Professor Chris Knapp appointed as Head of The Abedian School of Architecture

March 15, 2019

Internationally-recognised architect, educator, practitioner and researcher, Professor Chris Knapp, will commence at Bond University in May as Head of the Abedian School of Architecture.

Professor Knapp is currently the inaugural Chair of Architecture at Western Sydney University.  In this position he has had responsibility for the development of a new architecture and urban transformation program which included the creation of undergraduate and postgraduate Architecture degrees.

Prior to his appointment at Western Sydney University in 2017, Professor Knapp was previously at Bond University having played a significant role in establishing the architecture program from its inception.  He was a key member of the team that saw the Abedian School’s programs achieve full accreditation by the Queensland Board of Architects.  He also founded the Abedian School’s Architecture Lecture Series, which to this day continues to showcase nationally and internationally acclaimed architects and practitioners.

Professor Knapp said he was excited at the opportunity to advance the Abedian School of Architecture and Bond University into the future.

“The opportunity to lead a program that is so unique in the context of both Australian and international architectural education is exceptional,” he said.

“Bond’s program is highlighted by an innovative and professionally focused curriculum, world-class facilities, a dynamic teaching team and incredibly bright, dedicated students.

“What I am looking forward to, more than anything, is connecting and collaborating with people. At Bond you get to know students incredibly well through an educational dialogue and, due to Bond’s small class sizes and studio-based pedagogy, you are able to help nurture inspirational architectural projects.

“We are keen to see the program grow and attract more community and industry engagement on a global scale.

“There is a big contribution The Abedian School of Architecture can make to the community, and to serve as its Head is a distinct privilege.”

Bond University’s Executive Dean of the Faculty of Society & Design, Professor Derek Carson said he was delighted that Professor Knapp would be joining the Faculty.

“Chris’ vision of a student focused architectural education working in partnership with industry and other cognate disciplines is exciting and perfectly aligned with the Faculty’s translational approach to research and program design,” Professor Carson said.

“The Faculty will undoubtedly benefit from Chris’ student-focused approach, his time spent in practice, and his leadership experience gained at Western Sydney University.”

Patron of the Abedian School of Architecture and Sunland Group Founder, Dr Soheil Abedian said Professor Knapp would play an integral role in the future development of the School.

“Chris is internationally connected and I have no doubt he will take the School of Architecture and make it into one of the best Schools in the world,” Dr Abedian said.

“Chris is young and dynamic, and progressive architecture is at the heart of his educational ethos, as well as the curriculum he created.”

Professor Knapp whose architectural training was at the Universities of Michigan and Princeton began his academic career at the University of Michigan (2001-2004). He was a planning commissioner for the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan (2002-2004) in suburban Detroit, has practised in Australia since 2005 and is a Co-Director of digital fabrication and design practice, Studio Workshop, which is based on the Gold Coast. 

His research, which concerns digital fabrication technologies and their impact upon future modes of architecture and construction practice, has been presented at a number of high-profile international conferences and been published in a range of industry and academic journals, as well as being exhibited in Los Angeles, Kyoto, Singapore, Wellington, and Sydney.

Professor Knapp contributes widely to the development of architectural education and practice in Australia, principally in his role as Treasurer of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia (AASA) since 2014. He serves on various scientific committees including the Association of Computer-Aided Design in Architecture and the International Association for Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design. He has also been a member of the NSW AIA Education and Research Committee since 2017.

Professor Knapp was recognised nationally for innovative curriculum development with an Australian Office of Learning and Teaching Citation, and within Bond University, received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.