The Theme for the LSAA 2020 Conference is Re - NEW, Re - IMAGINE, Re - CREATE


Our history is littered with examples of humanity ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ – building from the past to reach greater heights in the future. And where we have informed today with yesterday, be it in architecture, engineering, science, literature or beyond – we have built a brighter tomorrow.

There is an innate paradox in basing concepts of the future on a study of the past. We often expect history to be a record in stone – kept away in dusty tomes. But far from inanimate facts, these present the answers to the secrets of prophecy – today’s legacy is found in yesterday’s record. An inherent characteristic of design is its innate concern with the future.  A designer working on projects today creates the tangible daily reality of tomorrow.

Over two days in September 2020 in Melbourne, we will explore this with respect to architecture and engineering in lightweight structures. The conference will look in depth at how we can harness the vast volume of past and present works in lightweight structure and how they can be reimagined and recreated for the future.

Whilst creating the 2019 M Pavilion in Melbourne, Glenn Murcutt was struck that the past and present were coalescing.  He found himself travelling across time and space to a trip 30 years ago exploring the ancient city of Yaxchilan (Mexico) – to a simple meal on a tablecloth laid upon the jungle floor underneath the shade of an aircraft wing.  The pavilion he was drawing became the wing; the platform his table cloth; the Queen Victoria gardens his rambling forest floor. But instead of looking at the ruins of civilisation, he saw a panorama of modern Melbourne amidst the Yarra. And his new and wonderful discovery: a serene sense of place overlooking the river.

We also celebrate the Bauhaus Centenary in 2019 – the single most influential modernist art school of the 20th century.  The impact of the Bauhaus movement in lightweight structures re-united creativity and manufacturing.  The reconceptualization of the artistic process as more akin to a research science than an arts subject is very evident in lightweight structures.

Against the ever-changing surrounds of vibrant Melbourne, this conference will take you on a journey back to once-revolutionary ideas, and equip you with them to shape new design frontiers as we venture forth into the future.  After an unparalleled line-up of industry leaders delivering world-class workshops and presentations, delegates will leave revitalised by the promises of the past to chase the beckoning call of the future.

It is now confirmed that the LSAA 2020 Conference and Design Awards will be held in Melbourne at Swinburne (Hawthorn, Melbourne) from September 17-18 2020.

Theme: Re - NEW, Re - IMAGINE, Re - CREATE

It is anticipated that further details about the Conference Dates, Venue details, Theme, Sponsorship Packages, Bookings and Keynote Speakers will become available October / November 2019.

We are also holding a pre-conference Workshop (September 16 2019) dealing with Membrane Structures. The Venue location will in in the same area as the Conference (TBC). We are conducting the workshop in conjunction with the Specialised Textiles Association (STA - see )

For the Industry respected Design Awards, structures completed since October 2018 will be considered.

You can download a draft of the RULES and ENTRY FORMS for the 2020 Awards

At the very successful 2019 IASS Conference on Form and Force held at Barcelona in October 2019, several structural forms were Re-Viewed, Re-Imagined and Re-Created by some talented students.

The IASS has been in existence for 60 years starting off being concerned with shell and spatial structures. Initially the emphasis was on concrete shells and spaceframes but over time has embraced the same range of structures that our own LSAA encourages. So membranes, cablenets, gridshells, inflatables are now included made possible by advances in new materials and design tools and computer software.

But, as the late Frei Otto knew, there is nothing that provokes inspiration more that a realistic physical structure.

The following images certainly support the LSAA 2020 Conference Theme of Re-View, Re-Imagine and Re-Create.