Staff profile

Staff image

Dr John Rollo

Position: Senior Lecturer
role description
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Science Engineering & Built Environment
Department: School of Architecture and Built Environment
Campus: Geelong Waterfront Campus
Phone: +61 3 52278329 +61 3 52278329



John Rollo is the discipline leader for urban design with the school of Architecture and the Built Environment at Deakin University. With a focus on place making and the perception and visualization of the built environment, he has been providing public sector based urban design research for over fifteen years. He holds qualifications at both Master’s and Doctorate levels from the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of California, Los Angeles, and the Martin Centre for Land Use and Built Form Studies at Cambridge University. John has been successfully running the 'Urbanheart Surgery' urban design studio since 1999 which helps to generate discourse on contemporary urban issues between governments, communities, the design professions and higher education. This program has facilitated over fourteen planning and design forums with nine municipalities in regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.

Biography summary

• School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University
 Senior lecturer: Urban Design, Planning & Architecture   1998 Cont
• School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University
Interim Head of School October 2007- February 2009
• University of Bath - School of Architecture & Civil Engineering   1995- 98
Full Time Lecturer: History and Theory & Design,
• University of Greenwich - School of Architecture and Landscape 1994- 95
Specialist Lecturer: Formal Theories of Composition, writing and coordinating
workshops in Shape Grammars to the M Sc, Urban Design programs
• University of East London - Faculty of Design and the Built Environment  1993-94 Specialist Lecturer: Formal Theories of Composition
• University of Cambridge, Faculty of Architecture 1992- 95,
Sessional Lecturer: Elementary Mathematics,
Undergraduate Supervisor: Fundamental Principles of Structural Design
• Sydney University - Department of Architectural and Design Sciences 1992. RA  to Dr R. Coyne ARC: The impact of Information Technology on Design Practices
• University of California, Los Angeles Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning 1990- 92, RA to Professor T. Knight:  Transformations of Design, Cambridge University Press (1994)


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, 1997
  • Master of Architecture, UCLA (USA), 1992
  • Bachelor of Architecture, Deakin University, 1990
  • Bachelor of Arts (Architecture), Deakin University, 1988
  • Bachelor of Arts (Politics), La Trobe University, 1985


  • Planning Institute of Australia
  • Australian Institute of Architects

Professional activities

Government Publications and Reports

Port Melbourne Waterfront & Station Pier Precinct -Vision &Directions Paper, City of Port Phillip & Port of Melbourne Corporation working group - (May 2006)
Port Melbourne Waterfront Revitalisation - Beacon Cove Precinct Committee for the Minister for Planning (2004-05), City of Port Phillip & Department Sustainability and Environment (DSE)
Beacon Cove Public Open Space Strategic Framework -
(Foreshore Promenade and Stage 8 sandridge Beach Desiogn Articulation) (2004), City of Port Phillip & DSE
What If? From Sandridge Beach to Bay Street- Visions of Port Melbourne
 Vision Scoping Document, City of Port Phillip, (August 2003)
Footscray Skyline Study – Stage 2 - City of Maribyrnong (2002)
What If? Kingsway Corridor, Parting the Weave and inserting New Threads,Vision Scoping paper, City of Port Phillip, Vision Scoping paper (2001)
St Kilda Foreshore Urban Design Framework, City of Port Phillip
(December 1999-2003)

Industry Focused Seminars, Presentations & papers

• Urban Design Forum - (May 2013) “Teaching of Urban Design Skills in Victoria”. Rollo J (Deakin University), Dovey K – (Melbourne University), Gretchen W (RMIT)
• Esteban Y, Rollo J (April 2005) Sustainable in 2030? The impact of population growth on residential built form in and around Melbourne’s inner activity centres. National Planning Congress, Melbourne.
• Honey S, Rollo J, Atkinson (April 2005), Planning for ember attack at Rural/urban Interface, National Planning Congress, Melbourne.
• Urban Design Forum - (April 2005) , Department Sustainability and Environment. Rollo J  “The Offspring of Tame Sow and Wild Boar
What is the Best Conceptual Framework for Doing Urban Design?”
• Toussaint C, Rollo J (Sept 2004) Federally funded aged care provision in regional Victoria: Examining current Provision and Estimating Future Requirements using Population-Based Benchmarks, Australian Population Association, 12th Biennial Conference, Australian National University
• Urban Design Forum - (Sept 2003), Department Sustainability and Environment, Rollo J (Sept 2003) “What Should Universities be Teaching?”
• Toussaint C, Rollo J (Sept 2003) Public Open Space (POS) Provision,
CBCV Community Business Centres of Victoria Conference, Melbourne
• Rollo J, Esteban Y (Sept 2003) “Making Dreaming Affordable - Cutting the Cost on Vision Making: CBCV
• Rollo J, Honey S (August 2003) “The Urban and Rural Interface: Assessing Air Pressure Differences on Building Form Subjected to Ember Attack”  - Australian Safer Communities Awards.
• Rollo J (November 2002) ECO-ISLAND: Urban Heart Surgery 2002 Uncharted Territory and Unlimited Horizons. Architect Victoria
(November Ed. Rollo J, Veron D
• curator, Royal Australian Institute of Architects
SMALL exhibition (Dec 2001)
• Rollo J (March 2001) Grounding the Urban Design Framework.
Royal Australian Institute of Architects, LAN, Bendigo.
• Vernon D, Rollo J, (2000) Working in the Regions: Traces of the Regional City Drawing on Bendigo.  Architect Victoria, (Requested and Accepted) Sept 2000
• Smith C, Swanton K, Rollo J (1999) The Encounter, Drawing on Port Phillip
Architect Victoria, Sept, pp.16-17



Knowledge areas

  • Urban Design
  • Architecture 

Student supervision

HDR  and Thesis supervision – Principal Supervisor

Student:  Dina El Kordy      Doctor of Philosophy, (Current)
Thesis: Sustainability Indicators in Early Islamic Settlements
Student:  Murray Herron     Doctor of Philosophy, (Current)
Thesis: Looking for Sanity in Coastal Planning Deliberations
Student: Yolanda Esteban     Doctor of Philosophy (Current)
Thesis: Adopting a Computational Approach to Modelling Future Growth Development Initiatives Within Inner Metropolitan Melbourne
Student:  Murray Herron     Master of Urban Design (Completed 2012)
Thesis The Portland Integrated Land Use Model 
Student: Samuel Honey     Masters (Research)  Completed 2009
Thesis: Planning for Ember Attack Within the Urban Rural Interface
Student: Peter Michael Kirby.    Masters (Research)  Completed 2009
Thesis: Relative Affordabilty: Impact of Melbourne 2030
Policy and Transport Infrastructure.

Student: Craig Toussaint      Doctor of Philosophy  Completed 2007
Thesis:  Researching the Development of Benchmarks for Determining both Relative & Sustainable Levels of Infrastructure within Regional Victoria
Student: Paul Pires Da Fonte    Masters (Research)  Completed 2004
Thesis:   Walter Burley Griffin – Residential.
Student: John Stabb      Masters (Research)  Completed 2003
Thesis:  Changing Preferences – Conventional Photography to Digital Imaging in Communicating Architecture.


Awards and prizes

Vice Chancellors Award (collaborative)  2009
Outstanding Contribution to Delivering Effective Partnerships 
Vice Chancellors Award (collaborative)  2009
Outstanding Contribution through “Innovation”

Emergency Management Australia   2003
Australian Safer Communities, Pre-disaster research - National Award
Modelling Ember Attack Within The Urban Rural Interface

City of Port Phillip, Design Development Award.
Mayor’s Award – Urban Design 2000


Research projects

UrbanHeart Surgery’ –“What If?”  -

Graduate Urban Design Studio - School of Architecture and Built Environment
Facilitation & Coordination of the following LGA based Design Research Forums:

• Torquay Town Centre - Surf Coast Shire 2013
• G21 Winchelsea “What If?” population 1,250 – 10,000 (2013-2050) - Surf Coast Shire 2013
• Re discovering the Neighbourhood Centre - High street Belmont - City of Greater Geelong 2012
• Peripheral Vision Looking to the River – Werribee Town Centre - City of Whyndham 2011
• Visions for Bendigo – City of Greater Bendigo 2004
• Visions for Maribyrnong - City of Maribyrnong 2004
• Visions for South Melbourne and port Melbourne - City of Port Phillip 2004
• Regional Urbanism / Warrnambool Heart Beats - Warrnambool 2003
• Visions for Port Melbourne - City of Port Phillip 2003
• Shakespear Grove and West Beach - City of Port Phillip 2003
• Urban Villages / Urban Injections - City of Port Phillip 2002
• Regional Urbanism / Ballarat Heart Beats - Ballarat 2002
• Western Wedge - Geelong 2002
• Crossing the Political Boundary - Melbourne City & Port Phillip 2001
• Urbanism on the Periphery / Drawing on Werribee - Wyndham 2001
• Eco Island - City of Port Phillip 2000
• Finding the Pulse, Urban Heart Beats – Bendigo 2000
• Urban Heart Surgery -Uncharted Territories Unlimited Horizons
  City of Port Phillip 1999

Research grants

$25,000   Johnson L (Deakin), Andrews F, Connors P, Elkadi H, Rollo J, Warren I. (Deakin), Foundational principles and approaches to building better suburbs (Wyndham City Council) 2012

$153,000  Rollo J, (Deakin) Byrne G, (La Trobe)
Researching the Development of Benchmarks for Determining both Relative & Sustainable Levels of Infrastructure within Regional Victoria.
Two Australian Research Council APAIs, 2002-2005: 

$30,000   Rollo J, (Deakin) Byrne G, (La Trobe)
Researching the Development of Benchmarks for Determining both Relative & Sustainable Levels of Infrastructure within Regional Victoria.
City of Warrnambool (IP), City of Bendigo (IP) 2002-2005:



• Rollo J, Barker S, Perceptions of Place – Evaluating Experiential Qualities of Streetscapes, State of Australian Cities Conference (SOAC)
Sydney, (Nov  2013)
• Esteban Y, Rollo J Working with ‘Housing Variance’ to Model Urban Growth Futures  Within Inner Metropolitan Melbourne - SOAC, Sydney, (Nov  2013)
• Heron M, Jones D, Rollo J, Can a Modelling Exercise be Developed to Aid and Foster Sustainable Planning Processes and Guide the Future Growth of a Small Coastal Australian City - Architectural Science Association ASA Conference, Hong Kong (Nov 2013)
• Heron M, Jones D, Rollo J. South West Victoria 2012 -2050 Are the Settlements Sustainable? Frontiers of Planning Conference, International Society of City and Regional Planners, Brisbane, (Oct 2013)
• Heron M, Jones D, Rollo J South West Victoria 2012 -2050 Are the Settlements Sustainable? 6th International Urban Design Conference,
Sydney (Sept 2013)
• Esteban Y, Rollo J Modelling urban Growth Futures within Inner Metropolitan Melbourne, 6th Liveable Cities Conference, Melbourne,  (June 2013)
• Honey S, Rollo J (2011) ‘Air pressure and wind velocity - modelling Ember Attack Within The Urban/Rural Interface. 5th
SOAC Conference, 2011, Melbourne.
• Toussaint C, Rollo J (2011) ‘Aged care, Warrnambool and Bendigo, 2021, Estimating Land-Use, Connectivity and Case-load Requirements’,
5th  SOAC, 2011,
• Rollo J, Esteban Y (2011) Urbanheart surgery - A Logic of Design Alternatives, MODSIM, 2011, International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Perth
• Rollo J (2008) Between Traditions: The Villa and the Country House, in David Beynon & Ursula de Jong (eds),  Proceedings of the 25th SAHANZ Conference 2008, pp. 1-29,
• Esteban, Y. and Rollo, J. (2006) Sustainable in 2030? The Impact of Population Growth in Melbourne's Inner Activity Centres, 39th Annual Architectural Science Association Conference, pp. 1-8, Victoria University, NZ
• Lambert, J. and Rollo, J. (2006) Public Transport and Pedestrian Access, the Impact of Suburban Planning on Adolescence, 40th ANZAScA, pp. 374-381, The University of Adelaide, Australia
• Tucker, R. and Rollo, J. (2006) Teaching and Learning in Collaborative Group Design Projects, Architectural Engineering and Design Management, Vol 2, pp. 19-30, Earthscan / James and James, United Kingdom
• Esteban Y, Rollo J (Nov 2005) The impact of population growth in Melbourne’s inner activity centres, 39th ANZAScA  University of Wellington NZ
• Rollo J (2005) ‘Urbanheart – A design Research Forum’
Architectural Research Quarterly, Volume 8, Number 3/4,
Cambridge Uni Press.
• Toussaint C, Rollo J (Oct 2004) Aged Care Provision in Greater Bendigo: Current Provision and Future Requirements, 38th ANZAScA Conference University of Tasmania, Best Paper Award
• Rollo J, Honey S (Oct 2004) “2&3D Modelling of Building Form Subjected to Ember Attack” 38th ANZAScA Conference University of Tasmania
• Esteban Y, Sowinski D, Rollo J (October 2004) “Adopting a Computational Approach to Identifying and Modelling Future Development Initiatives within the Urban Context”, International Journal of Construction Management
October 2004
• Rollo J (Oct 1999)  Metiendo Vivendum: ‘By Measure We Must Live’
Architectural Research Quarterly, Volume 3, Number 2, Cambridge Uni Press
• Rollo J (Jan 1995 Ref) Triangle and T-square: The Windows of Frank Lloyd Wright Planning and design: Planning and Environment B,

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