David Lindner Prize



This prize aims to inspire graduates and emerging architects through research to engage in important and challenging design issues involving the public realm. Dedicated to encouraging new research on architecture in the public realm, the prize seeks submissions exploring a broad range of topics relevant to current architectural discourse in Australia and internationally. The prize is awarded annually to an individual whose submission generates ideas for solving real challenges facing our cities, and contributes to the profession as well as the broader community.

The prize was established in memory of David Lindner, a talented young Sydney architect who tragically disappeared in Iran in 1993. The Institute would like to thank the Lindner family for their generous support. This prize is run with the support of the NSW Emerging Architect and Graduate Network (EmAGN).

The research outcomes of our 2017 Prize recipient Natalia Krysiak, Hayball Architects – ‘Where do the Children Play? Understanding the environmental factors which contribute to increased play and independent mobility of children in an urban context’ are available here: link to download the report.


2019 David Lindner Prize: Nominations opened on Thursday 23 May and will close Thursday 17 October.

Have a burning research idea you’d like to work on? Is there someone you know who has some great ideas we should hear more about? 

The Prize
Following review by jury panel, a winning proposal will be selected and awarded funding of $5,000 towards carrying out the research. The winner will be announced at the annual NSW Architecture Awards Presentation Night and feature in the related awards publication. An article on the research will be published in the NSW Architecture Bulletin, and feature in a public presentation organised with the Institute’s NSW Chapter. Winning researcher/s may also be paired with a mentor to aid research development with regular progress meetings, and help establish relevant industry contacts if required.

How to enter
Submissions and nominations are both made via an online form.This prize is free to enter. To complete the nomination you will need to provide:

1. Statement addressing key criteria items outlined in the judging criteria (max 2 pages) 

2. Resume (max 3 pages)
3. Written and illustrated proposal (max 1000 words)
4. Research Methodology, including timeline and proposed research outcome by February 2020
5. Two professional references including one from an employer and/or the nominating Institute member
6. A black and white portrait photograph of entrant

(Materials 1 – 5 must be uploaded as a single A4 PDF document not exceeding 5MB)

Entrants must fulfill the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be an Australian Institute of Architects member or be nominated by one
  • Must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Must have graduated from a two-tier or five year Bachelor of Architecture or Masters course undertaken in Australia up to 15 years ago

Juries will judge entries based on the following criteria:

  • Strength of the proposal’s idea
  • Understanding of issues concerning the public realm and urban renewal
  • Understanding of specific challenges in a local context
  • The potential for the proposal to contribute to cultural enrichment
  • Implement ability/viability of the proposal

A minimum of three eligible entries must be received by the closing date or the jury may decide not to award a winner. The jury may chose not to award a winner if they feel the entries received are not of a high standard or do not fulfill the judging criteria. If unsuccessful, submissions can be entered once more for consideration. If unsuccessful after a maximum of two years the submission is not eligible for further consideration. Collaborative groups can apply, however prize funding is restricted to a single submission.  

Each year the prize jury will comprise:

  • The NSW Chapter President or a nominated representative
  • The Program Director for Urban Design or similar position at a NSW architecture school
  • The EmAGN Chair or a nominated representative
  • The Donor or nominated representative of the Lindner Family
  • Other advisers can be invited if the jury requires specialist input.



Natalia Krysiak, Hayball Architects – ‘Where do the Children Play? Understanding the environmental factors which contribute to increased play and independent mobility of children in an urban context’
Increasing density, population growth and housing affordability issues have seen Australian cities move towards a more compact planning approach. High density housing is favoured by developers and city planners for urban singles and ’empty nesters’, resulting in both a direct and perceived exclusion of families with children. The question – where do the children play? – is often neglected in urban planning and design. With the exclusion of children from the compact urban fabric, comes a negligence towards the provision of safe travel paths, neighbourhood play strategies and appropriate apartment designs for families with children. Meanwhile we are experiencing a decline in children’s independent mobility, increasing rates of juvenile mental health issues, behavioural problems and childhood obesity.

Anne Colenbrander – ‘Home is where the heart is: addressing the issue of housing stress for older women’
Housing affordability, gender inequality and the ageing population are key issues facing the public realm in Australia today, and are inextricably linked. Anne Colenbrander’s winning 2016 research project propose alternatives to current affordable housing strategies, with particular reference to the experience of single older women, a group at considerable risk of housing stress but often passed over in public discourse. The research looks at the viability of co-housing as a model for addressing issues not only of affordability and ageing in place.

Anne’s research report can be viewed online here: Home is where the heart is (courtesy of Anne Colenbrander)

Andrew Daly and Kevin Liu, TYP-TOP Architecture – ‘Something Fishy: Sydney’s fish markets & towards a model of a productive hybrid city’

Kevin and Andrew’s research explored hybrid development methodologies sensitive enough to integrate non-residential programs into the densification rationale of the inner-city, focusing on the concepts of authenticity and experience. It took the Sydney Fish Market and wider Bays Precinct area as exemplars of significant historical and industrial sites  under pressure due to increasing land values and prime waterfront locations. 

An article of their research , written by Andrew Daly can be read here: Something Fishy

Ben Wollen – ‘Conflict on the periphery: An investigation into the urban renewal of bushfire ravaged areas’

The 2013 bushfires that devastated the community of Winmalee in the Blue Mountains provided the focus of Ben Wollen’s investigation into the urban renewal that occurs
after a major bushfire event. Wollen undertook primary research to inform his development of a community-focused architectural response to the redevelopment of the area, that could improve its future resilience to the increasing risks of catastrophic bushfire events.

An article on Ben’s research can be viewed in the Summer 2015 edition of Architecture Bulletin (page 28) here

Nathan Etherington – ‘Do not disturb. Toxic Urbanism and the Alexandra Canal’

The future for one of Sydney’s most neglected sites, the Alexandra Canal, was the foundation for Nathan Etherington’s 2013 Do Not Disturb design studio at the University of Sydney, for which he was awarded the inaugural David Lindner Prize in order to research a more sophisticated architectural and urban solution for the area. Nathan’s research analyses the complex area of Sydney surrounding the Alexandra Canal in its present state, in order to suggest possible directions for future development and the role architects might play in this development. 

An article on Nathan’s research can be viewed in the Summer 2014 edition of Architecture Bulletin (page 12) here