Participants from around the world descended on Sydney to be part of the intensive two-week design studio workshop that has become a major annual event on the global architecture calendar.

One of the highlights of the week, from Eco Outdoor’s point of view, was the attendance of what we hope are two architecture stars of the future in the form of University of Sydney student Genevieve Welch-Hammial and University of Newcastle student Derrick Chu.

The masterclass participants workshop featured a design project brief; a project about sensitivity to the site and landscape.

Eco Outdoor has, since its inception, been passionate about nurturing the relationship with the next generation of Australian architects.

In the past, we have provided university students with guided tours of our design showrooms as well as training with our top Business Developer Representatives on our approach to specifying stone and its importance in modern, contemporary architecture.

To continue to foster this relationship, Eco Outdoor ran a competition among universities in NSW, with architecture students Genevieve and Derrick both invited to each observe the Masterclass, viewing at close quarters the calibre of participants’ work, as well as attending attend a presentation by one of the Masterclass tutors.


Derrick revealed his appreciation for one of the Ozetecture Masterclass tutors when asked about which individual within the community he follows for their architectural ability. He said:

I am an admirer of all architects, one in particular is Richard Leplastrier. His philosophy is embedded within his architecture, the way he designs in respects to the land, showcasing a new way of living.

Genevieve, meanwhile, cited Michael Muir, Director, Bachelor of Design in Architecture at University of Sydney as an inspiration.

“As an architect, he designs for the environment and has a strong base in passive design. As a lecturer and unit coordinator he focuses on sustainability and smart design,” she said.

Genevieve added: “The greatest challenge facing architects today is trying to cater to the exponential growth in population and housing needs whilst also creating sustainable and green buildings. Doing this at low economic cost is also a challenge.”


Genevieve and Derrick were able to witness the Masterclass participants workshop, in groups, a design project brief, a project that is about sensitivity to the site and landscape.

Having spent the first week at ‘Riversdale’, the Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre on the beautiful Shoalhaven River south of Sydney, the Masterclass participants accumulated an appreciation of the landscape and its associated challenges.

This included a guided tour of the Boyd Education Centre building by Glenn Murcutt as well as a traditional welcome by Aboriginal Elder Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison. The group walk of the landscape with Uncle Max and Glenn and viewed the context of the new design project.

The proposal for the project was to create, adjacent to the ‘Riversdale’ Education Centre, A Boyd Archive, a place, or places, to store the works of Arthur Boyd held by the Bundanon Trust, to allow for restoration and curation of the collection and to provide a space to hang and display a small selection of Boyd’s works.

It was also proposed to provide modest accommodation for up to eight visiting scholars, lecturers or teachers.


That evening saw Genevieve and Derrick listening as renowned Irish architect and Masterclass tutor Lindsay Johnston, who has previously been Head of School and Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Design at the University of Newcastle, give a lecture on some of his best-known works.

Irish architect and Masterclass tutor Lindsay Johnston gives a lecture on some of his best-known works.

Participants listened intently as Lindsay spoke of the considerations around materiality, lighting, heat and water storage for the Four Horizons Lodges in the Watagan Mountains National Park, New South Wales, amongst others in a talk that captivated the room.

As Derrick noted: “There was a great atmosphere and energy from your showroom and, to top off the night, a great lecture from Lindsay. I found the tour both informative and insightful about the products which make up our architectural work.”