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Cleary, Ms. Ann

ann cleary

Senior Lecturer, Architecture
Faculty of Arts & Design

Bldg, Floor & Room: 7, B27
Telephone: (02) 6201 2095
Facsimile: (02) 6201 5034


Ann Cleary FRAIA is an architect and Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Canberra within the Faculty of Arts and Design.

Ann's experience in architectural and urban design work encompasses twenty five years on a range of architectural projects, including a period working in Sweden and the US, with AKOS Arkitektkontor in Göteborg and Mitchell/ Giurgola in New York. Her work with MGT Architects in Australia included many years on the Parliament House project as well as large scale project and competition work in Singapore.  Her project experience within large and small practice includes performing arts, waterfront, industrial and campus programs, urban infrastructure, streetscape, ephemeral art installations and residential projects. Ann cofounded design group Cadence and established a studio practice a r k k u: architecture and urban design.

Ann has contributed within the architecture course at UC over many years and values the creative interface with student perspectives and initiative.  Her research interests in urban renewal, the public realm and spatial resonance underpin her teaching and creative practice, where she integrates design exploration within project based learning, focusing on projects that engage with Canberra and its region as a design laboratory.

Ann has received a number of architectural awards including most recently the AIA ACT Light Rail Station Ideas Competition 1st prize for Urban Line, completed with UC architectural graduate Cassandra Cutler. Ann is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and is a recipient of the AIA ACT Chapter Clem Cummings Medal for outstanding contribution to architecture and the built environment.

Areas of Teaching

  • Design Studio (Architecture)
  • Architecture Studio
  • Architecture Laboratory

Ann's studio teaching focuses on project initiatives that involve the students in connecting imaginatively with Canberra as a place of contemporary outlook and enduring modern heritage, manifested in its urban places and landscape setting.  The initiatives involve cross collaboration with arts, heritage and development agencies and enable the students to pursue exploratory ideas, bringing innovative propositions and design contributions to the fore as catalysts for the city's future thinking and creative dialogues.

Research Interests

Ann's research interests are focused on architecture as urban artefact, in the sense of drawing out an understanding of enduring architectural value, spatial resonance and cultural significance.  This is integrated in to Ann's creative practice and as research-led teaching in architecture studio with investigative studies in to space and light, adaptive reuse proposals and cultural precinct initiatives with exhibition and publication of the outcomes.

Qualifications Obtained

  • Master of Architecture, Canberra 2014 (Dissertation: a place of insight)
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Canberra 1984 (Thesis: the edge, as an act of architecture)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Design (Architecture), Canberra 1981
  • Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects 2000
  • Registered Architect, AACA ACT #1068


  • Cleary, A., a place of insight (2014) selected AIA Canberra Centennial Time Capsule 2113
  • Cleary, A., ed. Urban Artefact: Yarralumla Brickworks (2009) Canberra
  • Cleary, A., chapter: Urban Artefact: Cultural Landscape (2009)

Professional Articles / Reviews

  • Cleary, A., Drawing on a city of inspiration (2013) Times 2 CT July 6
  • Cleary, A., Canberra's Hidden Layers (2012) Capital issue 57 p.56-59 
  • Cleary, A., Transformations: the language of craft, (inside) australian design review issue 40 (February 2006): p. 44-45.

Invited/Keynote Presentations

  • Cleary, A., Space and light in architecture (2015) James Turrell + Tadeo Ando NGA
  • Cleary, A., Canberra's scales of encounter (2013) Shaping Canberra ANU
  • Cleary, A., Nara to the Networked City (2012), Chair for Prof Hitoshi Abe architect keynote ANU
  • Cleary, A., Drawing with light (2011) Creative City, Canberra
  • Cleary, A., Talking Arts Precincts (2011) Designing a Capital/ Crafting a City
  • Cleary, A. Architecture as conceived light (2011) ACUADS presented paper
  • Cleary, A., Romaldo Giurgola: architect and humanist - a personal perspective, insights into a way of working, a way of being.(2006) RAIA Speaker Series Tusculum, Sydney.
  • Cleary, A., Creating Canberra's Loungeroom: Garema Place, the living room of the city (2005) Claiming Ground Public Art Conference, Hobart.

Creative Practice

  • Cleary, A., urban line (2014) AIA ACT Light Rail Station Ideas Competition 1st Prize with UC architectural graduate Cassandra Cutler. AIA /Capital Metro Exhibition at GAD
  • Cleary, A., urban threshold (2014) AIA New Experimental Architectural Typologies Competition, with UC graduates Jacquelin Michel, William Headland, Exhibited in Design Canberra
  • Cleary, A., unscripted calibration (2014) Unruly Orchestrations curator K. Hayne, J Webb BAC
  • Cleary, A., ingrained (2013) Imagining Canberra curator K.Hayne, J Webb exhibition BAC
  • Cleary, A., rescaled interval for Domestic Renewal, a table re:set (2012) exhibition Craft ACT, curator R. Nicol, Touring 2013 CubedCraftVic, Adelaide JamFactory
  • Cleary, A., urban artefact: palimpsest (2011) Creative Practice UC exhibition and catalogue, curator D. Firth, at Belconnen Arts Centre ACT
  • Cleary, A., 'Make: ….In built ' (2007): joinery as architectural language exhibition, curator D. Firth, UC Design Gallery.


  • AIA ACT Light Rail Station Ideas Competition Winner 1st prize 2014 with UC architectural graduate Cassandra Cutler. Awarded Venice Architecture Biennale
  • AIA ACT Chapter Clem Cummings Medal 2009 for outstanding contribution to architecture and the built environment
  • National Lecturer of the Year award nomination 2010/2011 as one of the top ten lecturers of the University of Canberra
  • National Association of Women in Construction, Achievement in Design, winner, 2001


  • Design Canberra: Elements of Public Space 2014, Urban Assemblage 2015 Architecture Laboratory PG Studio
  • 100+100 'an essential place: a place of enduring qualities': AIA Canberra Centenary 2013 project. UC Centenary partner project Through the Lens, a series of visual spatial interpretive studies of Canberra as a lived design ideal.
  • AIA Amazing Spaces 'music and architecture' program in association with the Canberra International Music Festival. UC partner project 'Spatial Resonance' exploring the resonant spaces of Canberra's contemporary architecture/ AIA Significant Twentieth Century exemplars.
  • Big Draw: ongoing studio collaboration / spatial installations with the National Portrait Gallery: 2014 Interface 2013 Drawn out: mapping our place; 2012 Spaces of the Wall; 2011 Constructed; 2009 Drawing with Light;

Studio Folios Overview

  • Calibrated Urban: proposals for a Hybrid Tower and urban renewal within city precinct (2015 Architecture Studio PG)
  • Immersive Porosity: proposals for City Baths on the Water Axis, LBG City to Lake urban renewal (2014 Architecture Studio PG)
  • Spatial Interval: proposals for the Academy of Science at the Shine Dome (2013 Architecture Studio PG) Roy Grounds designed Internationally listed exemplar
  • Spatial Resonance: proposals for a Piano Museum at the Canberra School of Music (2012 Architecture Studio PG) Daryl Jackson/ Evan Walker designed Brutalist legacy
  • Urban Studio: back space: adaptive reuse proposals for Mort and Lonsdale streets urban renewal (2011 UC Architecture Studio PG)
  • Brutal Light: Churchill House Adaptive reuse proposals for Robyn Boyd designed Brutalist legacy, Canberra. (2010 UC Architecture Studio PG)
  • Conversations with Aldo: in celebration of architect Romaldo Giurgola's 90thyear: (2010 UC Architecture Studio PG) 'place, space, aesthetics, resonance'
  • Adaptive Porosity: Landscape Urbanism: Museum of Nature studio collaboration Questacon (2009 UC Architecture Studio PG)
  • Urban Artefact: Yarralumla Brickworks: Performing Arts Centre Adaptive reuse proposals for the Yarralumla Brickworks  (2008 UC Architecture Studio PG )
  • Urban Conditions @the fitter's workshop adaptive re-use urban research/ design proposals for the Kingston Foreshore Cultural Precinct, (2007 UC Architecture Studio PG)
  • Spatial Intentions: an idea for the city, proposals for a Canberra Contemporary Art Space, ANU (2006 Architecture Studio PG)
  • A Space of Light/ Water Gallery: studio explorations in drawings and models of a space of abstraction / articulated spatial language .(2009-2014 UC Design Studio: architecture)