Architect and design academic professor Helen Lochhead is set to bring her experience in planning, urban and landscape design to her new role as Australian Institute of Architects’ (AIA) national president.  

‘This city-changing growth is an opportunity for architects to improve and transform our urban landscapes and make them better places for people to live and work,’ says Lochhead.

“Architects have the professional expertise to shape public spaces and improve people’s lives as urban areas develop.”

“We don’t have to choose between growth or lifestyle. With the right planning and design in place, Australians cities can maintain and even enhance their status among the most liveable in the world,” she says.

Professor Lochhead will be inaugurated as the 80th national president at the Institute’s annual general meeting on 14 May.  

She has been instrumental in shaping the urban realm of Sydney, as a designer, policy maker and project lead on a broad range of major public projects, including a five-year improvements program for the City of Sydney in the lead up to the 2000 Olympics, and the reshaping of Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush Bay into a mixed-use precinct after the Games.

Professor Lochhead also thanked outgoing national president Clare Cousins for her commitment to architecture and the Australian community.

“Clare Cousins’ dedication and advocacy on behalf of the architecture profession and the broader public has been impressive and tireless, and we thank her for her commitment to affordable housing, building safety and the importance of good design, which has helped maintain the spotlight on these critical issues.”

The AGM will also welcome Queensland-based architect and history and heritage expert Alice Hampson as national president-elect for 2020/2021.