David Lindner Prize

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).

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? 

2020 David Lindner Prize Nominations were open from Thursday 21 May to Thursday 9 July (11.55pm).

The research outcomes of our 2018 Prize recipient Jamileh Jahangiri, Cox Architecture – ‘Defensible Schools – Investigating alternative methods of achieving a secure environment in schools’ are available here: link to download the report.

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.

The Prize
Following review by jury panel, a winning proposal will be selected and awarded funding of $5,000 towards carrying out the research. 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
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 10MB)

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.


Hannah Slater, Senior Development Manager at Infrastructure NSW – Alone together: addressing urban isolation in Australian cities

Australian cities are experiencing compounding urbanisation and population growth. Government plans are focused on issues of land use planning, infrastructure delivery, and transport mobility to accommodate growth but the intangible ‘social city’ and public realm are all too often neglected. Despite city dwellers being physically closer than ever, they are feeling increasingly disconnected from their neighbours and communities. Loneliness and urban isolation are on the rise and finding authentic connections in our cities is increasingly difficult.
This research aims to examine the role of the built environment in addressing urban isolation, specifically in Sydney.

Jamileh Jahangiri, Cox Architecture – Defensible Schools
Investigating alternative methods of achieving a secure environment in schools

Increased prevalence of safety and security issues in public spaces changed the face of school boundaries in the last couple of decades in Australia. Currently, the use of the typical steel palisade is almost the only option for the architects and designers. No matter if the site is located in the middle of Sydney CBD or in a quiet suburb of Victoria, the fences have no sense of place to the school surrounding and the neighbourhood. These fences, far away from being sustainable and connected to their own context, act as a barrier of movement and disconnect the building and users from their environment. This proposal aims to research the characteristic of a safe school and potential passive security design options for replacing the standardised approach for securing school boundaries. The role of architects in providing safety through design indicates the need of research and our input in this matter. The result will help architects and designers to demonstrate the alternative ways to secure the schools and more importantly help our community and future generation in connecting to their surrounding environment. For doing this, in the first phase of the project, the safety measures in schools as well as the role of the design in creating a safe environment through psychology study of human behavior and territoriality architecture will be identified. Then the research will
continue with a review on case studies in successful correspondences in crime prevention and passive security design around the world. After categorizing the research findings, in the final phase, by focusing on finding the design methods from the earlier phases, the possible alternative methods of achieving secure environment in schools will be proposed.

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


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