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Professor Steffen Lehmann 

Position: Prof. Sustainable Design/Director: sd+b Centre/Director: China-Australia Centre Professor Steffen Lehmann
Division/Portfolio: Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences
School/Unit: School of Art, Architecture and Design
Campus: City West Campus
Office: K4-13
Telephone: +61 8 830 20654
Fax: +61 8 830 20211
Email: Steffen_dot_Lehmann_at_unisa_dot_edu_dot_au
URL for Business Card: http://people.unisa.edu.au/Steffen.Lehmann

Other Contacts

You can also contact the sd+b Centre and CAC_SUD via the Centre Officer: Ms Vanessa Milen: Ph. +61 8 8302 7372 

Research Assistant office: : Ph. +61 8 8302 0349

Post-doc Research Fellow office: : Ph. +61 8 8302 7017

For general inquiries, Reception: : Ph. +61 8 8302 0366

Hello, and welcome to Steffen Lehmann's homepage!

Professor Steffen Lehmann, PhD (Dr.-Ing.), AA Dipl, is a German-Australian architect-engineer, urbanist, author, educator and curator, registered in 1993 as a chartered architect and urban designer in Berlin.

Building upon his internationally recognised leadership in the development of sustainable buildings and cities, Steffen leads a research group and two research centres in the City West precinct at the University of South Australia.

Steffen is an internationally renowned thought leader in the field of sustainable urban development principles and our complex relationship with nature. Many of his research projects are engineering/architecture nexus based, concerned with the integration of low-carbon technologies in design and the social/behavioural context.

Since 2010, he is Director of the Zero Waste Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour, sd+b, a multidisciplinary research centre that has forged research alliances across many divisions and schools, and government and industry partners. Steffen is also Professor of Sustainable Design in UniSA's School of Art, Architecture and Design.

Since 2012, he is also Founding Director of the China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development, CAC_SUD, an international centre located at UniSA and Tianjin University, China.

Both centres have highly focused, impactful agendas. They undertake research that is funded through competitively won, peer-reviewed grant awards, where every project is collaboration with government and industry partners. The work has influenced corporate behaviour, urban policies and legislation, delivering relevant impact and results.

Steffen's research group develops solutions for resilient built environments and a better understanding of complex urban systems. The work identifies behavioural, technological and urban design options for managing climate change impacts in cities, through evidence-based and solutions-focussed interventions.

Steffen previously held senior positions at other universities over the last twelve years and has worked extensively in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. He serves on several international expert panels, advising on sustainable development and cities' development.

Until July 2010, he has been the Chair Professor of the Architecture School at the University of Newcastle, NSW, where he introduced urban renewal and sustainable urbanism as regular topics in design studios. He was formerly the Chair Professor of Architecture at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane (Dec 2002-June 2006).

In 2008, in recognition of the international significance of his work, Steffen was appointed a UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Urban Development for Asia and the Pacific, which was established at the University of Newcastle;he left the University of Newcastle in August 2010. Since 2010 he continues the work with UNESCO ex-officio, for instance, as advisor for the UNESCO International Platform for Learning Cities; he contributed to UN conferences COP15 (Copenhagen, 2009) and Rio+20 (Rio de Janeiro, 2012). He has provided expert advice and research reports to UNESCO and UN ESCAP regarding the rapid urbanisation of cities in the Asia-Pacific region; and in 2013 has been commissioned by UN ESCAP with a research project on the future of urbanisation in the Asia-Pacific.

In December 2002, Steffen became Chair Professor in Architecture (and Head of the Architecture discipline), School of the Built Environment, at Queensland University of Technology and since then he has been a full professor in Australia.

Steffen has built, taught, lectured, published and exhibited his work widely in Europe, USA, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Steffen knows the Asia-Pacific region well; he worked in Tokyo (with Arata Isozaki) for three years and has travelled to China and other Asian countries regularly since 1989.

Steffen has published extensively, with 15 edited, co-edited and authored books (one forthcoming), and numerous book chapters and journal articles.

Steffen has presented his research and creative work at more than 500 conferences and symposia in 35 different countries. Since 1995, he has delivered over 200 invited keynote presentations at important public events and conferences worldwide and has spoken at over 100 universities.

Steffen has given lectures at some of the world's top universities, including Harvard University, University of Oxford, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at San Diego, the Architectural Association School London, TU Munich, National University of Singapore, KTH Stockholm, TU Vienna, TU Delft, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Tsinghua University and the University of Melbourne.

He has given public presentations in 35 countries: Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, P.R. of China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, India, Italy, Jordan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, the USA, and Vietnam.

He is committed to interdisciplinary research and has been active as Curator and Creative Director of significant international exhibitions, and Convenor of international conferences.

In 2011-12, Steffen played a leading role in the winning bid for the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Low Carbon Living, funded with $30 million by the Australian Government. The CRC for Low Carbon Living developed into a $105 million research initiative with 56 partners. For this CRC he is leading the research project, 'Urban Micro Climates: Urban Heat Islands in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide' (lead chief investigator). In 2013-2014, Steffen is also involved in the development of the $60 million bid for the multidisciplinary CRC for Active and Engaged Ageing.

• Current research projects include: 'Sustainable urban development: Design for re-use', 'Age-friendly cities for an ageing society', 'Using behaviour change strategies to reduce consumption', 'Prefab engineered timber systems for lightweight low carbon construction' and 'ETWW Low carbon precinct demand forecasting tool' (chief investigator).

He is sought after for his expertise in assessing international research projects and grant applications. A reviewer for the Australian Research Council, Steffen has been an external assessor of research grant applications for national science foundations and funding bodies in Switzerland, Japan, Canada, Israel, the US, Hong Kong and Australia.

Steffen is an influential educator. In 2008, he received the President's Award for Teaching Excellence of the University of Newcastle, the highest award recognising his significant contributions in the field of teaching sustainable design principles and in PhD supervision. He has been one of the first in Australia to introduce a methodological sustainability approach in design studios.

Steffen holds a number of prestigious external appointments in professional and academic institutions worldwide.

In 2009, Steffen was awarded the DAAD-Visiting Professorship at the Technical University of Munich, a leading faculty of architecture in Germany.

• He has held 8 visiting professorial positions at leading universities, including: Arts Academy Berlin-Weissensee (1997-98), Tongji University, Shanghai (2003), Technical University Berlin (2005), National University of Singapore (2009), Technical University Munich (2009), University of California at Berkeley (2012) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (2013-2014). In 2014 he is a Visiting Professor at Tianjin University (P.R. of China).

• Steffen has taught design studios together with Hans Hollein, Arata Isozaki, Richard Horden and other well-known architects.

While Chair Professor at the University of Newcastle, Steffen was a member of the university's Capex committee and instrumental in the redesign of the campus masterplan for the existing Callaghan campus and the new City campus. For several years he was closely involved in the urban revitalisation efforts of the City of Newcastle.


• Statement:

'Taking a holistic view of my professional responsibilities, my primary goal as an educator and designer is to help students develop their critical thinking, by emphasising the making of architecture and public space as an important aspect of ongoing city transformation. I teach architecture and urbanism to develop healthier and more meaningful ways for buildings, cities and landscapes to support our activities and help us better understand where we are going. My design studios are research based and deal with environmental, social and technological concepts of urban and architectural design.'

'My internationally active design firm, s_Lab, is a cultural design practice committed to creating sustainable environments built to endure. It complements well the interdisciplinary team I lead at the Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour sd+b, which is dedicated to research in resource-efficient architecture and environmental urban design, and the relevant work I have been doing with UNESCO.'

'The sd+b Centre and CAC_SUD Centre offer a place for researchers and people who want to make a difference, to think big and have a positive impact on society. This includes the notion of design and architecture as means of social engagement and catalyst for social change, where we connect with dynamic communities, industries and organisations all over the Asia-Pacific region. Both centres are located in the School of Art, Architecture and Design, where they keep rising the importance of sustainability. We believe that artists, architects and designers play an important role in addressing issues of sustainability. We encourage all disciplines to embrace the value of sustainability in their practices: art and design practitioners have the responsibility and skills to lead positive change in this critical field; for instance, by rethinking production processes or by reusing materials to create innovative products and meaningful works of art.'

Steffen Lehmann, 2013

Please visit Steffen's homepage at: www.slab.com.au for the latest NEWS.

Links to other sites

Director, sd+b Research Centre, University of South Australia.

s_Lab, Steffen Lehmann's globally active design practice: slab.com.au

Founding Director, China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development, CAC_SUD

The Centre on YouTube

Editor, Earthscan Book Series on Sustainable Design, Routledge, London

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Green Building, College Publishing, United States (2006-2014)

Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of City Planning and Urban Design, Centre for Urban Systems, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Low Carbon Living, Australia's leading initiative for research in sustainable urban development

Executive member, Barbara Hardy Institute, UniSA

Visit us on Facebook

Download a small catalogue of 15 built works

Teaching interests

  • Steffen Lehmann has taught in architectural, engineering and design programs since 1991, developed new curricula and co-ordinated large design studios at leading universities in six different countries. In the last 10 years, he has educated over 1.000 architecture students.
  • He has taught at leading universities in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Austria, China, Singapore, Brazil and Australia.
  • He has supervised and advised Higher (Doctoral and Masters) Degree Research students in the areas of sustainable architectural and urban development, environmental engineering studies and social/cultural/environmental issues regarding the built environment.
  • Architectural and urban design studios (research-driven design studios), for example: Studio 7 ARCH4033 in UniSA's Master of Architecture program. Integration of sustainable design principles and systems thinking into the design studio: ARCH6002 and ARCH6010 Master of Sustainable Design (DMSU).
  • Critical components are student engagement and active learning, both parts of a student-focused approach to delivering high-quality learning outcomes.
  • For over 20 years, Steffen has been at the forefront of design-centred teaching, research and practice in sustainable design, as lead instructor of research-based design studios.
  • Lectures in Energy systems, Sustainability principles, Material culture and the environment, Sustainable urban development.
  • History and Theory of Architecture and Urban Design.
  • Leading fieldtrips to significant international architectural sites.
  • As Chair Professor in Architectural Design, Steffen received the prestigious President's Award for Teaching Excellence (2008); at University of Newcastle he refocussed architectural education on the centrality of the design studio and made Sustainability a major part of all studios (this is 'sustainability' not as an excuse for lack of creativity or as hindrance to the design process), aligning the architecture program to the needs of the community, for which he received the Energy Australia National Trust Award for Excellence in Teaching Sustainability (2008).
  • As Chair in Architecture at the Queensland University of Technology, Steffen led a repositioning of the school's direction and introduced Collaborative Studios to the curriculum, where architecture students collaborate with students from engineering, planning and the arts.
  • Steffen has taught at a number of leading universities in Europe, the US, Australia and Asia. He has been a Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore (2009), the Technical University Munich (DAAD-Professor 2009), UniTech PNG (2006), the Technical University Berlin (2005) and Tongji University Shanghai (2003). In 2012 he held a visiting position at the University of California at Berkeley, College of Environmental Design. In 2013-14 at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.
  • Steffen has been invited as Visiting Critic to design studios in schools of architecture at over 40 universities worldwide, ranging from the AA School, to Harvard, Oxford, UC Berkeley, TU Vienna and other leading universities.
  • Steffen has been involved in the accreditation procedures for the assessment of faculties and schools worldwide and has consulted other universities on their curriculum development.
  • -
  • Statement:
  • 'I like to make students aware that research and systems thinking are fundamental elements of any design solution. ...My advice to students: Do it with passion and do it well.' Steffen Lehmann, 2013

I teach the following courses

ARCH 4033Architectural Design Studio 7 (Environment)
ARCH 6002Sustainable Design Research Project
ARCH 6010Independent Sustainable Design Project

Professional associations

• Membership in professional bodies:

1993 - Registered as Chartered 'Architekt', Architektenkammer Berlin, Germany.

1996 - Bundesverband Deutscher Architekten, Berlin.

2003 - Royal Institute of Architects, Australia.

Professor Lehmann has designed a wide range of projects from the small scale of a private home to the large scale of urban design and public space, with his own practice, Space Laboratory for Architectural Research and Design, established 1993 in Berlin.

He regularly provides high-level independent advice to governments, municipalities and industry worldwide and has been a planning advisor to numerous cities, including Berlin, Helsinki, Oslo, Shanghai, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Abu Dhabi, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Newcastle. As UNESCO Chair, he developed frameworks for sustainable development for the governments of Jordan and Mauritius.

Steffen has been a juror for important international design competitions, such as: • 2001 ‘Leipziger Platz’, Senate Berlin • 2006 ‘Etihad Towers’, Abu Dhabi, H.H. Sheikh S. Bin Moh’d Al-Nahyan • 2006 ‘Wedding Pavilion', Brisbane, Qld Government • 2009 ‘Harmony Point’, Ho Chi Minh City, Municipality of HCMC. • 2011 ‘Hub-to-Hub’, Singapore, URA. • 2011-12 ‘Zero-Emission Challenge’, Adelaide, Government of South Australia.

• Award-winning practice: Steffen's built works and competition designs span from small signature projects to large-scale urban practice in the public and private sector. He has a particular interest in public space and urban waterfront developments.

Of particular note, he was actively involved during the 1990s in the architectural creation of the ‘New Berlin', employing the re-use of buildings as a design strategy.

Steffen has a diverse body of built work and creative practice. For a long time he has been interested in making resource-efficient buildings and public space, and has received widespread recognition for his architectural built work. As a young architect he was able to establish a professional stature with a significant body of peer-recognised built and unbuilt design projects and has participated extensively in design competitions. He believes this activity to be an essential component of the development of new design strategies and thinking.

Steffen has worked with some of the world's most respected international architecture practices. From 1990 to 1993 he worked as an architect in the offices of world-recognised architects, James Stirling in London and Arata Isozaki in Tokyo, before establishing his own research-based and ideas-driven practice, s_Lab, Space Laboratory for Architectural Research and Design, in Berlin, to pursue a more ethically correct practice. With s_Lab he had the privilege to design and build significant projects in historical locations such as Potsdamer Platz, Pariser Platz and Hackescher Markt in Berlin. In 1993, he also established Steffen Lehmann Architekten GmbH, the company in charge with supervising construction of his projects.

With s_Lab, Steffen has successfully designed 80 and built more than 25 projects as lead designer - some projects with a construction budget of over $250 million.

• These projects include: the green headquarters of the Volksbank Berlin, Potsdamer Platz; the Volksbank Dresden, Albertplatz; the Bundeszentrale Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB), Berlin; the headquarters of the Bundesverband Deutscher Banken (BdB) and buildings for the Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK), Berlin; housing in Eichenallee, Berlin; the extension of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Auswaertiges Amt), Oberwasserstrasse, Berlin; adaptive re-use of heritage buildings in Berlin-Mitte; a factory in Hatha, Saxony; houses in Frankfurt; and, in partnership with Christian de Portzamparc, the French Embassy at Pariser Platz, Berlin.

External Consultant: Steffen has been a design consultant to numerous industry and government bodies on large urban developments and new city districts, including Rio Tinto, City of Melbourne, Suters, City of Shanghai; e.g. for large development plans for housing a population of 30,000 in NSW.

Through his research and practice leadership, Steffen has led many innovative designs in Australia, such as low-to-no-carbon masterplans for the cities of Taree, NSW and Mildura, Victoria. He continues to provide high-level independent advice to governments, municipalities and industry worldwide on matters relating to green urbanism, architectural design, the integration of low carbon technologies and the built environment, to identify long-term challenges and opportunities for cities and urban development.

Steffen is a core member of the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (2012-16). UniSA is a key partner in 13 Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) and is now the 2nd highest ranked university in Australia for funding received from Commonwealth grants to Commonwealth’s Cooperative Research Centres.

Steffen is also a member of the Barbara Hardy Institute Executive and the Hawke Research Institute, UniSA (2010-).

• Steffen has been invited by international organisations and professional associations as keynote speaker at relevant conferences, such as : UN-Habitat, APRU, UNESCO, IADB, SET, Property Council, ULI, TED, iNTA, URA, BCA, IGBC, NEA, NUST, Siemens, Alvar Aalto Symposium, Eco-City, Asia Pacific Cities Summit, DFAT, ICSU, NCCARF, API, GBC, UDIA, CSAAR, World Cities Summit, DAAD, World Future Energy Summit, WUF, Danish Architecture Centre, ARI, Shanghai World Expo, ATSE, SASBE, American Institute of Architects, ACSA, Goethe Institute, Eurosolar, National Trust, Intach, ENHR, RAIA, ICTC, Alexander von Humboldt, British Council, Aedes, DAM.

Steffen only takes on roles on advisory boards or consultancies for organisations and corporations that actively embrace principles of sustainable and fair business.


Steffen Lehmann received his doctorate from the Technical University of Berlin, an AA Diploma degree from the Architectural Association School, London and a Masters degree from the University of Applied Sciences, Mainz.

Since 1993 he has been practicing as a registered architect and urban designer in Germany, where he established his own practice, s_Lab Space Laboratory for Architectural Research and Design, in Berlin, to pursue a more ethically correct practice.

• Qualifications:

1985 Vordiplom, University of Applied Sciences Trier

1988 Diplom, University of Applied Sciences Mainz

1991 AA Dipl. Architectural Association School of Architecture, London; RIBA Part 2

1993 Registration as Chartered Architect, 'Architekt BDA', Architektenkammer Berlin

1996 Member, Bundesverband Deutscher Architekten, Berlin

Since 1997 Appointed as Visiting Professor at various universities in Europe, the US and Asia

2002 (Dec) Appointed as Chair Professor in Australia

2003 (Feb) Completed Dr.-Ing. (PhD) Architecture & Urbanism, Technical University Berlin

2003 (Aug) Member, Royal Institute of Australian Architects

2008 (Jul) Green Star Accredited Professional

2008 (Jul) - 2010 Appointed as Chairholder, UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Urban Development for Asia and the Pacific, established at University of Newcastle (NSW)

2013 (Jan) - 2014 Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Systems, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Of particular note, Steffen has been actively involved with his practice during the 1990s in the architectural creation of the ‘New Berlin’. His work has been widely published and has received awards internationally, for instance, for the green headquarters of the Berliner Volksbank at Potsdamer Platz, the German Worker’s Union headquarters, the headquarters of the Association of German Banks, and the extension of the Auswaertige Amt (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in Berlin Oberwasserstrasse - all large-scale urban projects built between 1995 and 2003 in Berlin. The 'House T' timber house near Frankfurt, completed in 1999, won several design awards.

• Recent employment record as Full Professor:

Dec 2002-July 2006 Chair Professor of Architecture, Head of Discipline, Queensland University of Technology

Aug 2006-July 2010 Chair Professor of Architecture, University of Newcastle

Aug 2008-Jul 2010 Chairholder, UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Urban Development for Asia and the Pacific, Newcastle University (since Aug 2010 ex-officio)

Aug 2010-Jul 2014 Professor of Sustainable Design, Director of sd+b Research Centre, University of South Australia

Jul 2012-Jul 2014 Director of China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development, CAC_SUD, University of South Australia

From 1 July 2014- : Head of School and Professor of Architecture, School of Built Environment, Curtin University, Perth

• Steffen's work has been exhibited at prime venues, for instance at:

2008 Venice Architecture Biennale

1997 Sao Paulo Architecture Biennale and Bauhaus Dessau

1995 Aedes Gallery, Berlin

1994 Deutsches Architektur-Museum, Frankfurt

Research interests

  • Professor Steffen Lehmann is the Founding Director of the Zero Waste Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour sd+b, an active hub for PhD training. He is also Director of the China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development.
  • Both Centres conduct cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and work with a range of partners from academia, government and industry to address some of society’s critical problems, such as sustainable cities, urban systems, material flow and behavioural aspects of sustainable design, to name a few.
  • Both Centres have a highly focused, impactful research agenda. They undertake research that is funded through competitively won, peer-reviewed grant awards, where every project is a collaboration with government and industry partners.
  • Mission: The mission of the sd+b Centre is to contribute through collaborative interdisciplinary research and postgraduate education/training, dissemination of knowledge and advisory services, to efforts to resolve the pressing global challenges of sustainable urban development and resource efficiency. The Centre functions as a 'think and do tank', providing knowledge-based policy advice to decision-makers, government, industry and communities.
  • Since the early 1990s, Steffen is acknowledged as a highly cited pioneer of sustainable urbanism and designer of deep-green buildings. His book, 'The Principles of Green Urbanism' (2010), is considered as a seminal work in the field of sustainable cities. It investigates the fundamental drivers of urban form today and proposes a new model of urban development based on a holistic framework and systems thinking for green urban development. 'Steffen has a long interest in sustainable cities design and this book provides a critical overview of ecological urbanism concepts, offering a methodology for sustainable design.' Dr. Ken Yeang, London
  • Steffen has been Principal Investigator of large research projects coordinating overseas and local collaborators.
  • Written outputs: Steffen is the author of over 300 book chapters, papers, articles and commentaries (refereed and non-refereed). His research draws on urban and critical social theory to address some of the key challenges facing our rapidly urbanising world, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. He has a significant record of securing external industry-backed funding and grants, focusing on four related areas:
  • • Sustainable urban development and holistic system thinking for high performance city districts and green buildings, applying interdisciplinary design strategies
  • • Urban regeneration, green urbanism and resource recovery through the adaptive re-use of buildings, re-use of building components and systems integration
  • • Materials flow in relationship to sustainable urban and architectural development, for urban infill and retrofit
  • • Urban micro climate mapping and urban heat island mitigation research; anthropogenic heat in the city. In this research we are especially interested in the climates that are generated by urban areas and the potential for architecture and planning to improve the comfort in outdoor environments.
  • Steffen develops curriculum materials in environmental science and resource/material-efficient urban form.
  • In recent years, Steffen has been leading large research teams for complex projects with multi-stakeholder engagement, with an emphasis on application value and impact.
  • As inaugural Director of the sd+b Centre and CAC_SUD, Professor Lehmann is leading some of UniSA’s research effort in energy-efficient high performance buildings, low carbon construction systems and holistic urban systems thinking, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Under his leadership, sd+b has attracted significant external funding and established a strong track record of publications.
  • For the 'Living in the City' project, Steffen is currently developing a prototype for sustainable urban infill using prefabricated lightweight 'drop top' housing pods for intelligent densification of existing cities: stackable timber micro architecture, to be built in 2013-14.
  • Steffen is the General Editor of the Journal of Green Building (since 2006) and currently on the editorial board of five academic journals in Europe, the US and Asia.
  • Steffen's commitment to sharing research has seen him convene international conferences and symposia, such as the annual sd+b Symposium; and the international conference on ‘Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development’ in July 2010 (proceedings published in 4 volumes). Over the last 20 years, he has presented his own research at over 500 conferences in 33 countries.
  • Books - His latest books include: • 'Back to the City', Hatje Cantz (Stuttgart) 2009 (Ed. S. Lehmann); • 'The Principles of Green Urbanism', Earthscan (London) 2010, authored book; • 'Proceedings: Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development, Vol. I-IV' (eds Lehmann, S, Al-Qawasmi, J & H Al Waer), CSAAR / CIB, July 2010, CSAAR Press (volume I, 455p; volume II, 511p; volume III, 549p; volume IV, 503p); • 'Designing for Zero Waste. Consumption, Technologies and the Built Environment', Routledge (London) 2012 (eds S. Lehmann & R Crocker). • 'Motivating Change. Sustainable Design and Behaviour in the Built Environment', Routledge (London) 2013 (eds R. Crocker & S. Lehmann).
  • Steffen is the Editor of the Earthscan Book Series on Sustainable Design, Routledge, London. In 2012, Steffen (with Dr Robert Crocker) received for 'Designing for Zero Waste', which is part of the book series, the EAS Research Award for Best Collaborative Engagement at the University of South Australia.
  • Forthcoming books, 2013-2014:
  • • 'Motivating Change. Sustainable Design and Behaviour in the Built Environment' (eds R Crocker & S Lehmann), launched Aug. 2013, Earthscan Series, Routledge, London.
  • • 'Low Carbon Cities. Transforming Urban Systems', launch March 2014, Earthscan Series, Routledge, London.
  • • 'From Hidden Networks to Hub-to-Hub. Models of Emerging Public Space in Singapore, Sydney and Hong Kong', launch 2014-15, Earthscan Series, Routledge, London.
  • Steffen is the chief curator of international exhibition projects and public art, where artists, architects and engineers collaborate to build full-scale interventions in public space. He organised and curated such exhibitions in Berlin, Cologne, Singapore, Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle and Chongqing.

Research publications

Professor Steffen Lehmann has a proven capacity to communicate to a range of audiences. He has a long list of publications and a 20-year track record of scholarship in architecture and urban development; he published numerous academic papers and articles. His long publication list is evidence of eminent scholarship. See the full list of publications at the s_Lab homepage.

Impact and contribution to knowledge:

Steffen has published 15 books, as author or editor, with internationally reputable publishers. He has organised various international conferences and currently serves as Editorial Board member of 5 academic journals.

According to The Economist (2011 at the Future Dialogue) he is "one of the 25 most influential people to change cities in the Asia-Pacific region".

Steffen's publications include research on climate-responsive building design, resource/material-efficient urban design, sustainable urban development, resource conservation and the development of curriculum materials in environmental science.

With the book 'The Principles of Green Urbanism' (Earthscan, 2010) he established a new holistic environmental framework for urban growth that is not GDP-driven.

His publications include books (authored and edited), book chapters, commissioned reports, refereed journal articles, conference papers, high-impact newspaper articles and podcasts.

The sd+b Centre for Sustainable Design & Behaviour, the University’s research unit for resource-efficient design (founded in 2009), is a collaborative, multidisciplinary research centre that has forged research alliances across many divisions and schools, government and industry partners.

The sd+b and CAC_SUD centres form an active hub for PhD research supervision and Steffen has so far supervised over 20 graduate students in the research track and ten PhD students (since 2003).

Funding for his research has come from various competitive sources. With a proven record of securing external industry-backed funding and significant grants, Steffen has been principal investigator for a number of government and industry grants addressing building energy performance, typologies of emerging public spaces, rapid urbanisation in the Asia-Pacific, rethinking urban form, infrastructure and mobility, prefabrication of low carbon construction systems and questions of systems integration.

Steffen has particular interests in the link between the design of buildings/districts and sustainable principles to reduce embodied and operational energy; the development of long-term strategies for sustainable urban development through research of high application value; and promoting collaboration across disciplines and faculties.

The sd+b Centre conducts rigorous research to help society move forward on real-world problems that matter. It engages with the business network and trains young academics in cutting-edge areas of sustainable design.

Research with relevance: both, the sd+b Centre and CAC_SUD address complex, multidisciplinary research questions of national and international importance in areas of strategic relevance to the University and the Asia-Pacific region.

• Recently completed research projects, 2011-12:

1. Scoping Study Report 'Engineered Timber Infill Housing', Government of South Australia

2. Public Space Research Project 'Hub-to-Hub Singapore', Government of Singapore

3. Research Report 'Accelerating Social Acceptance of Prefabricated Multistorey Timber Urban Infill', Australian timber industry

• Forthcoming books, 2013:

'Motivating Change. Sustainable Design and Behaviour in the Built Environment', Aug. 2013 (eds R Crocker & S Lehmann), Routledge, London - a textbook in sustainable design programs.

'Low Carbon Cities. Transforming Urban Systems', March 2014 (Ed. S Lehmann), Routledge, London - a source and textbook in sustainable urban development.

• Recently published papers in high-ranking journals, 2011-12:

Beside publishing numerous book chapters, the sd+b Centre has recently published academic papers in the journals Sustainable Development, Law and Policy; Sustainability; Challenges; Journal of Green Building; Keio SFC Journal; Journal of City, Culture and Society; The Conversation; Sustainable Cities and Society; Stadt:Pilot; EOLSS Encyclopedia; Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia; Habitat International; Singapore Architect; City Economics-Wirtschaft Stadtentwicklung; Urban Knowledge City Solutions-The World Bank; Swissbau Focus; Journal of Urban Development Projects; Timber + Design; WME Journal; Greenbuilding; ATSE Focus; Journal of Sustainable Development; Journal of Cleaner Production; SAPIENS; International Journal of Environmental Science and Technologies; and others.

• Recent outcomes of research ranking, Dec. 2012:

The 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment confirms the University of South Australia’s strong progress towards its research goals, with more than 86 per cent of the university’s assessed research rated as world standard or above (based on research performance data collected between 2005 and 2010). For instance, Engineering and Environmental Sciences at UniSA are ranked ‘4:above world standard’.

In the past five years (2007-12), UniSA doubled the research income and we’re on track to double it again.


• Providing expert opinion to media:

Steffen Lehmann regularly provides comments to media. His TED talk (2011) and other podcasts are available online on YouTube.

Between January and March 2011, he was featured by Discovery Channel as one of the experts profiled in the 'Living Cities' documentary series.

In 2011, he was named by The Economist at the Future Dialogue "one of the 25 most influential people to change cities in the Asia-Pacific region".

In 2013: Two grants won to strengthen Chinese links in Sustainable Urban Development:

Led by Steffen, an application to the Australia-China Council (ACC) resulted in the award of A$30,000 towards the project “China-Australia Pathways for Urban Transition: Leadership Forum for Sustainable Urban Development”, 2013-2014. In addition, the application to the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF) for $45,000 was also successful. This amount will be used to finance a Group Mission from the Centre to Tianjin University at the beginning of April 2014, for 8 academics from UniSA to give lectures, organise workshops and develop new collaborative research projects. The project is titled "Collaboration with Tianjin University to develop a partnership in urban sustainability research", 2013-2014.

Expertise for Media Contact

I am able to provide media comment in the following areas of expertise:

Discipline: Architecture and Urban Design

  • Sustainable Design and Behaviour Change
  • Green Urbanism
  • Low-to-no-Carbon Cities
  • Urban Development in the Asia-Pacific
  • Retrofitting Urban Systems
  • Adaptive Re-use as Design Strategy
  • Material Culture in Architecture
  • Prof. Lehmann has delivered over hundred keynote addresses

Community Service

Organisation Name:   UNESCO Chair for Sustainable Urban Development
Section:   UNESCO
Organisation URL:   http://www.unesco.org
Level of involvement:   Chairholder
Year from:   2008
Year to:   2010
Comments:   Steffen Lehmann has worked in Germany, the UK, Japan, the US, Austria, France, the United Arab Emirates, China, Singapore and Australia. As UNESCO Chair he has been involved in significant advisory and design work in China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, the UAE and Jordan. He has carried out intensive field research in Brazil; and extended study tours of urban architecture, design, planning and systems in Japan, Brazil, India, the US, China, South-East Asia, Australia and Europe.

Research Degree Supervisor

PhD research at UniSA:
In 2012, UniSA has more than 1.200 PhD students, including over 400 international students from 59 countries.

PhD Supervision:
Since 2003, Professor Steffen Lehmann has successfully supervised or co-supervised PhD and Masters/Honours students at three universities. He has also been an External Examiner of PhD theses completed at other Australian Universities. He is accredited as a registered PhD Supervisor for Principal Supervision and provides strategic vision. His sd+b Centre is an active hub for PhD training and supervision.

You can find the videos of our PhD students on YouTube.

Steffen's former postgraduate students now work in universities, research institutes and in leading positions in organisations and companies worldwide.

Research opportunities:
Opportunities for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and visiting scholars are available in our research projects, at the sd+b Centre and CAC_SUD Centre.



'I want my students to work in every corner of the world and become tomorrow's leaders in their field.' Steffen Lehmann, 2013

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