The Brisbane Open House community is full of creative, innovative and quirky thought leaders, spend 5 minutes over the fence with..
Natalie Hoitz is an urban designer with a background in architecture, urban systems and planning. She is passionate about shaping cities and places that we can thrive in, be proud of and leave a positive legacy for future generations. Natalie currently leads the Urbis Queensland Design Studio as a part of thier National Design team.
Tell us how you chose your profession, or did it choose you?
After I built a whole city out of Lego at the age of 6 down to petrol stations, apartments, shopping centre and outdoor pool, I knew I was going to do something in the field of cities or architecture. I have always been fascinated by maps, plans and the way places work. For me there was no choice, this career chose me – I was born to work as an urban designer.
How would you describe your style?
Energetic, passionate, and keen to learn.
If you had friends visit from out of town, tell us how you would spend the weekend?
First port of call is a stroll through South Bank then a CityCat around the CBD peninsula as far as New Farm Park – lunch at the Powerhouse Museum and a CityCat back to the City. Then to Howard Smith Wharves for an afternoon Aperitivo; wrapping up with a walk through the city to Queen Street Mall and dinner Donna Chang across from Queens Garden in the old Queensland Government Savings Bank building – it’s amazing use of heritage and the food is delicious.
If you had the chance to redesign any building or landmark in the world, what would it be and why?
You can’t touch landmarks – there is a reason they are landmarks. Buildings on the other hand – there are plenty of examples of ordinary buildings. Beauty is the eye of the beholder. Some beautiful places can also be quite boring. No one likes perfection and we all like different things.
What’s your favorite suburb of Brisbane and why?
I do love Bulimba with its green leafy streets, comfortable high street in Oxford Street, river frontage and combination of Queenslanders and contemporary housing.
What’s the strangest job you have ever had?
I worked in a factory that made Looney Tunes clothing. Tasmanian devil merchandise was a top seller…
What is your favourite place in Brisbane to chill out and waste an afternoon?
In summer – hands down Yeronga Park Memorial swimming pool. I love this place. The great community atmosphere, the lush greenery, the lapping water and laughter of kids. It makes me happy.
What building, anywhere in the world, would you most love to see inside?
Before I die, I want to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water in Pennsylvania.
If you were the “Boss of Brisbane”, what would be your first priority?
Getting connectivity working. This means delivering transformational public and active transport and not just doing these lip service but being brave and making some seemingly unpopular decisions now, that will be essential for our city in the long term. This means it’s about more than just bendy buses and trains – we need to be exploring and implementing successful measures to get people out of their cars.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Working remotely while sitting by the pool.