Professor Leon van Schaik, Innovation Professor of Architecture at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, promotes local and international architectural culture. His research focuses on creating and sustaining innovative communities of practice. His practice-based research programme for architects and designers has become a ground breaking innovation in architectural educa- tion worldwide and an important template for research institutions. This approach considers innovative architectural practice as research in of itself, and has far-reaching consequences for how we view architectural practice in an academic context. Van Schaik was awarded the inaugural Neville Quarry Prize for Archi- tectural Education and has been recognised an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his services to both architecture and education. His most recent book, Practical Poetics in Architecture, was published by Wiley in April 2015.

At the Open Lecture Series internationally renowned architects, artists, theoreticians, critics and urbanists from all around the globe give talks to offer fresh perspectives on architecture, design, urban development and critical thought. The lectures are open to everyone interested in the future of our living environment.