Western Sydney University appoints new Chair of Architecture

Chris Knapp

Western Sydney University has appointed internationally-recognised researcher, educator and practitioner, Professor Chris Knapp, as the inaugural Chair of Architecture within the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics.

Professor Knapp officially takes up his position in October 2017. As Chair of Architecture, he will lead the development of a new program in architecture and urban transformation for the University.

Professor Denise Kirkpatrick, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Academic), welcomes Professor Knapp’s appointment – which heralds an exciting new phase for the University.

“Professor Knapp brings to the Chair of Architecture position a unique skill set that intersects the fields of architecture, design, contemporary construction, and technology,” says Professor Kirkpatrick.

“As a practitioner, Professor Knapp is renowned for pushing technological boundaries and working on progressive, modern projects with a social and environmental conscience.

“As an academic and educator, he aims to inspire the next generation of architects to imagine new possibilities for the built environment, by creating architecture underpinned by progressive values, innovative thought, and social purpose.”

Professor Knapp comes to Western Sydney from Bond University. He joined the Abedian School of Architecture in its inaugural year in 2011, and as Acting Head of the School he led the successful accreditation of the program by the Queensland Board of Architects in 2014.

As Assistant Professor of Digital Design, Professor Knapp coordinated the Master of Architecture program at Bond. He has also coordinated subjects in Architectural Design, Advanced Construction Technology and Digital Fabrication; supervised independent research investigations; and founded the School’s public lecture series, which has hosted 50 talks by national and internationally acclaimed practitioners over four years.

Professor Knapp says he is humbled and thrilled to lead the development of a new architecture and urban transformation program, based in one of the world’s most incredible metropolitan environments.

“Greater Western Sydney is rapidly changing and offers a dynamic urban laboratory in which to educate future architects,” says Professor Knapp.

“Our goal is to equip this generation with intellectual, interdisciplinary, and technical skills that will expand the range and capability of the architectural profession to transform the complex challenges of the 21st century city for the benefit of society.”

Professor Knapp began his career in education as a Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Michigan (2001-2004); was a planning commissioner for the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan (2002-2004) in suburban Detroit; and has practised in Australia since 2005 with works completed in New South Wales, Queensland, and Papua New Guinea.

Professor Knapp’s practice, Studio Workshop, combines conventional practice techniques with digital fabrication processes in residential and commercial works. His practice closely aligns to his academic and PhD research, which examines the transformational effects of digital fabrication technologies on contemporary architectural practice.

Professor Knapp holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan; a Master of Architecture from Princeton University; and is currently a PhD Candidate with the RMIT School of Architecture and Design.

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).

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.


29 September 2017

Danielle Roddick, Senior Media Officer