Prof Steffen Lehmann

Professor of Sustainable Design, Director, Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour

University of South Australia

University of South Australia
School of Art, Architecture and Design, City West Campus
PH: 61 (8) 83020654
Email: [email protected]


Steffen Lehmann was born 1963 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Career Highlights:

Professor Steffen Lehmann is a highly respected German-born architect and urbanist, the Chair Professor of Sustainable Design, and Director of the Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour (sd+b), at the University of South Australia. Until July 2010, he held the Chair of the Architecture School at the University of Newcastle (NSW) and at QUT (Qld), where he was Head of Department. He has been a full professor holding a Personal Chair in Australia since December 2002.

He has held the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Urban Development for Asia and the Pacific, since 2008. Since 1992 he has been practicing as registered and licensed architect and urban designer in Berlin, where he established his own practice, the Space Laboratory for Architectural Research and Design (s_Lab), to pursue a more ethically correct practice. Over the last 20 years, he has been at the forefront of sustainable architecture research and has won a number of competition awards and prizes for sustainable buildings, and published books on architectural and urban design. He has published 14 books, over 200 papers and gave over 400 public presentations in 28 countries. In 2009 he was the DAAD Visiting Professor at TU Munich, and a Visiting Professor at the National University Singapore. He holds a “Dr-Ing.” Degree from the TU-Berlin and an AA Diploma from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.

Professor Lehmann regularly provides high-level independent advice to governments, municipalities and industry worldwide on matters relating to design, the integration of low-carbon technologies, identifying long-term challenges and opportunities for cities and urban development. He has been an expert planning and sustainable architecture advisor at the highest level of public policy and projects, to a dozen cities, including Berlin, Helsinki, Shanghai, Singapore, Ho-Chi-Minh City, Abu Dhabi, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. He has served on numerous governments, industry and other boards, and he has been named “one of the 25 most influential experts in promoting green cities in the Asia Pacific”.

Of particular note, Professor Lehmann has been actively involved during the 1990s in the architectural creation of the ‘New Berlin’. His work has been widely published and has received awards internationally, for instance for the green headquarters of the Berliner Volksbank at Potsdamer Platz and the German Worker’s Union headquarters, both office buildings with green roofs, natural ventilation and gray water re-use, built in Berlin between 1995 to 2002. Current work includes the urban design of Australia’s first low-to-no-carbon emission master plans, for the cities of Taree (NSW) and Mildura (Vic), in collaboration with Arup, Suters and Adrian McGregor. Through his research and practice leadership, he has led many innovative designs, such as low-to-no-carbon master plans.

His five main areas of expertise include:

  • Sustainable design and holistic system thinking for high performance city districts,
  • Interdisciplinary design strategies for green urbanism and healthy cities (since 1990),
  • Urban regeneration and resource recovery through the adaptive re-use of buildings,
  • Material flows in relationship to sustainable architectural development, and
  • Resilient cities: transforming and retrofitting existing cities.

Professor Lehmann is the curator of international exhibition projects (in Berlin, Cologne, Sydney, Brisbane, Singapore, Chongqing), the General-Editor of the US-based academic Journal of Green Building (since 2006), and a member of the Editorial Board of 5 academic journals. He has been a principal investigator and leading researcher for large research grants. He is the Editor of the Earthscan book series on Sustainable Design, for Taylor & Francis (London).

He has been a juror for important international design competitions, such as:

  • 2000-01 ‘Leipziger Platz’, appointed by Senate Berlin
  • 2006 ‘Etihad Towers’, Abu Dhabi, appointed by H.H. Sheikh S. Bin Moh’d Al-Nahyan
  • 2009 ‘Harmony Point’, HoChiMinh City, appointed by Municipality of HCMC.

His latest books include:

  • Back to the City, Hatje Cantz Publisher (Stuttgart, 2009).
  • The Principles of Green Urbanism. Transforming the City for Sustainability, Earthscan (London, 2010; 2nd edition in preparation).
  • Co-edited Proceedings (4 Volumes): Lehmann, S.; Al-Qawasmi, J.; Al Waer, H. (eds), Proceedings for the 7th International Conference of CSAAR: Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development. 120 refereed papers in 4 volumes. CSAAR-Press (Amman, 2010).
  • Designing for Zero Waste. Consumption, Technologies and the Built Environment, Routledge (London, Jan. 2012)
  • Forthcoming: Motivating Change (co-edited with Rob Crocker), Routledge (London, Dec. 2012)
  • Forthcoming: Low Carbon City, Routledge (London, 2013).

For a full publications list and list of built works, refer to:

Major Qualifications

PhD (TUBerlin), AA Dipl (London), Dipl Des (Univ Appl Sc Mainz), RAIA, BDA

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