AMA explores architecture of enthusiasm. Treating each project as a unique challenge, we offer unique possibilities and we pride ourselves in sustainable design and experimentation. We work directly with occupants to ensure we understand their wants and needs. It is through this collaborative approach that the richness in our work emerges. We ask for open participation from clients and encourage them to draw, research, question and engage. We embrace deliberative design and ask users to be the authors of their spaces and their city. Where others may see compromise, we see client participation as an exciting enrichment of the process.
All of Austin Maynard Architects designs are concept rich, left of centre and sustainability conscious; styles and singular themes are avoided. AMA specialises in ideas rather than building type, whether the project be a house in Fitzroy, a library in Japan, a protest shelter in Tasmania or a plywood bicycle.
Mark Austin joined Andrew Maynard Architects in 2007 and become a director of the practice in 2009. In 2016 the name was changed to Austin Maynard Architects to officially recognise his contribution. Mark is regarded as the bedrock of AMA. It’s his diligence, acumen and professionalism that clients trust, respect and rely on. Though he’s been known to wear thongs to a building site, builders appreciate his hands on attitude, practical knowledge and problem solving abilities.
Mark has a bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Tasmania and a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Melbourne, receiving a high distinction for Design. After finishing his studies he took a break from architecture and moved to London to pursue a rock 'n'roll career. As a member of 90’s indie band The Paradise Motel, he spent three years touring Europe and recording albums before the group disbanded and went their separate ways. Fortunately Mark had other skills and stayed in London, securing a job as Production Designer for the English National Opera. Based in Covent Garden, Mark was the link between the stage and the workshop. He had fun, but never did develop an appreciation for opera.
After the ENO, Mark focused on being an architect, working on various building types and project scales - from urban redevelopment in the West End to co-ordinating the upgrade of The Grosvenor Park Hotel on Park Lane.
In 2004 he moved back to Melbourne and joined old-school master-architect Col Bandy, where he learned how things are built. In 2007 someone thought that Mark should meet Andrew, because they were both architects who were born in the same small town of Devonport, Tasmania. Oddly they weren’t related, but they did get on and soon after Mark joined Andrew Maynard Architects. Two years later he became a director and in 2016 the name was changed to Austin Maynard Architects to reflect his contribution.
Though modest, and preferring the semi-shade (ever the keyboard player), Mark occasionally gives public lectures and media interviews. He also served as a jury member for the Victorian Institute Awards and is a director of Nightingale on Sydney Road.
Mark is passionate about mid-century design. He collects 20th century furniture and has trawled LA and Palm Springs to look at some of his favourite buildings. He hates it when great modernist houses are knocked down, or unsympathetically renovated, and is currently restoring his own 1960s home. Sometimes he still plays music.
Andrew established Andrew Maynard Architects in 2002 after winning the Asia Pacific Design Award's grand prize for his mobile work station, THE DESIGN POD. Andrew is Tasmanian and has a bachelor of Environmental Design and a bachelor of Architecture (with honours), both of which he received at the University of Tasmania. He was invited to undertake a PhD at RMIT university, which he started, however someone at RMIT said something mean to him once so he threw a tantrum and left.
Andrew has won loads of awards. While still at uni he won an international design competition that sent him around the world. A short time later, he won the Asian Pacific Design Awards for his Design Pod. Again the prize was a trip around the world, plus other cool stuff. His prefab housing model has received awards and his built work has won numerous local and international accolades. His Zero Waste Table also received recognition at the United Nations World Environment Day Awards.
Andrew’s work has been shown throughout the world. His first big exhibition was at the YOUNG Guns exhibition in New York City in 2004 while his Styx Valley Protest Shelter was exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
Andrew is regularly asked to lecture, which he loves. He has been a keynote speaker at the Malaysian Institute of Architects conference, the New Zealand Institute of Architects conference and a speaker at a conference that was all about time. Other speakers were scientists, academics and philosophers. He wasn’t out of his depth, much.
Andrew has an ongoing love affair with all types of media. He is interested in the way that the ubiquitous nature of media influences culture. He has been interviewed and written about in various new media, on TV and in newspapers, magazines and books. He’s even been asked to host a couple of TV series, which is rather rad. He declined an audition to host Grand Designs Australia (which he kinda regrets). He did an audition to host a show called THE RENOVATORS. The show turned out to be a flop, so he dodged a bullet with that one. It’s unlikely to be the end of a TV careers though, but more on that when it happens.
In 2014 Andrew became a founding board member, and a director, of Nightingale Housing - a non-for-profit organisation creating ethical, social sustainable and cost effective housing, whilst also revolutionising the developer-dominated housing market.
Andrew is left of centre and can’t keep his political views to himself. He’s keen to see a fair, equitable and generous world. He thinks that there should be an even distribution of wealth and that white middle class people like him should consider their responsibilities more than their rights. After all, the world has been designed in favour of people like him for too long. Andrew’s hero is Peter Singer, the bioethicist, and he attempts to follows Singer’s lead by giving away a healthy chunk of his income to people that could use it more than him.
Andrew wrote an essay a couple of years ago about Work/Life balance. The essay explored exploitation within the architectural profession and why it happens. The response was huge, making it one of the most read articles of all time on Archdaily. All of this make Andrew seem like a bit of a wanker, but he’s alright. Most people seem to like him when they meet him anyway.
Andrew Maynard (BA Environmental Design, BA Architectural (Hons)
Andrew Maynard is a Tasmanian now living and working in Fitzroy, Australia. Andrew Maynard Architects was established in 2002 after Andrew won the Asia Pacific Design Award's grand prize for his mobile work station, THE DESIGN POD.
Distinctive, exciting and radical, Andrew is founding board member and a director of Nightingale Housing - a non-for-profit organisation creating ethical, social sustainable and cost effective housing, whilst also revolutionising the developer-dominated housing market.
Andrew is an innovative and inspiring architect whose work has been published globally and exhibited worldwide - from New York, Budapest and Osaka; to Milan, Sao Paulo and Tokyo.
THE AGE newspaper says of Andrew: “His concepts include a man-eating robot, a bicycle made of plywood and “Poop House” - a structure made from human excrement. Images of the archetypal mad scientist spring to mind, but architect Andrew Maynard, like his designs, comes across as measured and eloquent.”
Mark Austin (BA Environmental Design, Bachelor of Architecture)
Mark Austin is also a staunchly proud Tasmania. He joined Andrew Maynard Architects in 2007 and become a director of the practice in 2009. In 2016 the name was changed to Austin Maynard Architects to officially recognise his contribution.
Mark has enjoyed a diverse career since graduating from the University of Tasmania in 1993 and Melbourne University in 1996. He spent six years working in London, as Production Designer for the English National Opera and for a number of commercial firms specialising in a variety of building types and project scales (from urban redevelopment in the West End to co-ordinating the redesign of a large Park Lane hotel).
Throughout his career Mark continues to show a incredible balance between design talent and rigorous, pragmatic, technical and organisation skills. Mark has a fine-eye for detail and is respected by clients, consultants and builders for his management and his diplomacy skills.
Kathryne Houchin (B Sc, B Env Des, B Arch (Hons)
Kathryne graduated from the University of WA and worked in Perth on a range of educational and commercial projects before making the move to Melbourne. She joined Austin Maynard Architects in 2014 and is now the AMA Practice Manager - a role whichshe says, “basically helps Andrew and Mark stress less.”
Kathryne is a self proclaimed and self appointed documentation know-it-all and the queen of trying to make everyone in the office to do things the same way that she does. She is pretty obsessive about making sure that the details all of the drawings and documents are considered- both creatively and practically- to ensure high quality outcomes. Always the practical one, she is the team member most likely to ask all the boring questions like “can you actually walk on that floor?”
Natalie Miles (M. Architecture (Distinction) - RMIT, B. Architectural Studies - UNSW)
Natalie has been working with Austin Maynard Architects since 2013 after moving to Melbourne from Sydney (via UK & Europe). Since joining AMA she has contributed to several multi award-winning projects, managing both Dorman House and Mills,The Toy Management House.
Natalie has a strong social conscience & urban interest, and has worked on both Public and University buildings early in her career. Her thesis project focused on educational design, specifically the integration of school buildings into the urban fabric of a city block. Outside of architecture, Natalie is a keen gardener and brings this appreciation to her work, enjoying the interplay between the built & natural environments.
From initial strategy to the finest detail, Natalie’s rigorous approach makes her a true asset to the team at AMA. She forms great working relationships with clients and builders, collaboratively steering the design and construction process to deliver a nuanced, finely detailed and resolved architecture.
Ray Dinh BArch (First Class Hons.) BSc. Architectural Science
Ray studied architecture at University College Dublin & Ecole Nationale Supérieure d' Architecture de Nantes, graduating in 2012 with First Class Honours. Ray’s final year thesis was featured in The Architect’s Journal and his dissertation on social housing was published in the Irish Archizine 2ha. Ray has since worked in Dublin and New York and is now based in Melbourne, completing his professional registration in Victoria in 2016.
Since joining Austin Maynard Architects Ray has worked on a number of projects including My-House, the mental health house, King Bill and the award-winning Dorman House. Ray is happiest when working on 1:5 details. He’s currently working on some “really good stuff” including a metal shingle house in Canberra, a timber cylinder house in St. Andrews Beach and a very nice roof in Port Melbourne.
Mark Stranan BArch, B Env Des
Another of the team’s proud Tasmanians, Mark completed his studies at the University of Tasmania in 2005. With over a decade of multi-residential experience in Melbourne and Vancouver, he came to Austin Maynard Architects to escape from the profit-driven world of developer led projects and, as the project architect of Nightingale 3.0, he now uses his skills to create homes rather than commodities.
Mark has been integral to AMA’s adoption of the Nightingale model, and he continues to thrive in managing our most complex project this far. His detail-orientated nature shines through in his work, which comes from a furniture making background. Woodworking is his main passion and outside office hours he can be found crafting beautiful things in his well equipped workshop.
Malisa Benjamins (B.Env Des, M.Arch)
Malisa is a graduate architect from sunny Perth, Western Australia. She is interested in creating engaging and sustainable architecture that responds to the urban environment and brings delight and happiness. Prior to joining Austin Maynard Architects, Malisa worked in London on a range of projects, including a high street regeneration scheme, a Jewish community centre and a mixed tenure, sustainable development in Cambridge.
Malisa completed her Masters degree in an overseas design studio run in collaboration with RCR Arquitectes in Olot, Spain. She has also participated in a design studio in Athens, Greece where she was worked on a hypothetical inner city urban regeneration scheme. Being new to Melbourne, she is looking forward to exploring the city, seeing the Great Ocean Road and trying out as many hot Melbourne brunch spots as possible.
Melanie is a Masters of Architecture student at the University of Melbourne, currently undertaking her thesis on designing housing that mediates the impacts of gentrification in inner Melbourne. She is passionate about graphic communication and illustration and has a penchant for the playful, minimal and abstract. Her academic work conveys these qualities while tackling design problems ranging from new urban housing models, to fictional digital worlds.
Melanie has worked in a variety of sectors, including institutional and educational, but it is the personal and highly-crafted nature of residential architecture that she enjoys the most.
Elliot Dunton (B. Architectural Design (distinction) - RMIT)
Elliot is the latest member to join Austin Maynard Architects. With experience ranging from residential to commercial and retail design, his fastidious eye for detail comes through in his work, most often expressed in carefully thought-out and well-resolved documentation drawings.
A local, born and bred inner-northern suburbs, Elliot graduated from RMIT University with a Bachelor of Architectural Design (distinction). He’s now on the journey to completing his Masters of Architecture at The University of Melbourne. Elliot is currently undertaking a design studio, exploring the sense of belonging and wellbeing within a city context, by understanding the psychology of human experience.
Outside of architecture, Elliot enjoys making noise on the drums, much to the despair of his housemates. He’s also an avid member of a student run co-working space, supporting other peers also completing their Masters.