Rob McGauran

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Personal profile


A founding Director of MGS Architects, Rob leads the masterplanning, design advocacy and urban design discipline in the practice. His particular areas of interest are around the themes of knowledge cities, inclusive cities, sustainable and creative cities and connected cities and the buildings and programs that support these themes. This is drawn from both the particular and distinctive attributes of the challenges facing Australian cities.

His relevant skills are in masterplanning, mixed-use, inclusive community enterprise precincts, affordable housing, sustainable transport infrastructure and sustainable architecture.

He is an experienced advocate, managing community consultation and government partnership processes. His masterplanning projects involve the design management of large and complex multidisciplinary consultant teams and stakeholder groups.

At a strategic planning level Rob has been responsible for masterplans, urban design frameworks and structure plans for key areas of Melbourne, including Arden Urban Renewal Precinct, Footscray University Town, Chapel Vision Structure Plan, and Cremorne Precincts. He led the masterplans for the award winning suite of Monash University campuses, UNSW, La Trobe University, University of Wollongong’s Wollongong Campus, and the historic Alphington Paper Mills, Australia’s greenest urban renewal project.

His built projects are known for their innovation, relevance to contemporary issues and community focus. These include McIntyre Drive Social Housing, Drill Hall Community Hub and Housing redevelopment, Woodstock Rooming House, and the New Generation Bendigo Library redevelopment. Each has won multiple awards across planning, urban design, architecture, interiors, and environmental and social sustainability disciplines.

He acts as an expert witness at VCAT on numerous projects and provides urban design advice and expert advice to the Planning Minister, Government Agencies and Local Government jurisdictions.

In the not-for-profit sector, Rob has been a board member of Housing Choices Australia, Melbourne Affordable Housing and The Song Room, and is now a director of Australia’s largest philanthropic community fund, the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

Rob’s research interests have led to him being appointed an Adjunct Professor Urban Design and Adjunct Professor Architectural Practice at Monash University and Professorial Fellow Urban Design at The University of Melbourne. His research projects have included new models for transit rich communities, new approaches to affordable housing and new tools for urban scale analysis and design. He is an industry research partner in projects for housing affordability and transit oriented development for cities with Monash University, Swinburne and The University of Melbourne and an ARC Partner in Linkage projects with Monash University, The University of Melbourne, RMIT, and Swinburne University.

Individually Rob has won research awards from the Ian Potter Foundation and the Australian Institute of Architects. Rob’s research and publications are diverse and include selection for the RAIA Sisalation Research Prize 2001 to prepare a new journal Take 1 – Propositions for the Future Australian City and partnerships with major Universities in the investigations of important questions around the built environment, social inclusion, integrated transport solutions and learning environments.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Business Management, Post Grad Dip, University of Melbourne

… → 1994

Fine Art, Bachelor Degree, University of Melbourne

… → 1988

Architecture, Bachelor of Architecture (Hons), University of Melbourne

… → 1982

Research area keywords

  • urban design
  • affordable housing
  • knowledge cities
  • urban regeneration
  • inclusive cities
  • ecological cities
  • city futures