Think Outside with Shane Thompson

In the lead-up to Think Outside: Identity + Economy, November 5, we spoke to our event facilitator and moderator, Shane Thompson who is a prominent Australian architect and Principal of Shane Thompson Architects, a studio he established after 24 years as a Principal of BVN Architecture, where he was instrumental in their growth as a major national practice and their emerging international reputation.

Shane’s work—from beautiful houses to major urban developments—is well-known for its sensitivity to place and a particular interest in materials and building practices.  He leads a talented team of architects in his Brisbane studio where their work includes a broad range of public, residential, commercial and urban design projects. Shane works closely with his clients to achieve design outcomes that are sensitive to the environment and also maximise the commercial value of the project.

Shane was responsible for some of the region’s most successful and innovative design projects, including Lavarack Barracks Redevelopment Living in Accommodation, University of the Sunshine Coast Faculty of Arts, Flow Apartments and the University of the Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre. He has received over 100 awards, and a monograph on his work, “Making a Sub-tropical Architecture”, was published by L’Arca Edizioni in 2003. He has also received international publication and exhibition, and is a regular conference speaker.

Shane has also been appointed to a number of environment, industry and arts boards. He is the current President of the Australian Institute of Architecture (AIA), Queensland Chapter; an AIA National Councillor and was a Creative Director of the 2012 National Architecture Conference.

Shane has a passionate interest in the arts, which influences his work as an architect. He has a significant collection of contemporary art and enjoys collaborating with artists, actors and designers.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

I’m not sure that there is such a thing as a typical day. However it will almost certainly include studio time on design and design review, attending to email, client meetings and site visits.

What can attendees to the Think Outside lecture expect to hear?

Hopefully new and stimulating ideas and inspiring experiences.

Where do you go to get inspiration?

Everywhere really, from the shape of a rock, a great view, to the people with whom I work.

What are your top 5 favourite design books?

The next 5 I’ll buy!

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

God knows!

What has been your greatest achievement?

I’m still practicing as an architect.

What is one piece of advice you wish you had received when you were first starting out in your profession?

Develop your people skills!

What inspires your work? 

My own personal experiences.

What principles inform your work?

Maintain your integrity.

Do you have any tips for getting your ideas of the ground?

Listen to others, be tenacious and courteous.

What role do you think design can play in addressing 21st century problems/challenges that are typically considered outside of the realm of design?

Good design can make a contribution in any situation.

Who is your double doppelgänger?

That’s a hard one, maybe Curly from the 3 Stooges!

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