International recognition for architecture student Jacky Lam

Julie Willis and Jacky Lam
Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning Dean Julie Willis and Jacky Lam at the RIBA ceremony. Image: Julie Willis.

University of Melbourne student Jacky Lam has received a Bronze Medal commendation as part of the President's Medals awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Graduating with a Bachelor of Design majoring in Architecture earlier this year, Jacky is currently undertaking a Master of Architecture with the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning.

Jacky received the prize in London in recognition of his project ‘Symbiosis’, produced for the final capstone subject in the Bachelor of Design degree.

“The brief for the project sought to tackle contemporary societal needs and find an innovative way to support communal living in suburban areas,” Jacky said.

“I wanted to find a new typology that could reinterpret Indigenous values around the environment while working with the existing architectural elements found in Melbourne suburbs.”

Jacky’s project incorporated passive, ecologically sustainable design principles that created opportunities for greenery and habitat.

“I looked at blurring the boundaries between humans and nature, and to extract elements already found in the suburban environment,” Jacky said.

Professor Julie Willis, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, who attended the awards ceremony with Jacky, congratulated him on the award.

“We are extremely proud of Jacky for this outstanding achievement. This is one of the world’s most prestigious architecture awards and is a testament not only to Jacky’s hard work, but also his creativity and innovative thinking,” Professor Willis said.

“We’re very excited to see what he will go on to achieve in the future.”

Jacky’s success in this prestigious competition follows Melbourne School of Design alum Victoria Louise King, who was awarded the RIBA Silver Medal for her master’s thesis project in 2019.

‘Symbiosis’ was initially featured in the Faculty’s MSDx Winter exhibition. It was nominated by the Faculty’s selection panel for the RIBA awards for Jacky's consideration of complex themes around sustainability, Indigenous history, and global migration. The project can be viewed on the MSDx website.