Speakers

We're proud to bring some of the most inspirational and notable speakers to the architectural community.
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Benje Patterson

Economist, strategist, and storyteller at Benje Patterson People & Places

Not your usual economist expert, Benje brings his  refreshing, straight forward   approach  to chat all things big picture on a regional scale.

During the early 2000s, many of New Zealand’s regions faced a hollowing out as their best and brightest fled to the big smoke or across the ditch. But things have changed over recent years, as increasingly unaffordable housing in our biggest cities has pushed many people back into the regions. This begs the question – is the recent infatuation with regional housing temporary, or will provincial New Zealand continue to be a growth node in a post-Covid world? 

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As director of VIA architecture Ltd, Elrond specialises  in Passive House and low-carbon architecture. The current chair of the board of Te Tōpūtanga o te Whare Korou ki Aotearoa, Passive House Institute New Zealand (PHINZ), and  Principal Advisor of Architecture & Design in the Building System Performance Branch of MBIE, Elrond focuses his huge passion and expertise on   improving people’s quality of life, health and environmental impact through beautiful, sustainable, high-performance architecture.

Elrond Burrell

Director of VIA Architecture Ltd

A master on all things passive housing and sustainability, Elrond brings his passion for improving peoples lives and talks climate  change.

One of Mexico's most celebrated Architects, Gabriela  is one half of the widely acclaimed practice Taller | Rocha + Carrillo, receiving national and international recognition for her immense contribution to architecture, most recently receiving the   "Architect of the Year" award by Architectural Digest Mexico.

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Damian Van Brandenburg

Director of Architecture Van Brandenburg

A local name synonymous with ambitious architecture, Damian will bring inspiration  in droves.

A local name synonymous with ambitious architecture, Damian will bring inspiration  in droves.

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Gabriela Carrilo

Director of Taller Gabriela Carrilo

Bringing her unique international expertise, Gabriela  takes us on a journey through some of her most inspiring architectural masterpieces.

One of Mexico's most celebrated Architects, Gabriela  is one half of the widely acclaimed practice Taller Gabriela  Carrillo, receiving national and international recognition for her immense contribution to architecture, most recently receiving the   "Architect of the Year" award by Architectural Digest Mexico.

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Eithne Sweeney

Managing Director at Wires Uncrossed

Communication, or miscommunication, is often the crux of disagreements in life and business. Eithne  shares her hacks for translating the technical and reaching communication clarity.

Eithne from Wires Uncrossed is no stranger to miscommunication in technical environments - she's been resolving it for almost 20 years! In this interactive session, she'll share three simple communication hacks to help you to translate technical information for any audience, whether it's your colleagues, contractors or clients. You'll learn how you can translate your expertise in a compelling way, so that the listener knows exactly what you mean and what that means for them. Who knows, they may even want to know more!

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Sir Ian Taylor

Key Note Speaker

From TV personality and lead singer, to a stint in the army and  a computer game animation guru, Sir Ian Taylor  shares his incredible journey  from humble beginnings to being named Visionary Leader of the Year.

Ian’s back story is a fascinating journey, from growing up in a house without electricity in the 1950s, to being part of a company recognised globally as being at the leading edge of technology and innovation, and most recently being named the Deloitte 200 "Visionary Leader of the Year. It hasn't all been plain sailing though . 

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Jonathan Shaw

Planning and Building Manager for the Invercargill City Council

Talking all things RMA and reform, Jonathan brings  local flavour and tangible takeaways.

Talking all things RMA and reform, Jonathan brings  local flavour and tangible takeaways.

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Matt Chisholm

Key Note Speaker

The truth behind the quintessential 'Great Southern Man', Matt  comes clean and gets real and raw about his battle with addiction and depression.

His story told his way, there is so much more behind this charismatic personality.  The raw truth about his battles with addiction and depression while keeping up the very public façade of being the quintessential Great Southern Man. From Seven Sharp to SUNDAY, Survivor to Celebrity Treasure Island, Matt Chisholm has been a familiar, fun, face on our screens, but he’s been lying to us. Behind the smile he’s been dealing with addiction and depression.  

Now, he’s coming clean.  

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Professor Julia Rucklidge

Professor at   Ahorangi School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing 

What if we’re looking for solutions to mental health problems in some of the wrong places? What if instead of treating mental illness with prescriptions and medication, we changed what we eat and how we feed our brains? This talk will review the research over the past decade uncovering an alarming picture of declining food quality as risk factors for all kinds of psychiatric problems. 

What if we're looking in all the wrong places  when it comes to battling mental health challenges? Julia delves into how the gut could be the missing link.

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With a career spanning decades and hemispheres, Nathan's  architectural journey  has seen him work on many memorable projects. From   Harrods in London, to the Fulham Football Club, and (curiously) Her Majesty’s Prisons. Closer to home one of Nathan's most acclaimed projects,  'Jason Street Glasshouse', earned him a national ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Award title along with a spot on Grand Designs New Zealand where the project quickly became a crowd  favourite. Nathan will walk us through the challenges he faced throughout the project and how this modernist inspired home came to fruition.

Nathan Taylor

Director of Taylored Spaces

The master mind behind the widely acclaimed,  'Jason Street Glasshouse',  Nathan will take us on the  journey from inception to fruition, and all the challenges in between.

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Keni-Duke Hetet

Director of Waka Group Architecture

Exploring the relationship between where culture meets community, Keni-Duke brings his huge passion for people focused spaces.

Keni-Duke draws on his immense passion and experience to explore the challenges  society is facing with the built environment and urban sprawl, what we can learn from the cultural context, and how our natural environment influences architecture.

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An inspirational kiwi who is on  one hell of a journey.  From losing his leg in a volcanic eruption, to starting a nationwide youth development programme, to mountaineering in Antarctica, William has an unfair advantage when it comes to talking about the necessity of stepping outside of your comfort zone to overcome challenge, change and achieve extraordinary things. With an infectious  enthusiasm for adventure, life and fun, William's   character and outlook on life are nicely summed up by the title of his popular autobiography, Every Day’s A Good Day.

William Pike

Celebrity Speaker

From losing his leg in a volcanic eruption, to starting a nationwide youth development programme, and  mountaineering in Antarctica, William is equal parts inspirational as he is an expert in overcoming challenges.