Architect Teacher Trainer (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) 2007-8 / Life in The Urban Landscape (Gothenburg) 2005 / Stirling Memorial Lecture (commended) Challenging the street: politics and architecture in urban design of streets (pdf abstract) 2004 / Architects For Peace (pdf poster) 2003-2009 / Streetnotes: Diary of a Sandwichman 2003 / Bad Subjects : Street Protest Architecture; Dissent Space in Australia (pdf) 2004 / Nomadology in Architecture (dissertation; research), University of Adelaide 2002 / One Thing in Common (poster design by Clare Hill) exhibited at UIA Conference Berlin, 2002 / Cowan and Gomes Art Collaborations 1993-1999 / Spatial Imagination in Design (AHRB/EPSRC "Design for the 21st Century" Research Cluster) / Merge a hybrid art/architecture collaboration 1998 / Big Picture Festival of Perth 1998 / Into PICA Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts
Research Profile Community of Science
Architect Teacher Trainer (staff development) Construction Technology College, Ulaanbaatar. 2007-8 / Visiting Lecturer, School of Architecture and Landscape, University of Kingston Upon Thames 2003-5 / Tutor-course writer, Architecture and
Culture in London - Worker's Educational Association, Ilford 2004-5 / Design Studio (all levels), Architectural Communications Professional Studies Department of Architecture : Curtin University of Technology 1992-2006 / University of Western Australia Studio Master Level One 1992
Architectural Practice
Independent and Consulting Practice, 1992-2000 / Atelier Hermann Czech, Vienna 1991-2 / Architekturbuero Szyzkowitz - Kowalski, Graz 1989-91 / Building Management Authority of Western Australia, Architects Branch 1988-9
Architects' Accreditation Council of Australia / Australian Institute of Architects, BEE: Built Environment Education 1997-2003 / BEE: Built Environment Education Chair, Western Australia 1998-1999 / Curtin University, Division of Humanities, Equal Opportunity Committee 1995-2003 / Student and Academic Mentoring 1992-2003 / Curtin Volunteers 1994-2003 / Curtin Environment Action Team 1994-2003 / Refugee Rights Actions Network 1999-2003
Sambanistas 2003 Rhythms of Resistance 2004 London School of Samba 2004-2009.

Gregory Cowan B.Arch.(hons) Curtin, M.Arch.(research) Adelaide; architect (W.Aust), RIBA, VSO
t +44 7906 037 782

Varsity Line at Brookes

Yesterday, visiting at Oxford Brookes with Philip Richards, of Alsop, I joined a critique of 2nd and 3rd year architecture students projects, at the invitation of studio leader, Amanda Marshall. The students had designed portable 'living pods' along the 'Varsity Line' between Oxford and Cambridge. Students had developed fictitious client profiles of professors, including an alcoholic Ancient History expert and a Mad Max aficionado cum Holistic Health expert. One project related to my work with the MWFA, one to Tao, and another needed to research Labanotation. As might be expected, the the plans and sections drawn to date showed less potential, in general, than the conceptual drawings and models shown.


I was delighted to be featured on Walt Balenovic's page, 'Travels in a Blue Chair', helping me to join up some new contacts in the Tour Watch travel forum and the work of Scott Rains of the Rolling Rains Report. It also coincided with an inspiring message I received from Judith Killen, Perth-based life vision coach, whom I met on a train last month.

Via Tour Watch, I was approached about assisting with accessibility conversion in Coventry with a company called Enabled by Design. I had just finished a piece on Mongolia for AA News, and yesterday was asked to write about popular architecture in Ulaanbaatar for the Swedish Journal RUM.

education cf practice

Talking to my colleague Khoa Do a few days ago, I was reminded of a commonplace point of tension between practitioners and educators in architecture schools. The former are keen to see 'ready' workers graduating, but the latter feel there is insufficient practitioner involvement in the development of courses. Khoa, a lecturer at Curtin University (Perth), who was once also a student of mine, recently ran a conference at Ho Chi Min City Architecture School in Vietnam about Urban Housing there, his specialty. However Robert Winter, another Australian architect attending, did not agree on a learing and teaching balance - between experimental design experience, capacity to work autonomously, and well rounded architectural 'competencies'.

Ho Chi Min City Architecture School seems to be looking for ways to continually develop its curriculum, but has been Beaux Arts based, and is focussing on US architectural education models, as used in Hanoi. It will be interesting to see which way it develops there, but I felt more reassured by the Chilean and Argentinian Schools' approach to balancing the architecture curriculum.

architecture and politics

In my recent work in architectural education in Concepcion, Santiago and Buenos Aires, I was interested in staff and students' experience working between disciplines of architecture and urbanism; particularly with participation, informal settlements, and community building through design. Later, in a discussion following a piece on politics and the role of the architect on archinect, I picked up a thread with a colleague from AFP about architecture and politics and non-European traditions :
"In recognition of the fact that (the) architectural is political, Architects for Peace ( was born as an organisation (Jan, 2003). It started before the bombing of Iraq, when most of the architectural professional organisations and institutions remained silent at the prospect of the destruction of cities, civilization, heritage, architecture, ecology... and more importantly people's lives."

more here

architectural education, America Latina

I recently did some work with the architecture schools at three universities in Chile and Argentina through schools in Concepcion, Santiago and Buenos Aires, and met many of the teachers and students. Teaching staff and students I met had developed experience working between disciplines of architecture and urbanism. Many seemed particularly interested in engaging with issues of participation, informal settlement, and community building with design.

Nomadologist: architect teacher trainer in Ulaanbaatar

Sarah Bassett (reader and correspondent) writes of the work;

"I first came across the blog Nomadologist, authored by Gregory Cowan, by means of a
google search. I had been researching for nearly an hour and, to my utter delight, I had
happened upon one of the very few sources that spoke directly to my interest in
Mongolia's semi-urban ger districts. I had been applying for a Fulbright Scholarship to
Mongolia and was enthralled to read a detailed account of an 'architect, teacher, and
trainer' living and working in Ulaanbaatar at a Construction College. After reading
almost a year's worth of entries, I contacted Mr. Cowan, who has continued to be nothing but
helpful since our first email exchange. The content of the blog has not only aided me in
my exploration and understanding of an unfamiliar land, but it is also pertinent to major
issues in Mongolia. Mr. Cowan is unbelievably helpful and passionate about the work he
does and is an incredible resource of knowledge, without his help, I truly do not believe I
would have made it through finishing my Fulbright application."