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Past LSAA Events

Articles from earlier LSAA Seminars, Conferences and Design Awards


Frei Otto Film screening at MPavilion
Frei Otto Film screening at MPavilion

Peter Lim (LSAA President) gave a nice introduction and welcomed the group before the twilight screening commenced at 7.30pm. 

Upon completion Peter moderated a discussion with two of the MPavilion design stakeholders discussing Frei and the MPavilion design.

The MPavilion is an annual occasion where a new design competition is held for a sculptural playful structure pictured here.

Frei Otto's Munich Olympic Stadium (c) P Kneen
Frei Otto's Munich Olympic Stadium

The LSAA and Tensys is joining with MPavilion to bring you a free screening of the documentary film about Frei Otto - "Spanning the Future"

Join us in Melbourne on Tuesday March 28 2023 at 7.45pm in the MPavilion, Queen Victoria Gardens (opp the National Gallery of Victoria).

Spanning the Future, is a documentary about the incredible life and work of Frei Otto. As an architect and engineer, he laid the foundation for contemporary lightweight architecture and his ideas are still awe-inspiring decades after he revealed them. This fact was cemented when he was named the 2015 Laureate of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.



Frei Otto STFuture

As an additional event leading up to LSAA 2020 Conference, and as part of Design Week Melbourne, on March 20 2020 there is a public screening of the film about Frei Otto.

Frei Otto is regarded as the father of lightweight structures and his major works such as the stadia for the Munich Olympics, many fabric structures, timber grid shells, experiments with soap films and his willingness to encourage others are part of his legacy.

The Film is called Spanning the Future and more details including bookings are in the A4 Flyer 

Bookings for the film are at Eventbrite


"Innovate into the Future"

Thursday and Friday October 25-26 2018 at UTS Sydney

A great Conference, Dinner and Design Awards Function was held at the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at UTS.

Results of our LSAA Design Awards and details of the many entries can be seen under the Awards menu

Theme: In the modern world, progress is fast.  Exciting new opportunities and revolutions in buildings lie around every corner.  New ideas in design and sustainability will shape us and our buildings as we go into the future. Download Conference Flyers here: Summary or Full Prog (5Mb PDF)

"Innovate into the Future" explored the expanding frontiers of architecture and engineering in lightweight structures.  It examined the changing ideas and concepts in the field over the years, whilst looking forward to what the future holds.

The conference showed off some of the innovations that lie at the centre of tomorrow’s world.  Cutting edge modern designs and concepts were highlighted, illustrating design challenges and solutions.

The LSAA Conference was not possible without the collaboration with UTS and the generous support of our sponsors

Combined jpgPlatinum: Serge Ferrari, Gold: Gale Pacific, Ronstan, Awards: Hiraoka, Silver Pro-Rig, Verseidag

Download Conference Flyer HERE for a complete description of the program, keynote speakers and sponsors.

There was a very good number of projects entered into the 2018 LSAA Design Awards.

 LSAA 2016 Conference and Design Awards

Theme: Design Beyond Boundaries
The Intersection of Architects and Engineers

 Melbourne from Thursday September 1st to Friday September 2nd 2016.

The event was great due to a varied, excellent and inspirational program put together by Peter Lim, LSAA and the Monash Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.

Conference Program and details of Keynote & Public Lecture Presentations can be downloaded HERE (PDF, 3Mb)


Day 1 Thursday September 1st 2016

Keynote address Nicholas Goldsmith "Shape Making or Formfinding"

Session: Reflections on the Contribution of Frei Otto

Session: Project Focus

Public Lecture Nicholas Goldsmith "From Mass to Membrane" 

Conference and Design Awards Presentation Dinner

Day 2 Friday September 2nd 2016

Keynote Address Ron Van Sluijs "Stadia Roof Topology through Design Methodology"

Session: Experimentation and Digital Systems

Afternoon: Design Workshop

Some thumbnail images of the Design Awards can be found HERE (PDF) and the workshop HERE (PDF) 

Twenty nine projects were entered for the 2016 Design Awards in all Categories.

LSAA 2011  Workshop, Conference, Public Lecture and Design Awards

Public Lecture Flyer & Reg Details

Venue: Novotel Sydney Olympic Park October 12-14 2011

1.Technical Workshop

"Design of Tensioned Fabric and Shadecloth Structures"

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Further information:

Workshop Flyer and Draft Program – (PDF)

Registration form - to fill in and sent back
(Word Doc) (download file)

Sponsorship Opportunities - PDF

LSAA 2011 Conference on Collaborative Design and LSAA Design Awards

Venue: Novotel Sydney Olympic Park, 13-14 October Thursday & Friday 2011.

The unique characteristics of larger Lightweight Structure applications – stadia, transport hubs, exhibition spaces, clear span environmental protection – requires an added degree of collaborative design input to be successful.  It is also a feature of these structures that the design details are exposed, very variable in 3D geometry and visible which in turn demands an extra level of design input. There is normally specialized expertise needed for the erection or assembly of such delicate but graceful structures.

The Lightweight Structures Association of Australasia 
2010 Symposium

Design of Tension Membrane and Shadecloth Shade Structures

Thursday  October 21st 2010 in Brisbane at the Brisbane River View Hotel

Tensioned membrane structures have become an important structural form for both large span roof structures as well as for smaller covered areas which also serve as an architectural statement.

The design principles and fabric material properties needed to be understood for a successful realization of a project are not covered in University courses. This seminar is an opportunity to learn about the basic structural design parameters, material selection, fabrication and erection techniques.

"Technology and Sustainability Applications in Lightweight Structures"

Our invited International Speaker is Prof Ian Liddell. Ian is a founder of the respected firm of Buro Happold in the UK. Amongst a raft of completed impressive lightweight structures around the world, perhaps the most well known that Ian designed is the Milleniumm Dome.

Ian Liddell CBE, one of thefounding partners of Buro Happold, retired in 2005 but continues to work for the practice as a consultant. He is a Royal Academy Visiting Professor of Engineering Design at Cambridge University’s School of Engineering, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers and a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He is an Honourary Fellow of the Royal Institution of British Architects.

RAS Night picture

"Technology and Sustainability Applications in Lightweight Structures"

A two day Conference which highlighted the advances and practical use of new technologies, materials and sustainability principles for Lightweight Structures.

Thursday/Friday October 29/30 2009 
The Arts Centre, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Our invited International Speaker was Prof Ian Liddell. Ian is a founder of the respected firm of Buro Happold in the UK. Amongst a raft of completed impressive lightweight structures around the world, perhaps the most well known that Ian designed is the Milleniumm Dome. He is an Honourary Fellow of the Royal Institution of British Architects.

We were also privileged to have two outstanding local Architects agree to give keynote presentations. Daryl Jackson and Patrick Ness are well known to the Melbourne fraternity with a swag of completed projects and current work in the area of lightweight structures and stadia.

LSAA 2013 Conference Wrap Up

The theme of the conference was "Touching the Earth Lightly"

This conference will look at the most efficient use of materials & resources to have a marked effect on our planet, our lives and our future.  We want to help get people thinking about building better, building for the environment and living lightly on the planet.

Lightweight structures can not only be light they can be relocatable, reusable, recyclable and offer many sustainable advantages for architects, engineers and developers.