ADAnow 2022

A look inside our powerhouse of creativity and collaboration.

Collage of buildings and other images.

About ADAnow

ADAnow 2022 is an opportunity to celebrate the creativity, collaboration and work of the staff, students and alumni of UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture.

Returning in its second year, ADAnow boasts a huge month-long program of events, videos, podcasts, music, stories, exhibitions and more. Navigate through the site to attend an event – online or in person – watch, listen, read or learn.


Held 3 September, 11am, UNSW Kensington

UNSW Open Day | Design Your Life: Work on What You Love with Bruce Mau

Bruce Mau, visionary Canadian designer, author and co-founder of Chicago-based holistic design collective Massive Change Network joins UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture for Open Day 2022.

Bruce Mau is a brilliantly creative optimist whose love of thorny problems led him to create a methodology for life-centred design. Across forty years of design practice, he’s collaborated with global brands, academic institutions, leading cultural organisations, heads of state, renowned architects, and fellow optimists on a broad spectrum of projects. Bruce is in residence with UNSW for the month of September with his work and life partner, Bisi Williams, to launch Massive Action Sydney, their latest project, in collaboration with ADA’s Innovation Hub. 

Mau explored the MC24 principle ‘Work on what you love’ in an engaging keynote at UNSW’s Mathews Theatre A as part of UNSW Open Day on Saturday 3 September. 

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5 - 11 September

Social Sciences Week

Now in its fifth year, Social Sciences Week is a series of events held across Australia during the second week of September. Offering insights into the impact of the social sciences on our lives, this initiative was established to introduce social sciences to the wider public and discuss social and political change and the potential such change promises for our daily lives. 

UNSW's School of Social Sciences is participating again this year, hosting a collection of online and hybrid events.

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Held 5 September, UNSW Kensington

UNSW ADA is partnering with designers Bruce Mau and Aiyemobisi (Bisi) Williams and their Massive Change Network on a collaborative project titled Massive Action Sydney to translate their 24 Massive Change principles (MC24) into a toolkit for creating Massive Action.

In this presentation you will meet Bruce and Bisi as they introduce us to the Massive Change Network methodology for life-centered design. They will also discuss their vision for this exciting collaboration with the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture – Massive Action Sydney.

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7 September, 6:30pm, Roundhouse

UNSOMNIA: What comes next? | Humanities

The 21st century has been plagued with one crisis after another - how do we equip ourselves for what's around the corner?

To forge our path through this uncertainty, hear from five UNSW Sydney thinkers who are discovering the future of video gaming, the wild west of cryptocurrencies, the dark side of hybrid education and how we could use algorithms to build the cities of the future.

17 September, 4pm, Carriageworks

Harmful Thoughts

Michael Salter (UNSW), Matt Tyler, Emma A. Jane (UNSW) and Jayne Crossling will examine if more can be done to pre-emptively prevent child sexual abusers from ever offending.

21 September, 6pm, UNSW Library

!DOSOMETHING Exhibition Opening

Join us for the launch of !Do Something, a specially curated response to climate change from staff and students in the UNSW Arts, Design and Architecture (ADA) faculty. Opened by the ADA Dean Professor Claire Annesley, with special guests Bruce Mau and Aiyemobisi (Bisi) Williams from the Massive Change Network, this exhibition heralds a month of exciting conversations, actions and design experiments in support of Massive Action Sydney.

Climate Change is the dominant wicked problem of our time: there is no single solution; the boundaries are difficult to define; and it is influenced by complex, interdependent and rapidly changing factors.

In response to Bruce Mau’s MC24 Principle “New wicked problems demand new wicked teams” (24 Principles for Designing Massive Change in your life and work), The Wicked Collective for Climate Change and Sustainable Development was established in 2021 by five committed academics from the School of Art and Design. We believe that artists, designers, academics, and students need to work together across disciplinary boundaries to effectively respond to the wicked problems confronting us.

The Wicked Collective invited students and staff from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture (ADA) to submit creative responses and interventions to the wicked problem of Climate Change. The selected works all relate to one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and were created since the formation of ADA in 2020.

21 Sep - 15 Oct, Melbourne Naarm

The Big Anxiety 

A festival of lived experiences, The Big Anxiety brings together creative thinkers to re-imagine mental health care for the 21st century.

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Held 27 September, 6:30pm, Online

Judith Neilson UTZON Lecture: Alison Killing

The 2022 Judith Neilson UTZON lecture will be presented by Pulitzer Prize-winning British architect Alison Killing and will explore her investigation of Xinjiang’s network of detention camps.

Alison is a journalist and architect who uses maps, satellite imagery and architectural expertise to investigate urgent social issues. In 2021 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for a series of articles exposing the network of detention camps in Xinjiang, China.  In this lecture Alison will detail her forensic process and how her architectural training informed her approach to this remarkable project. 

This lecture is presented in association with the UNSW Institute for Global Development.

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30 July - 2 October, UNSW Galleries

‘A MURRIALITY’ is the first survey of renowned Waanyi artist Gordon Hookey, charting three decades of practice where artmaking and activism fuse.

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4 - 6 October, UNSW Kensington

UNSW Languages Week 2022

Australians speak hundreds of languages, ranging from First Nations languages to the global languages that new migrant communities have brought with them. It is more important than ever for all of us to be open to the richness of this linguistic and cultural diversity. In UNSW Languages Week we celebrate and explore these languages and cultures.

Join us for our celebration of Dharawal language and dance. Visit our Open Classrooms to get a taste of our language teaching. See our interpreters at work as they help us to understand each other across language barriers. Learn to dance and share the food of diverse cultures. Practice Tai chi and calligraphy. Join us as we discuss the darker side of language-use in misinformation and fake news. Come and speak your language with us at UNSW Languages Week!

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27 August - 20 November, UNSW Galleries

‘exploring giant molecules’ is the largest exhibition to date of Australian artist Sandra Selig, bringing together key examples of her interdisciplinary projects from the past two decades.  

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From 3 September, Online


The annual UNSW Built Environment undergraduate exhibition, Luminocity, is a showcase of student works from across the school.

Luminocity demonstrates the wide range of design and critical thinking skills on display within our school. These include hand-drawing, physical model-making, prototyping, data-rich 3D-modelling, coding, digital fabrication and immersive forms of mixed and virtual realities.

Many Luminocity projects respond to real-world challenges, with students exploring new possibilities in the design, delivery and production of the built environment.

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UTZON Lecture Collective

UNSW Built Environment's UTZON lecture series features industry experts and academics whose inspiring work shapes the world's future cities for the benefit of all people and the planet. 

Launched in 2010 by architect and UNSW alum Jan Utzon, the son of Danish architect and designer of the Sydney Opera House Jørn Utzon AC, the series features more than 50 Australian and international speakers.

Design the future you want

UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture has made important changes to our undergraduate degrees so we’re providing our students with a better experience and skills that are going to be most in need in the future. Dean, Professor Claire Annesley highlights how we’re giving students the freedom and support to design the future they want. 

What is mRNA?

mRNA is the key ingredient in COVID-19 vaccines. Associate Professor John McGhee and his team at UNSW’s 3D Visualisation Aesthetics Lab have created a visually immersive 3D animation to explore mRNA’s role in our cells – and to show how it helps fight COVID-19.
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Sky pirates: A very human problem

UNSW 'Making Virtual Reality Documentaries' students explore Australia's silver gulls and how human behaviour impacts this protected species in its remote island breeding grounds. 

Exhaustion: A poetic monologue

Produced by Dr Kerryn Drysdale from the Centre for Social Research in Health, this film is based on research from the ‘Identifying factors that improve the health of prisoners who inject drugs’ project. The project examined the lived experiences of ex-prisoners who inject drugs, to capture the interrelationships between ex-prisoners’ multifaceted needs.

Contemporary Art Explained: Vernon Ah Kee

Dr Tim Gregory discusses the teaching of English as colonial violence and how Vernon Ah Kee’s artwork, cantchant, uses English as a weapon to confront settlers.

10 Minute Genius | The other sex talk

Sex education for kids still covers the same narrow range of topics. But according to Emma A Jane, it’s vital that the birds and the bees talk cover so much more than the baby making, the man parts and the money shots.


Glass Gardens, A digital refuge

Sonya Lifschitz, internationally renowned pianist and Artistic Director of UNSW’s New Music Collective (NMC), invites you to immerse yourself in an interactive digital garden.

In times of deep heartache, where do we turn? Where do we shelter? For Sonya, as an artist and music lecturer – it’s in art, music, poetry and nature. In this digital sonic-visual work created during Sydney’s lockdowns, the students of UNSW’s NMC have done exactly that. The ensemble, whose vision is to inspire and provoke musicians and listeners to examine, broaden and redefine the boundaries of music and the musical experience, have collected objects, sounds, words, poems and images to weave a world, a refuge, a place to shelter – a glass garden. 

Digital Rivers

Float on down the river. Sometimes there’s an easy flow, sometimes a rapid pace. Welcome to a playlist recorded and performed by UNSW's Advanced Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Orchestra.

It’ll take you on a journey shaped by the musicians’ experiences of Sydney’s Covid lockdowns. Recorded in their homes while in isolation, the students found rewarding connections through online collaboration and their music, a digital river allowing their ideas to flow and combine.


Abolition Futures

‘Abolition Futures’ is a standalone podcast episode made by Andrew Brooks, Liam Grealy and Astrid Lorange, co-facilitators of the Infrastructural Inequalities research network. Infrastructural Inequalities examines the unjust distribution of resources, amenities and opportunities that shape our society and asks how we might intervene in the reproduction of inequality.

Tim Gregory, Asylum Seekers Searched Christmas Island, cotton on linen, 60cmx60cm, 2014

Read & Learn

Expand your leadership knowledge with Learn to Lead, the free online leadership course designed exclusively for UNSW alumni. Self-paced from 29 August – 11 September. 

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The engagement between UNSW Sydney and Matraville Sports High School helps prepare young teachers for their careers shaping future generations of students.

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UNSW ‘Making Virtual Reality Documentaries’ students worked with the National Museum of Australia to document their experiences during bushfires or the pandemic.

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Australian public opinion about NAPLAN. Social-emotional competence among students. Small schools for equity and inclusion. The School of Education Research Brief Series tackles these issues and more. 

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A dynamic digital space where you’ll find the award-winning work of media students, within UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture’s School of the Arts & Media.

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The new interpreters will play a crucial role in ensuring language isn’t a barrier to accessing information or services within communities.  

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The School of Art & Design ‘Future Makers’ series showcases the work and minds of the next generation of artists, designers, makers and digital media creators. 

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With an entrepreneurial, problem-solving mindset and a strong social conscience, Master of Development Studies alumnus Weh Yeoh’s work has taken him from Australia to China and Cambodia and back again.

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​​​​​​The Innovation Hub is an interdisciplinary problem-solving initiative at the heart of UNSW’s largest and most diverse faculty, the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture (ADA). Established in 2021, the ADA Innovation Hub brings together our unique mix of expert knowledge from across six schools, six research centres, and multiple other labs, studios and galleries to solve problems, respond to opportunities and facilitate positive change. 

What problem would you like us to solve?


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Get in touch with us at ADA

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