Personal details

Dr Mirko Guaralda
Senior Lecturer in Architecture
Faculty of Engineering,
School of Architecture & Built Environment
Discipline *
+61 7 3138 2464
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PhD (Politecnico di Milano), Master of Higher Education (Macquarie University), 5-Year-Degree in Architecture (Politecnico di Milano)

Professional memberships
and associations



Urban Morphology, Placemaking, Urban studies, Urban design, Theory of Architecture

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008



Mirko Guaralda (Ph.D., MHEd, DArch) is an academic with more than 20 years of experience and he is internationally recognised for his innovative work in the field of urban design, addressing, in particular, the novel concept of people-place interaction, enquiring into the complex issues of place quality and community engagement. Currently, Mirko is Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the Queensland University of Technology; he was researcher at the United States Study Centre of Sydney (USSC) in 2012 with a study on the relationship between urban form and social behaviour. From August to December 2017 he has been visiting professor at the Thammasat University of Bangkok, Thailand, and engaged in the teaching and research activities of this institution. Since 2018 he has been engaged also in research and teaching at the Jiangxi University of Science and Technology (China), and currently partners with Universitas 17 Agustus 1945-Surabaya on a number of research as well as Learning and Teaching projects.

His background includes experience in architectural design, landscape architecture and urban design. Mirko has been working on cities and public space systems since 1999, and his research has addressed unstructured uses of public spaces, urban density, urban hacking, meanings and semiotics of urban structures, heritage conservation and new developments, community participation and agency. Since 2001 Mirko has been involved in research projects in Australia, Indonesia, China, and Thailand, as well as consultancies for government and industry partners. He has received over AU$1M in funding for his work on cities and communities. Since 2016, Mirko Has been collaborating with UN-Habitat promoting people-centred design, delivering workshops and training events based on placemaking and community engagement. Before joining academia full time, Mirko worked in industry and local government; he has been involved in a wide range of projects at different scales, from small dwellings and gardens, to new estates and urban strategic planning.

Broad Area of Research: Urban Studies Mirko has been working on cities and public space systems since 1999, when he started developing his degree thesis “Luino: paesaggio ed infrstrutture per il turismo” (Luino: landscape and infrastructure for tourism) published in Il Rondò- 2003 by Nastro & Nastro editions. His PhD “Le infrastrutture viarie dismesse o declassate ed il progetto di paesaggio” (The abandoned and declassed mobility facilities and the landscape project) was released by Libreria Clup in 2006. At the moment Mirko is developing research projects in the following fields:

  • Urban Morphology and Sense of Place
  • Urban Hacking and unstructured use of public spaces
  • Inclusive and Democratic universal urban design.

Urban Morphology and Sense of Place
Our cities are more and more complex organisms; the investigation of form, genesis and structure of the built environment can provide a better understanding of urban centres not only from the physical point of view, but also symbolic. Mirko’s research investigates cityscapes through the identification of recurrent patterns, building typologies and design principles. The identity and character of a site are interpreted analysing also lived experiences and uses of the build environment. Mirko’s research aims to provide a better understanding of urban dynamics, at different scales, to support a positive development and/or management of our cities. At the moment he is focussing on:

  • Urban form of regional centres, in Australia or overseas
  • Urban density and identity of place
  • Relationship between intended design and people experience of built environment

Inclusive and accessible urban design

Health and built environment are two areas of research that are interwoven; an active lifestyle is at the base of community wellbeing and our cities should support and facilitate this way of life. Bikeways and greenways are often implemented to improve connectivity and provide alternative modes of transportation to motorised vessels. The navigation of the built environment, especially for pedestrians, is not only influenced by the quality of the infrastructure, but also by the one of the built space. The legibility of the urban form is a central element in orienteering city users, but often our streets are clustered with ancillary items. Mirko’s research focuses on the design of infrastructure and spaces to support an active lifestyle, with particular attention to pedestrian networks. His work is mostly dealing with

  • Universal urban design for neurodiversity
  • Walkability in urban environment
  • Community engagement and active lifestyle

Career History
2014-present Senior Lecturer, QUT, School of Design, Brisbane, QLD
2012: Researcher at the United States Study Centre Sydney
2010-2014: Lecturer, QUT, School of Design, Brisbane, QLD
2008-2010: Senior Landscape Architect, Moreton Bay Regional Council (previously Pine Rivers Shire Council), QLD
2002-2007: Freelance architect in Italy
2001-2008: Research Assistant and Sessional Academic at the Politecnico of Milan

This information has been contributed by Dr Mirko Guaralda.


Mirko has been teaching at the tertiary education level since 2001, first in Italy, then in Australia.
He has worked in design studios as well as theoretical subjects, both in the fields of architecture and landscape architecture:

  • 2008-2021 Architecture and the City
  • 2009-2013 Architectural Theory and Research
  • 2010-2013 Placemaking in Architecture
  • 2013, 2019-2021 Architectural Design 07
  • 2014-2015, 2018 Master Studio
  • 2018 Urban Design


This information has been contributed by Dr Mirko Guaralda.


Mirko has varied experience in several fields, including 

  • Academic environment: Since 2001 he has been collaborating in research on public spaces and urban morphology. At the moment he is developing his own study about negative spaces and place identity.
  • Private Practice: His experience in design includes public spaces, parks and gardens, dwellings, civic facilities and multifunctional complexes, restoration of historical buildings and strategic development plans.
  • Public Administration: As public servant, Mirko has worked on a range of issues such as leisure facilities, environmental problems, accessibility and equity.
This information has been contributed by Dr Mirko Guaralda.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.


Awards and recognition

Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
In 2018 Un-Habitat has requested my collaboration to deliver the Wuhan Placemaking week, organised in collaboration with Project for Public Spaces, the leading international NGO about placemaking, and ISOCARP. As part of my engagement, I was invited to join the judging panel for the UN-HABITAT 2018 International Urban Design Student Competition | Urban Heritage & Transformation: Wuhan, China. I was entrusted with developing the report for the competition and media release. During the placemaking week, I have delivered training for government officials and practitioners, and coordinated the delivery of the students design workshop linked with the event. I was requested to chair and moderate all parallel session about placemaking and also address the audience with a case study from my work. My participation was judged unanimously positive; feedback collected after the training event ranked my contribution as one of the top-four of the event, out of 20.
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
In 2017 I was invited to contribute my expertise to the Meeting of the Minds 2017 Boston Leadership Summit. I was one of the only two attendees not coming from North America. This summit is a high level gathering that was attended by government officials and COE of important companies. I was specifically contacted on the basis on my expertise to attend this meeting, which was closed to the general public.
Visiting Professorships/Fellowships
Reference year
In 2017 I was invited to contribute to the Urban Design and Development International Program as Visiting professor at the Thammasat University of Bangkok, Thailand. Thammasat University is a leading Thai educational institution, recognised for its quality teaching and established reputation in the Asia-Pacific region. This invitation was a recognition of my expertise in Urban Design as well as my reputation as educator.
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
In 2015 I was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence (Engagement)in recognition to my outstanding contribution to the university


Current supervisions

Completed supervisions (Doctorate)