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Elizabeth Farrelly

Elizabeth Farrelly
Born 1957
Dunedin, New Zealand
Occupation Writer, academic
Citizenship Australia, New Zealand

Elizabeth Margaret Farrelly is a Sydney-based author, architecture critic, essayist, columnist and speaker who was born in New Zealand but later became an Australian citizen. She has contributed to current debates about aesthetics, ethics, design, public art, architecture, urban environments, society and politics, including criticism of the treatment of Julian Assange.[1][2][3] Farrelly's range of interests and contributions are wide enough to have caused her to be described as a "Renaissance woman".[4] Farrelly's portrait by Mirra Whale was a finalist in the 2015 Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.[5]


  • Education 1
  • Teaching 2
  • Architecture 3
  • Public service 4
  • Writing and speaking 5
  • Bibliography 6
  • Awards for writing 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Farrelly was born in Dunedin, New Zealand and trained as an architect in Auckland. She left New Zealand in 1983 for London, moved to Sydney in October 1988 and became an Australian citizen in 1991. She holds a PhD in architecture from the University of Sydney.


Farrelly has taught at the University of New South Wales where she is Associate Professor (Practice) in the UNSW Graduate School of Urbanism; the University of Technology, Sydney, where she was Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture; the University of Auckland; the Royal College of Art, London; the Humberside Polytechnic and the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London.


Farrelly practised as an architect in London until 1988, working at Pollard Thomas and Edwards Architects, London; at JASMaD Architects, Auckland; and Warren and Mahoney, Christchurch. She was the inaugural chair of the Australia Award for Urban Design, an award "established to recognise recent urban design projects of high quality in Australia and to encourage cities, towns and emerging settlements of all sizes to strive similarly for improvement".[6] and served as a juror for design awards such as Parramatta Design Excellence Awards and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Awards.

Public service

Elizabeth Farrelly served as an independent Councillor of the City of Sydney from 1991 to 1995.

Writing and speaking

Farrelly was assistant editor of and contributor to the Architectural Review, London from 1985 to 1987 and a contributor to other professional publications such as The Architecture Bulletin; Architecture Australia; Architectural Theory Review; Architects' Journal; New Zealand Architect; and Queensland Architect. She writes a weekly column and regular essays for the Sydney Morning Herald. Her blogs are available at

Farrelly was a panellist at the University of Sydney's Sesquicentenary Colloquium Dinner on 12 October 2002, where her topic was Dreaming Spires: Architecture and the learning game[7] and an invited speaker at the Art Gallery of New South Wales Art After Hours program. In 2014, she was the keynote speaker at the Green Buildings Conference in Pretoria, South Africa and also delivered the year's final Utzon lecture at the University of New South Wales, which explored the relationship between ethics and aesthetics in architecture.[8][9]


  • (1993) Glenn Murcutt: Three Houses [10]
  • (2005) Sitelines: aspects of Sydney Harbour: a collection of essays celebrating Sydney Harbour, ranging from the long view to the personal, these passionate and informed perspectives tell the story of the Harbour and its foreshores (contributor)[11]
  • (2007) Blubberland: the dangers of happiness .[12]
  • (2012) Potential Difference: Assays and Sorties[13]
  • (2012) H2o Architects to 2012[14]
  • (2014) Caro Was Here[15]

Awards for writing


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  2. ^ "In the case of Assange, truth is actively and repeatedly punished".
  3. ^ "Assange had not been charged with any crime."
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  8. ^ Green Building Conference Programme 17&18 June 2014
  9. ^ Architecture and Morality: Geometries of virtue2014 Utzon lecture:
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External links

  • Elizabeth Farrelly website
  • Elizabeth Farrelly at Facebook
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