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Director, Studio Zanardo

Michael Zanardo

Dr Michael Zanardo is a registered architect and director of Studio Zanardo, an independent consultancy established in 2007 that specialises in urban design and the design of housing, particularly social and affordable housing. He is motivated by the opportunity to improve people's lives through the shaping of the built environment and believes it is a true privilege to serve people and communities through design.

Michael is a member of the City of Sydney Design Advisory Panel Residential Subcommittee and Ku-ring-gai Urban Design Consultants Panel, provides architectural design advice to NSW Land & Housing Corporation, has chaired and participated in a number of design excellence juries and acts as an urban design expert witness in the NSW Land and Environment Court. He is an outspoken advocate for good amenity in denser forms of housing and champions design quality for the public domain. His major projects to date include being a lead architectural consultant to the Department of Planning on the review of the SEPP 65 Residential Flat Design Code (now the Apartment Design Guide), project architect on the Sydney 2030 Affordable Housing Demonstration Project in Glebe for the City of Sydney, and urban designer for the urban renewal strategy of major Housing NSW estates throughout Randwick. Michael has been the recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award, the Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship and the Dulux Study Tour.

Michael actively combines his practice with research and teaching. Michael has taught architecture and urban design at UTS, UNSW and at USYD where he has led final year graduation studios focusing on the central role that housing has in the making our cities and how the everyday ordinariness of housing can and should be elevated through design. His doctorate investigated architectural typologies of Pre-World War II State workers’ housing in Sydney to discover and articulate valuable design strategies useful for the design of new affordable housing today. Michael is the co-author of the Affordable Housing Sydney Architecture Guide Map published in 2019. He is also the co-founder of Architecture Street, a not-for-profit initiative curating and delivering public interest design talks for the community.


See Michael speak at Architects Bookshop #1: Social Housing Map and Architecture Street Presents "Affordable Housing: Potential and Possibilities".