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MAAS Architecture Commission 2019

Finished 13 August 2018
Powerhouse Museum

The annual MAAS Architecture Commission is a unique opportunity for emerging and established architecture and design talent to transform a public space into an immersive, multi-functional environment. In 2019 the Powerhouse Museum’s forecourt on Harris Street, Ultimo will be the site of the commission.

The commission offers the opportunity to design and present an innovative temporary project, installation or structure that considers the site, location and diversity of MAAS visitors and the public space.

The annual commission aligns with Sydney’s premier design event, Sydney Design Festival, 1–10 March 2019, and the commission will be on display for the duration of the Festival.

The commission will form the central focus of Sydney Design Festival, functioning as a destination for the design community and visiting public alike.


Stage One is an Expression of Interest.

  • Applicants will submit design proposals for presentation to the jury panel.
  • Design proposals should include budget estimates (including a design fee of at least 10% of the total budget), artist biography, CV and examples of past work.
  • Three to five shortlisted submissions will be selected for Stage Two, and a stipend paid for further development.

In Stage Two the shortlisted submissions will be further developed and refined. 

  • The jury will select a successful applicant, who will be commissioned to complete the design development and delivery of the 2019 MAAS Architecture Commission.


Expressions of interest are open from 18 July – 13 August 2018. A copy of the brief can be found here.

Applications must adhere to the guidelines and emailed to  by 11.59pm on Monday 13 August 2018.

A dedicated project coordinator is available to all interested parties at to answer any questions applicants may have.

Key Dates

Expressions of Interest open 18 July 2018

Expressions of Interest close 13 August 2018

Winning design announced September 2018

Sydney Design Festival and MAAS Architecture Commission installation open 1 March 2019



William Smart, Director and Founder, Smart Design Studio

Dr Sam Spurr, Senior Lecturer, UNSW

Michael Hromek, Professional Tutor, Jumbunna Inst for Indigenous Education & Research, UTS

Kelvin Ho, Founder, Akin Creative

Diana Snape, Senior Design Advisor, Office of the Government Architect, NSW

Jennifer McMaster, Director, TRIAS

Keinton Butler, Senior Curator, MAAS

Sophie Harrington, Public Programs Manager, MAAS

Peter Denham, Director, Curatorial, Collections & Exhibitions, MAAS

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Designer Jennifer McMaster from TRIAS architectural studio explains the ideas behind Four Periscopes, the 2018 MAAS architectural commission.

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