The theme for TEFMA’s 2023 Conference in Sydney this week was The New Frontiers – Evolutions and Revolutions. It was a terrific opportunity for JCB Senior Associate Thom McCarthy to present “Theatre Re-imaging Study: a roadmap for the potential future uses of underutilized theatre in Australian universities”. Co-presented with RMIT’s Director, Campus Planning and Services Nicole Eaton, the talk explored a commission undertaken by JCB in 2022.

Involving a site analysis of 49 lecture theatres on RMIT’s City, Brunswick, and Bundoora Campuses, its objective was to re-envision underutilised spaces to capture the aspirations of RMIT’s ‘Knowledge with Action’ strategy, to support the changing pedagogical and spatial needs of its community. Through this project, we discovered great potential for campuses to evolve to meet changing demands. We also uncovered significant strategic and technical constraints and challenges that require intelligent design and investment to unleash their potential.

Illustrations by Thom McCarthy