Prof. Mark Burry & Prof. Jane Burry



Professor Mark Burry AO is a registered architect and the Founding Director for Swinburne University of Technology’s Smart Cities Research Institute (SCRI), an appointment he took up in May 2017.  His role is to lead the development of a whole-of-university research approach to ‘urban futures’, helping ensure that our future cities anticipate and meet the needs of all – smart citizens participating in the development of smart cities. 

Mark Burry is a practising architect who has published internationally on two main themes: putting theory into practice with regard to procuring ‘challenging’ architecture, and the life, work and theories of the architect Antoni Gaudí.  Starting in 1979 until 2016 he has been Senior Architect to the Sagrada Família Basilica Foundation, pioneering distant design collaboration with the team based on-site in Barcelona.


In 2001 Mark Burry founded the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL) at RMIT University before establishing the Design Research Institute (DRI) in 2008.  He held an ARC funded Federation Fellowship in ‘Complex Architecture and Convergent Design’ 2007-2012.  In February 2004, in recognition of his contribution to the Sagrada Família Basilica project, the Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi (Academy of Fine Arts, Catalonia) awarded Professor Burry with their prestigious Diploma i la insignia a l’acadèmic correspondent with the title Il·lustríssim Senyor.


Professor Jane Burry is a registered architect and Dean of Swinburne University of Technology’s School of Design. Since taking up the role in 2017, she has led the establishment of new programs in architecture, architectural engineering and urban design within one of Australia’s oldest and most distinguished design schools. She was formerly Professor and Director of the Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL) and Master of Design Innovation and Technology (MDIT) at RMIT University.

A practising architect, Jane has published on two main topics. The first is the use of computation for the creative uptake of mathematical ideas in contemporary architecture. The second is the power of combining data gathering, mixed reality simulation, visualisation and digital fabrication to be able to design greener, more sensorially responsive environments. Recent funded research has investigated the manipulation of architectural geometry and materiality to fine tune the acoustic, thermal and air flow aesthetics for human sensory experience.

Jane is lead author of The New Mathematics of Architecture, editor of Designing the Dynamic, 2013 and co-author of Prototyping for Architects, co-curator of the international exhibition Dynamics of Air, and has over 100 other publications including papers on acoustic experiments in architecture. Jane has practiced, taught, researched internationally, including working as researcher and project architect in the technical office at Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Família church in Barcelona with Mark Burry.




In describing his design for the Colònia Güell Chapel Gaudí alluded to what he imagined to be an enhanced acoustic performance through his use of doubly-ruled surfaces.  Mark Burry drew on this speculation to initiate a number of experiments culminating with a deep exploration of the acoustics and sound performance of Gaudí’s Sagrada Família Basilica.  His account will detail these initial experiments and explain how the team’s explorations culminated in an invitation to musicians to probe the potential of the space potentially engendering alternative approaches to performance within the Basilica. 


The exploration of the acoustic properties and auditory experience of the  Sagrada Família Basílica, has led to a much more generalised investigation of the potential acoustic effects of surface geometry and materiality in architecture.  Jane Burry will recount the way that exploiting digital manufacturing techniques to design and construct highly tuned acoustic spaces, very particular auditory experiences can be pursued and realised at other scales and in different contexts. This is illustrated by reference to prototypical semi open spaces that have been developed for open work environments.