1998 Dr Julian Bolleter

Dr Julian Bolleter is the co-director of the Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC) at UWA. His role at the AUDRC includes teaching within the Master of Urban Design and conducting urban design related research and design projects. Julian is an experienced landscape architect and urban designer and has worked in design offices in Australia, the USA, the UK and the Middle East. He has completed a PhD concerning Dubai’s urban development and has commercially published six books.

Julian graduated from the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at UWA in 1998, and also holds a Doctor of Philosophy from UWA.

Why did you choose to study landscape architecture?
Julian Bolleter – I wanted to make models as I had grown up building model railways, and a school friend of mine was going to study landscape architecture. It was all very random!

What was your most memorable class from your time at UWA?
JB – The Culture of Nature with Richard Weller. A rollicking ride through the history of landscape architecture.

During your time as a student, who was a key person of influence in developing your approach?

JB – Richard Weller. He was, and is, an endless source of inspiration. My life was never the same.

What did you learn at UWA that has been most influential during your career?
JB – The landscape architecture program switched on the designer in me; the passion for design has never gone away.

What is one resource from your time as a student that you return to, or that you feel has been most influential on you as a landscape architect?
JB – Boomtown by Richard Weller. It kicked the door down and said that landscape architects can grapple with planning issues at the city-scale.

What’s one moment that stands out from your time studying landscape architecture at UWA?
JB –  Climbing out the windows of the fourth-floor studio after an all-nighter to sit on the ledge and watch the sun come up.

Do you have any advice for current landscape architecture students?
JB –  The latitude that university design studios allow isn't present in most landscape architecture offices. Allow yourself to experiment in the design process while you’re at university.

This interview was undertaken in 2022, and has been edited for clarity and cohesion.

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Image: After Greenspace Oriented Design (GOD) courtesy Robert Cameron, Cristina E. Ramalho and Julian Bolleter