structural and materials, interior fixtures and finishes, and smart building technology. Among these are a ventilated passive roof system from Evo Building Products that reduces heat transfer through the roof and ceiling space, and a thermally-modified wood product from Smartdeck that is available in cladding, decking and screening profiles.


ICC-Populous-Guy-Wilkinson-Photography_Intl-Convention-Centre-1.jpgPhotography by Guy Wilkinson

Guided tours of ICC Sydney will give visitors access to selected back of house facilities across the venue’s three building.