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Dr Yolanda Esteban



Associate Head of School, Teaching and Learning


Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env


School of Arch & Built Enviro


Geelong Waterfront Campus


Doctor of Philosophy, Deakin University, 2017
Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Deakin University, 2010
Bachelor of Architecture (honours), Deakin University, 2003
Bachelor of Building (Honours), Deakin University, 2003


Dr Yolanda Esteban is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Design at Deakin University’s School of Architecture and Built Environment. She completed her Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Building double-degree with honours at Deakin University in 2002. Over the past decade, she has developed an extensive teaching expertise across design disciplines both in architecture and urban design, engaging actively with local government and immersing her students in real-world projects.

Yolanda has industry experience in the areas of urban design and strategic planning and has worked on several key visioning projects across Victoria in both regional and metropolitan contexts. She also served as an urban design advisor for the City of Port Phillip between 2004 and 2007, and the City of Greater Geelong in 2014. Yolanda is currently a member of the Geelong Design Week curatorial committee with the City of Greater Geelong and has collaborated extensively on UNESCO City of Design initiatives.

Her research has focused on the changing profile of urban places, with specific expertise on the development of built form scenarios based on demographic modelling, and the nexus between vision-making and policy implementation. In more recent years, Yolanda has developed links between her teaching and research, beginning to build a portfolio of non-traditional research outputs.

Yolanda has built an extensive portfolio of experience in strategic projects, design studios and research around Geelong, collaborating with major stakeholders in the city. Her work has centred around the value of engaging with the public sector in advancing design thinking in the city. 

Read more on Yolanda's profile

Career highlights

Curational Panel Member, Geelong Design Week. Appointed by the CIty of Greater Geelong.

Course Director, Master of Planning and Master of Landscape Architecture

Selection and Recognition for Prior Learning officer for the Architecture programs

Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Design, Deakin University.

Senior Urban Designer at Planning by Design Pty Ltd.

Design advisory role (Port Melbourne Waterfront Precinct) with the City of Port Phillip.

Sessional tutor and research assistant, Deakin University School of Architecture and Built Environment.

Research interests

  • Built form simulation studies.
  • Urban growth policies.
  • The physical connectivity of communities.
  • Evaluation of public open spaces.
  • Stakeholder engagement in changing places.


RAIA (Royal Australian Institute of Architects) Aff

PIA (Planning Institute of Australia) Aff

Teaching interests

  • Architectural Design 
  • Urban Design 
  • Urban Change Management

Units taught

Undergraduate units:

SRD163 Studio 01_Thoughtscapes
SRD164 Studio 02_Matterscapes (Chaired 2007)
SRD263 Studio 03_Earthscapes
SRD264 Studio 04_Publicscapes (Chaired 2015-16, 2019-20)
SRD363 Studio 05_Hybridscapes (Chaired 2013-14)
SRD364 Superstudio
SRA341 The City (Chaired 2016-19)
SRR311 Architecture Research Project

Postgraduate units:

SRA742 Urban Perspectives (Chaired 2017-18)
SRD742 Architecture Masters Studio B
SRD760 Geo-Planning and Design (Chaired 2016)
SRD762 Interdisciplinary Planning and Design (Chaired 2015-16)
SRD763 Architecture Masters Studio A (Chaired 2020)
SRD764 Urban Design Studio (Chaired 2009-2011, 2014)
SRM781 Managing Change and Innovation (Chaired 2009-2019)
SRD766 Architecture Masterclass
SRR711 Thesis

Knowledge areas

  • Architectural Design
  • Urban Design and Planning


Architecture, Media, Politics, Society Conference, London, 2018
ECOCITY World Summit, Melbourne, 2017
DesTech Conference, Geelong, 2016
State of Australian Cities (SOAC), Sydney, 2013
Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference, Fremantle, 2013
International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM), Perth, 2011
ANZAScA, Sydney, 2011
ANZAScA, Wellington NZ, 2005
PIA Congress, Melbourne, 2005
Annual Conference of the Australasian Universities Building Educators Association, Geelong, 2003

Professional activities

Foundation member of the UrbanHeart design research group.

Research groups

  • Live+Smart Research Laboratory, research theme leader for 'Designing Urban Futures'
  • MinDLab Mediated Design Laboratory, collaborator.


Vice Chancellor's Award for the Most Outstanding contribution
to Delivering Effective Partnerships, 2009

Vice Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contribution Through Innovation, 2009


Geelong Design Week 2020 Event - Coordination and design of the 'Resonance+Reflection: design ideas for an expanded Geelong Gallery" exhibiton, held at Geelong Gallery. 

NGV Melbourne Design Week event - 'Vital Signs: Live, Work and Play the Clever Creative Future'. A collaboration with the City of Greater Geelong, Geelong Gallery and Geelong Library. 

NGV Melbourne Design Week event - Guest presenter and panel member, ‘Design Champions in the City of Design.’ A public forum event in the NGV Melbourne Design Week, presented by the Office of the State Government Architect, hosted at the Geelong Library.

External research/advisory project with the City of Wyndham Urban Design department.

UNESCO City of Design, City of Greater Geelong – Geelong Waterfront Campus Showcase for the Launch of the City of Design denomination. The showcase involved the design and coordination of an exhibition of works by the School of Architecture and Built Environment and the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University.

Art Class collaboration, Human settlements and mapping a settlement activity. Geelong College Year 7 student workshop Outreach/marketing event, Deakin University Waterfront campus.

Participant and student workshop convenor, Vision2 Workshop. Collaboration between Deakin University, City of Greater Geelong and Regional Development Victoria. 


Filter by


Evaluating experiential qualities of historical streets in nanxun canal town through a space syntax approach

Y Xu, J Rollo, Y Esteban

(2021), Vol. 11, Buildings, C1

journal article

Developing a comprehensive assessment model of social value with respect to heritage value for sustainable heritage management

Y Xu, J Rollo, Y Esteban, H Tong, X Yin

(2021), Vol. 13, Sustainability (Switzerland), C1

journal article

Rewilding the City

Phillip Roos, Simon Kilbane, Yolanda Esteban, Alexander Rollo

(2021), ​Centrepoint Arcade, 132 Little Malop Street, Geelong., JC1

Non-Traditional Research Output

More than just healing a scar - understanding the extent of the wound

Alexander Rollo, Yolanda Esteban

(2020), pp. 69-70, Heal the scar: regenerative futures of damaged landscapes, Geelong, Vic., B1

book chapter

Towards sustainable heritage tourism: A space syntax-based analysis method to improve tourists' spatial cognition in Chinese historic districts

Y Xu, J Rollo, D Jones, Y Esteban, H Tong, Q Mu

(2020), Vol. 10, Buildings, C1

journal article

The promise of vision-making a city: a perpetual journey

A Rollo, Y Esteban

(2019), pp. 268-292, Geelong’s changing landscape: ecology, development and conservation, Clayton, Vic., B1

book chapter

Social value - challenges of conserving cultural heritage in China

Yabing Xu, John Rollo, Yolanda Esteban, David Jones, Hui Tong, Qipeng Mu

(2018), Vol. 15, pp. 271-280, AMPS 2018 : Tangible – Intangible Heritage(s) – Design, social and cultural critiques on the past, the present and the future : Proceedings of the AMPS Conference, London, Eng., E1


Urbanheart surgery: expanding critical care to city development by linking local government authorities with postgraduate design studios

A Rollo, Y Esteban, D Jones

(2017), pp. 1-13, EcoCity World Summit 2017, Melbourne, Vic, E1


Quantifying changes in building footprint in the historic coastal town of Queenscliff

R Fuller, K Reaburn, U de Jong, Y Esteban

(2016), Vol. 53, pp. 178-186, Australian Planner, C1

journal article

Evaluation of housing developments for sustainability using a multi-criteria approach

U de Jong, R Fuller, Y Esteban, S Ang, J Coulson

(2013), pp. 1-18, AHRC 2013 : Housing the needs of diverse populations : Proceedings of the 7th Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference, Fremantle, Western Australia, E1


Modelling urban growth futures within inner metropolitan Melbourne

Y Esteban, J Rollo

(2013), pp. 91-115, Liveable Cities 2013 : Making cities liveable - designing health cities and sustainable communities : Proceedings of the Making Cities Liveable 2013 conference, Melbourne, Vic., E1


Working with 'housing variance' to model urban growth futures with inner metropolitan Melbourne

Y Esteban, J Rollo

(2013), pp. 1-15, SOAC 2013 : Proceedings of the 6th State of Australian Cities Conference, Sydney, NSW, E1


Vision 2 Event - design workshop

M Sharman, Y Esteban, H Elkadi

(2012), Geelong, Vic., J1-1

Non-Traditional Research Output

Vision 2 original design work - thematic concepts

H Elkadi, M Sharman, Y Esteban

(2012), Geelong, Vic., J1-1

Non-Traditional Research Output

Vision 2 investigated design research - key scenarios

M Sharman, Y Esteban, H Elkadi, S Niven

(2012), Geelong, Vic., J1-1

Non-Traditional Research Output

Vision 2 Event - workshop 2

M Sharman, Y Esteban, H Elkadi

(2012), Geelong, Vic., J1-1

Non-Traditional Research Output

Vision 2 gallery public exhibition

M Sharman, H Meikle, Y Esteban, H Elkadi

(2012), Geelong, Vic., J1-1

Non-Traditional Research Output

A holistic approach to the evaluation of sustainable housing

Y Esteban, S Ang, J Coulson, S Mellersh-Lucas, U de Jong, R Fuller

(2011), pp. 1-8, ANZAScA 2011 : From principles to practice in architectural science: Proceedings of the 45th Annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association, Sydney, N. S. W., E1


Urbanheart surgery - a logic of design alternatives

J Rollo, Y Esteban, D Smith

(2011), pp. 3233-3239, MODSIM 2011 : 19th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Perth, W.A., E1


Sustainable in 2030? The impact of population growth in Melbourne`s inner activity centres

Y Esteban, J Rollo

(2005), pp. 1-8, Fabricating sustainability : unofficial proceedings of the 39th Annual Architectural Association Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, E1


Adopting a computational approach to identifying and modelling future development initiatives within the urban context

Y Esteban, D Sowinski, J Rollo

(2004), Vol. 4, pp. 39-52, International journal of construction management, Hong Kong, China, C1

journal article

Identifying opportunities and promoting discourse by modeling future development initiatives

Y Esteban, D Sowinski, J Rollo

(2003), pp. 231-237, Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Universities Building Educators Association: Working Together, Geelong, Vic., E1


Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Wyndham 2040 and Urban Design Assessment for a 21st Century Future (Draft).

Dr John Rollo, Dr Yolanda Esteban

Wyndham City Council

  • 2019: $9,500


Associate Supervisor

Jiacheng Jiao

Thesis entitled: Quantifying Urban Development Intensity within a Low Carbon Transport Context

Doctor of Philosophy (Architecture and Built Environment), School of Architecture and Built Environment


Yang Yang

Thesis entitled: Integrating Urban Growth and Land-use-decision Modelling for Chinas Small-towns

Doctor of Philosophy (Architecture and Built Environment), School of Architecture and Built Environment

Yabing Xu

Thesis entitled: Spatial Characteristics, Social Value and China¿s Historic Canal Towns

Doctor of Philosophy (Architecture and Built Environment), School of Architecture and Built Environment


Dina El Kordy

Thesis entitled: Correlating Al-Madinah Constitution and the Development of Islamic Cities with Sustainable Urban Planning's Aspirations

Doctor of Philosophy (Architecture and Built Environment), School of Architecture and Built Environment