Brisbane Open House


5 & 6 November  Online, streamed live and free. Recorded and made available later.

Speakers announced soon. Six talks over two days, 23 speakers…
Booking information available soon.


Essential natural spaces; landscape design trends
10.00am – 11.00am, 5 November

Recent shifts in putting mature gardens on top of and on the sides of buildings, amazing public terraces and expansions of rooftop gardens for residential and commercial structures all demonstrate the changes taking place in our essential outdoor spaces. In our gardening-friendly tropical and sub-tropical climate, we are seeing city wide localised neighbourhood farming and urban design growing the areas people can access for recreation. This design in landscapes is so important to our well being, as is home and community-gardening. It is essential to think about the contribution to people’s well being in designing outdoor spaces. What should we think about in this context?

Book talk – Brisbane Bricks
11.15am – 12.00pm, 5 November

Brisbane Bricks is a photographic celebration of brick buildings in Brisbane comprising over 170 photographs, a short history of brick manufacture in Brisbane, and informative notes on selected buildings.

While roaming the streets of Brisbane the authors, Joanne and Virginia, captured some old favourites and discovered the new and unusual. In his foreword Professor Michael Keniger writes that the visual essay of Brisbane Bricks reveals “the remarkable variety of ways with which brick has been used to underpin and enrich the robust character of the city.”

Brisbane Bricks not only recognises Brisbane’s architectural heritage but also encourages an appreciation of contemporary construction. The authors’ intention is for this distinctive and eclectic photographic narrative to be inspirational as well as nostalgic Panellists/authors: Joanne Heath and Virginia Russell

Larger projects, sports, transport and cultural
12.15pm – 1.15pm, 5 November

Large projects with the ‘wow’ factor in street scapes, as art in public places, or transforming entire neighbourhoods, require special teams, planning and experience to work at scale. Our guests discuss current and past projects, and how to balance activity and uncertainty in the current environment. We discuss the essential nature of art and design that continues to have meaning and function, even as everything changes. Looking at the impacts of sports stadiums, we focus on design and participation as also ask more broadly how larger projects impact communities. Hear about the long journey in the design of Cross River Rail and its input into our whole-of-city experiences in transport, cultural interaction, and sports participation.

Flourishing Indigenous design
1.30pm – 2.30pm, 5 November

Indigenous design, as many people understand it still, is a homogenous art form. The community is growing in its appreciation of the nuanced design differences between artists and peoples from different areas on Country. There has also been a steady flourishing of both the representation of Indigenous design and images embedded into structures, as public art, and of architects who identify as Indigenous, creating new structures. Growing mainstream interest and use of Indigenous designs also brings up questions of meaning, intention, ownership and replication, proper use, and acknowledgment.  Hear about the key things to know about when proposing to collaborate with Indigenous designers. Listen to examples of great process and outcomes, that will see the continuation of the extraordinary growth of Indigenous art and design into the future.


Sympathetic Neglect, Minjerribah’s built culture
12.00pm – 1.00pm, 6 November

Without doubt, a community of island-sensitive architectural crafts people, many now locals, has made an impact. In a place where the point is not to compete, but to work with the surroundings, Minjerribah architecture is maturing. Counterculture, the absence of uber sleek giant spaces, and the honesty and intimacy of smaller timber spaces all articulate Minjerribah’s old and new school.

Loving our local heritage
1.30pm  – 2.30pm,  6 November

We are increasingly becoming tourists in our own backyards, wanting to experience local stories. We want to know more about local heritage and our Indigenous culture. Aboriginal environmental knowledge and knowledge of the places that make up the fabric our daily lives is becoming easier to access through Indigenous cultural tourism experiences. Hear about the work of industry leaders, The Black Card as they navigate the landscape. Some of our strongest memories, impacting the way we live today, include flooding events. Hear about the ways Brisbane as we know it today has been influenced by major events of the past, environmental and social. Hear more about the social history of the colony of Brisbane, and the archaeological finds discovered in Cross River Rail excavations. Knowing these stories becomes a key part of how we experience Brisbane.

Explore News


BOH Great Debate is going online

Register and join us for a fun evening event to chase the Covid blues away.This special fundraiser e...


Minjerribah (Straddie) Architecture tour coming up

As part of the Brisbane Open Tours initiative, Brisbane Open House is proud to present exclusive tou...


2020 Open House Digital Program update

The October / November digital program includes profile films of three key buildings and free online...


Save the dates

Brisbane Open House is rescheduling its free weekend to July. The new dates are 10 and 11 July 2021....