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20 February 2009
Creating environments that inspire the people who live in them is one of the passions of Deakin University’s new Head of the School of Architecture and Building, Professor Hisham Elkadi.
“Contemporary society needs to engage, to interact with its immediate surroundings. This interaction is very important in building pride in owning our places, in our citizenship.
“This is not only about the buildings, it is also about the spaces between, about creating neutral spaces to inspire us and draw us together as a society. It is important our surroundings create the backdrop for all elements of society to live in harmony,” he said.
Professor Elkadi comes to Deakin from the University of Ulster, where he was Chair and Head of the School of Architecture and Design for five years. Previous appointments include the University of Newcastle in the UK, where he was the School of Architecture’s Director of Postgraduate Research and Director of BA Architecture Programme, and the University of Plymouth.
Speaking about his new role, Professor Elkadi said one of his goals was to build on Deakin’s current strengths.
“We are developing excellent programs that relate directly to the role of architecture in understanding the changing nature of the environments we live in and the ecological, societal and economical challenges they are facing,” he said.
“I’m impressed by the vision and determination that exists at Deakin and I’m excited by the opportunity to contribute and build on the work the School is doing.”
Sustainable development and cultural heritage are two particular areas of interest for Professor Elkadi.
He had a leading role in the creation of the World Association for the Protection of Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage in times of armed conflicts (WATCH), a not-for-profit organisation based in Rome, and is a member of the UNESCO committee for the development of Landscape Architecture.
Sailing is also a passion and Professor Elkadi is looking forward to taking part in the sport in Australia.