Profiles

Richard Burnham

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Richard Burnham

Lecturer
Architecture & Design

Railway Cottage , Inveresk Campus

Career summary

Qualifications

DegreeThese titleUniversityCountryDate of award
PhDThe Ecological Implications of Owner BuildingUniversity of LiverpoolUnited Kingdom1993
Bachelor of Architecture University of LiverpoolUnited Kingdom1989

Languages (other than English)

Hindi

Teaching

Teaching expertise

Richard has taught across all three of the main curriculum streams; design studios, building technology and history/theory units. Specific areas of expertise have included low-cost housing in South-Asia, humanitarian design, climatic design and the design of small spaces. In addition, he has co-ordinated the School’s highly regarded Learning by Making program for several years. In these units students work collaboratively, engaging with real-world community projects and clients. Students learn the important connections between designing and making, and take responsibility for communicating with clients.

Teaching responsibility

KDA140 Architecture Studio Place

KDA240 Architecture Studio Form

KDA715 Global Studio

View more on Dr Richard Burnham in WARP

Research Themes

Richard’s research aligns to the University’s research themes of Creativity and Resources and Sustainability. His research is focussed around the creative and socially productive potentials of digital fabrication. The research is project-based, integrated with design studio teaching, and built on long-term collaborations with both industry and community partners.

Over the past few years Richard and colleagues have developed ‘FabTab’ - an architectural scale flat-pack building system – which exemplifies the aspirations of our work. The system comprises a three-dimensional arrangement of CNC cut plywood components, connected with multiple tab and slot joints and assembled with screws and rubber mallets. The system responds to the opportunities of digital fabrication – precision, reliability and parametrics – as well as the inherent characteristics of plywood – such as capacity for bending and forming structural skins. ,The software that drives FabTab was written to a brief developed by Architecture & Design. The buildings created are an expression of an underlying philosophy and a clear logic. FabTab is specifically tailored to a low-skilled workforce by ensuring in-built dimensional reliability, as well as keeping materials, tool and required skills to a minimum.

A second ongoing project involves the fabrication of metallic cladding panels through a process known as Incremental Sheet Forming. Sheet-metal is incrementally deformed into three-dimensional geometries using pressure imparted by a robot arm moving along CAD derived tool-paths, gradually stepping down for each contour. The three-dimensional characteristics of the panels may respond to structural requirements, building geometry or pattern-making. The advantage of ISF over other metal forming techniques is the capacity for parametric application, whereby the design of each individual panel can be customised in order to respond to a variety of requirements.

Collaboration

Richard believes that design institutions have a responsibility to engage with communities.

The Castle was a collaboration with a local homeless shelter involving the design, fabrication and deployment of autonomous micro-dwellings to the driveways and backyards of families experiencing ‘spatial stress’, where a young person was at risk of homelessness. The research focussed on the development of a digitally fabricated construction system that would enable a low-skilled workforce to assemble the structures with precision and reliability. Designs were refined based on feedback from users, their families and the unemployed youth responsible for assembling the plywood components. Six Castle designs were prototyped by Architecture & Design students, and fifteen completed structures were assembled by over one hundred unemployed youth under a formal employment training program.

After the Castle was showcased on the ABC 7:30 show, Scouts Western Australia commissioned Architecture & Design to prototype and manufacture a flat-pack scout-hut that could be assembled by Youth Justice participants. Six sets of components, each comprising around 600 CNC-cut plywood components, was supported by animated instructions that supervisors and program participants could follow on tablets to ensure configuration and order of assembly was correct.

The Forest Education Foundation delivers education programs for primary and high school students, focussed on forestry ecology and the use of forest products. Based on a brief from the FEF, Richard and a group of Master of Architecture students developed ‘Forest in a Box’, a hands-on educational resource to support the teaching of design and technology in classrooms.

After a series of collaborative projects with local organisations and institutions I was presented with the Dean’s Award for Exceptional Performance in Community Engagement and Outreach in 2017.

Fields of Research

  • Architectural design (330102)
  • Architecture (330199)
  • Urban and regional planning (330499)
  • Building information modelling and management (330204)
  • Data visualisation and computational (incl. parametric and generative) design (330301)
  • Environmental education and extension (410403)
  • Architectural history, theory and criticism (330104)
  • Industrial and product design (330309)
  • Environmental management (410404)

Research Objectives

  • Residential construction design (120205)
  • Other construction (129999)
  • Environmentally sustainable construction activities (120699)
  • Other education and training (169999)
  • Teaching and curriculum (160399)
  • Expanding knowledge in psychology (280121)
  • Civil construction design (120201)
  • Learner and learning (160199)
  • Timber materials (120306)
  • Pedagogy (160302)
  • Teaching and instruction technologies (160304)
  • Construction processes (120599)
  • Industrial construction design (120203)
  • Management of gaseous waste from construction activities (excl. greenhouse gases) (120601)
  • Building management and services (120199)
  • Wood, wood products and paper (241799)

Publications

Based on work in India with Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA), Richard authored a book Community Action Planning: processes, ideas, experiences documenting a series of community mapping projects undertaken in slum communities.

Richard has been a regular contributor to Architecture Science Association (ASA) conferences, primarily describing projects undertaken by the School’s Learning by Making program. He has had a collaborative paper published in the Journal of Green Building and contributed chapters to books including Live Projects Designing with People and Design Build Studio. The Castle has been recognised as a Major Creative Work.

Total publications

23

Journal Article

(3 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2017Burnham R, Wallis L, 'Learning by making. Long-term collaborations and socially productive outcomes', Journal of Public Space, 2, (3) pp. 73-84. ISSN 2206-9658 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.5204/jps.v2i3.116 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Wallis L

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2009Burnham R, Green RB, 'The Castle: A Lean Micro-Dwelling', Journal of greenbuilding, 4, (Number 1 Winter) pp. 101 - 113. ISSN 1552-6100 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3992/jgb.4.1.99 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Green RB

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1997Green R, Clayton IB, Burnham R, van der Schans G, Spence TR, et al., 'Two design projects for schools', CHASA refereed designs 1997 pp. 8-10. (1997) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Green R; Clayton IB; van der Schans G; Spence TR

Book

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2002Burnham R, 'Community Action Planning: processes, ideas, experiences', Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA), Mumbai, pp. 172. ISBN 0-0000-0000-0 (2002) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

Chapter in Book

(3 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2012Burnham R, Wallis L, 'The Castle: A Long-term Community Partnership', Live Projects Designing with People, RMIT University Press, M Dodd, F Harrisson and E Charlesworth (ed), Melbourne, Victoria, pp. 186-191. ISBN 9781921426933 (2012) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Wallis L

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2011Burnham R, Wallis L, Clayton I, Green R, 'University of Tasmania: The Castle', Design Build Studio, Lightroom, W Carpenter (ed), Decatur, Georgia, pp. 381-392. ISBN 9780557864188 (2011) [Other Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Wallis L; Clayton I; Green R

2009Burnham RM, Green R, 'The Castle: Digital Fabrication of Micro-housing', Computing Cognition and Education, ANZASCA, N Gu, MJ Ostwald and A Williams (ed), Newcastle, pp. 219-231. ISBN 978-0-9806034-3-9 (2009) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Green R

Conference Publication

(12 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2018Burnham R, Green R, Taylor L, Jones O, Wilkes L, et al., 'The DigiShed: a small structure designed, fabricated and assembled with three emergent digital technologies', Engaging Architectural Science: Meeting the Challenges of Higher Density: 52nd International Conference of the Architectural Science Association 2018: Proceedings, 28 November - 1 December 2018, RMIT University, pp. 169-176. ISBN 978-0-9923835-5-8 (2018) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Green R; Taylor L; Wilkes L

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2015Burnham R, Wallis L, Clayton I, Green R, 'Learning-by-making: transformative learning in design', Proceedings of the 8th International Conference and Exhibition of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, 2-3 October 2015, Christchurch, New Zealand, pp. 138-145. ISBN 9780473337100 (2015) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Wallis L; Clayton I; Green R

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2014Burnham R, Holmstrom K, 'Home and away', Across: Architectural Research through to Practice - Proceedings of the 48th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association, 10-13 December 2014, Genoa, Italy, pp. 457-468. ISBN 978-0-9923835-1-0 (2014) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Holmstrom K

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2014Burnham R, Wallis L, Clayton I, Green R, 'Learning-by-making: high impact learning in design', Places & Spaces: Proceedings of the Teaching Matters 2014 Conference, 2-3 December 2014, Hobart, Tasmania, pp. 3-14. (2014) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Wallis L; Clayton I; Green R

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2012Tubby R, Burnham R, Green R, 'Super Slob: The development of a parametric component jointing regime for standard sheet materials', Building on Knowledge, Theory and Practice: Proceedings of the 46th Annual Conference of the Architectural Science Association, 14-16 November 2012, Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, pp. 1-2. (2012) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Tubby R; Green R

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2011Burnham R, 'Digitally Fabricated Single-skin Plywood Construction: The Castle and 'Panitecture'', Proceedings of 45th ANZAScA Conference, 16-18 November 2011, University of Sydney, pp. 1-8. ISBN 9780958122139 (2011) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

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2011Burnham R, Green R, ''The Castle': get communities working', Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, 18-21 September 2011, Geelong, Australia, pp. 23-32. ISBN 9780958192552 (2011) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Green R

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2009Burnham R, Green RB, 'The Castle', Sustainable Theory: Theorizing sustainability, 4-5 September 2009, Wellington, New Zealand, pp. 1-11. ISBN 978-0-475-12346-6 (2009) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Green RB

2008Burnham R, Green RB, 'The Castle: micro-housing options of young people at risk of homelessness', ANZAScA 08, proceedings, 26-28 November 08, Newcastle, pp. 67-74. ISBN 97809805035-0-0 (2008) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Green RB

1998Clayton IB, van der Schans G, Green R, Burnham R, Spence TR, 'The Duck Seat and Rav Shade & Play (To Design and Build Project)', Designing Eco-Solutions (Catalyst 97 Conference), December 97, Faculty of Environmental Design, Univ of Canberra (1998) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Clayton IB; van der Schans G; Green R; Spence TR

1996Burnham R, 'An Investigation into the Role of Culture in State Self-Help Housing', TRADITIONS AND MODERNITY- Contemporary Architecture in Southeast Asia nad Beyond, Jakarta, pp. 1-16. (1996) [Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

1995Burnham R, 'Self Help Housing and Ecology', Catalyst '95, University of Canberra, pp. 239-243. (1995) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

[eCite] [Details]

Major Creative Work

(3 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2012Burnham R, 'Design:Made:Trade Exhibition Stand', Design Tasmania, The Design Centre, Launceston, and the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne (2012) [Published Creative Work]

[eCite] [Details]

2011Burnham R, 'Castle 5', UTAS and Youth Futures Inc. (2011) [Published Creative Work]

[eCite] [Details]

2009Burnham R, 'Castle 3', Design Island Showcasing Tour 2009, Salamanca Place, Hobart (2009) [Published Creative Work]

[eCite] [Details]

Other Public Output

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2009Burnham R, 'The Castle', Artichoke, Sue Harris MDIA, Port Melbourne Victoria, 28 (2009) [Magazine Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Grants & Funding

Richard has received Contract Research funding for three projects, from Scouts Western Australia, the Forest Education Foundation and Youth Futures Inc., as well as a grant from the Tasmanian Community Fund.

Funding Summary

Number of grants

4

Total funding

$125,905

Projects

Design and Technology Resource - Forest Education Foundation (2019)$9,569
Description
The research and design and fabrication of a range of timber teaching resources to be used in primary school environments to support teaching on forests, forestry and wood products. The resource and the associated activities are designed to relate to the Australian Curriculum modules in Design and Technology, Science and HASS
Funding
Forest Education Foundation ($9,569)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Burnham R
Year
2019
Scout Hut for Scouts WA (2015 - 2016)$31,936
Description
The project focuses on the further development of applied research into applications for digital design and fabrication in the context of building construction. This research is in response to Scouts Western Australia's brief for a flat-pack 6-person Scouthut, to be assembled as part of an employment training program. The construction system, developed uniquely within the School of Architecture & Design, is based around precision-cut plywood components and is tailored for assembly by a low-skilled workforce.
Funding
Youth Futures Incorporated ($31,936)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Burnham R
Period
2015 - 2016
The Castle: Turn-key Cottage Industry (2012)$79,750
Funding
Tasmanian Community Fund ($79,750)
Scheme
Grant
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Burnham R
Year
2012
'The Castle' (2009)$4,650
Funding
University of Tasmania ($4,650)
Scheme
Grant-Commercialisation Seed Fund
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Green RB; Burnham R
Year
2009

Research Supervision

Richard is currently supervising two PhD students and invites students interested in creative applications of digital fabrication to have a look at the project currently advertised on the School’s Advertised HDR Research Project page.

Current

2

Completed

2

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
MastersPre-School Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the Challenging Daily Transition from School to Home Environments2020
PhDTowards net zero: thermal, hygro-thermal and life-cycle research as critical design inputs for healthy and low carbon buildings2020

Completed

DegreeTitleCompleted
MastersImhotep Phidias Antonio le Corridor
Candidate: Katalin Mathe
2001
MastersCreating home in Urban Australia: The role of site, space and form
Candidate: Jillian Louise Walliss
1996