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2014 UQ Architecture lecture series–Chris Knapp

By Administrator | 5 April 2014

The 2014 UQ Architecture lecture series is here! This Tuesday 8 April will feature Mathew Aitchison from UQ and Chris Knapp for Bond University.

To get your warmed up for Tuesday night, we asked Chris a few questions about what you can expect to hear from their lecture, what inspires him and who his double doppelgänger is…

What does a typical day look like for you?

Book-ended by spending time with my family, a typical day includes coordinating and teaching my subjects in design, technology, and materials research in the Masters program at the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University. A typical day would also include a meeting or two related to my role as program Discipline Leader – working on the curriculum development, putting out fires, etc, and on less typical days, I attend to my private architectural practice and my PhD studies through RMIT.


What can attendees to your UQ Architecture lecture expect to hear?

Guests to the lecture can expect to hear someone who is passionate about stimulating evolution in the discipline of architecture.


Where do you go to get design inspiration?

I am very interested in both local and global discussion around all things architectural. I spend a great deal of time paying attention to journals and interactive media from both educational and professional platforms. I draw inspiration from other disciplines, or phenomena, that are spatial, visual, and/or organizational – from an interest in natural systems like geomorphology, to free-form jazz composition, or a technological artifact like the LHC. I also love a beautifully made book – the real thing in my hands – no ebook or website can top that.

What are your top 5 favourite design books?

Massive Change by Bruce Mau/Institute without Boundaries

SMLXL by Rem Koolhas

Instrumental Form (Boss Architecture: words, buildings, machines) by Wes Jones

Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte

The Atlas of Novel Tectonics by Reiser + Umemoto

If you weren’t a designer, what would you do?

Everything is a design opportunity, even teaching – which is what I do when I’m not “designing.” That said, in an alternate life playing ice hockey professionally would be a dream, even if unattainable with my level of skill.


What has been your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement has been almost 10 years in the making: it has been a steady transition from arriving in Australia with just a backpack-full of tools to build a Wilkinson-award winning house (the BURST*003 House designed by systemarchitects – itself one of my proudest achievements), to ultimately establishing a richly intense life here with my Australian wife and two daughters that has included forging a new school of architecture, building up a design practice, and become an Australian citizen.

Outside of design, what inspires your work?

Who is your double doppelgänger?

In terms of appearance, I’ve been told I look like the Natural Born Killers version of Woody Harrelson (although surely not that fit), and intellectually speaking, I would combine that with one of my favourite architect/thinkers, the former Dean of Princeton, Stan Allen (although I’m certainly nowhere near as intelligent).


As a bonus both Chris and co-presenter for next week's UQ Architecture lecture Mathew Aitchison gave us their recommended reading for their lecture–'Prefab: a potted history'...

Chris Knapp

The MoMA book on prefab housing

Kieran Timberlake’s “Refabricating Architecture” is also key

Greg Lynn’s “Animate Form

And this one, Bob Sheil’s “Manufacturing the Bespoke

Mathew Aitchison

Home Deliver:Fabricating the Modern Dwelling by Barry Bergdoll, Peter Christensen, Ron Broadhurst, and Museum of Modern Art

Prefab Houses by Arnt Cobbers, Oliver Jahn, and Peter Gössel (eds.)

The Prefabricated Home by Colin Davies

The Dream of the Factory-Made House: Walter Gropius and Konrad Wachsmann by Gilbert Herbert

Refabricating Architecture: How Manufacturing Methodologies Are Poised to Transform Building Construction by Stephen Kieren and James Timberlake

Portable Architecture: Design and Technology by Robert Kronenburg

Prefab Architecture by Loft Publications, (eds.)

Prefab Prototypes: Site-Specific Design for Offsite Construction by Mark Anderson and Peter Anderson

The Prefabrication of Houses by Burnham Kelly


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