2017 National Prizes: National President’s Prize

National President’s Prize: Michael Keniger 2017 National Prizes Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Winner of the 2017 National President’s Prize, Michael Keniger.

Winner of the 2017 National President’s Prize, Michael Keniger.

Image: Alex Chomicz

Architecture has a significant contribution to make in improving quality of life for all citizens. Nurturing, guiding and inspiring coming generations of architects is arguably our profession’s most critical task. I am delighted to announce the awarding of the 2017 National President’s Prize to Michael Keniger, who has dedicated his professional life to this cause.

Michael is a remarkable architect. As a leader, academic, advocate, advisor, critic, writer and mentor he has made an incredible contribution to our profession and society with dedication, humility and humanity. Michael is regarded by his peers in Queensland and beyond as one of our most significant and loved architects, for his generous contribution to the quality of architecture and urban design as a practitioner, public champion and educator.

The breadth of Michael’s activities is astounding. His long career with the University of Queensland commenced with his collaboration with Brit Andresen in forging a unique and enduring design culture in the architecture school, based on regionalism and specific interpretation of place. Continuing with roles as head of the department of architecture and dean of the faculty, Michael ultimately broadened his influence as senior deputy vice-chancellor and senior vice-president of the university.

Michael has shaped public policy and directly influenced the design quality of major urban and public projects in Queensland, achieved through his former role as the Queensland Government Architect, and through the Urban Futures Brisbane Board, Queensland’s Urban Land Development Authority and the South Bank Corporation Design Review Panel and Board. He is currently chair of the Brisbane Airport Development and Design Integrity Panel.

His generous service to the profession includes time as president of the Queensland Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects, and membership of the Queensland Board of Architects and the Institute’s National Education Committee. Additionally Michael has chaired and participated on numerous accreditation panels for schools of architecture at universities throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Beyond Queensland, Michael has played a key role in forming the Government Architects Network Australia. He has chaired and participated in numerous local and national design competition juries and selection panels. Michael has written extensively on architecture and urban design, and has been a keynote speaker and guest lecturer at conferences and universities throughout the world.

His accolades from peers are extensive and wideranging, including recognition as a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and the Queensland Academy of Arts and Science.

Most significantly, Michael is treasured by several generations of students he has influenced, colleagues with whom he has collaborated and governments he has advised. He is an outstanding role model for our profession and I admire him greatly for his intelligent contribution to a civil, humane and engaged society.


Ken Maher LFRAIA (Chair) President, Australian Institute of Architects; Fellow, Hassell

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