Personal details

Professor Paul Sanders
Creative Industries Faculty,
School of Design Office,
Discipline *
+61 7 3138 1138
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Identifiers and profiles

PhD (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Architecture (University of Natal), BA(Hons) (Kingston Polytechnic), Diploma in Architecture (Kingston Polytechnic)

Professional memberships
and associations

Council member of the International Seminar on Urban Form (ISUF)


Architectural Education, Architectural modernism in South African, Urban Design, Urban Morphology

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



Professor Sanders is Discipline Leader of Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture in the School of Design at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. He has been an academic since 1998 and has been published in international journals in the fields of architecture and urban design.

Paul established his expertise as an architect in professional practice (1988-2003) having extensive design experience through built work, as well as international design competitions.  His research is in the field of urban morphology, and completed a PhD titled ‘Consonance in Urban Form; The Architectural Dimension of Urban Morphology’.

Areas of expertise

  • Urban Morphology
  • Design
  • Regional Modernism.
This information has been contributed by Professor Paul Sanders.


Teaching rationale and philosophy Architectural education is problem-based, and therefore the enquiry needs to be student centred. Professor Sanders approaches teaching as providing learners the opportunity to acquire knowledge through discovery. There are multiple solutions to a given problem in architecture. Louis Kahn once spoke about seeking the good question rather than the most brilliant answer, and as such it is the process itself that leads to a tangible point of clarity that underpins his teaching philosophy.

Ownership of learning requires teaching to be framed coherently, whereby the student feels able to commit to the engagement, particularly when the unit content is challenging. Paul’s approach to teaching over recent years introduces a notion of ‘logical thinking’, which he uses as foil to the form and functional thinking stasis, validating the recognition of building science as a integral domain of architectural design. Paul is always seeking to develop and respond to opportunities to improve unit content in a process of ongoing reflection. He has demonstrated on a number of occasions how unique opportunities can be embedded into curriculum content, and has accepted the invitation from community organizations to form the brief for studio design projects; each engagement has had enormous benefit for students, community and QUT’s reputation as a University that engages in authentic ‘real world’ experiences for students.

This information has been contributed by Professor Paul Sanders.


Throughout his academic career, he has paid special attention to the needs of developing a more sustainable and socially responsive architecture. This attitude to the discipline was developed through fifteen years as an architect and academic in South Africa, and has been honed during fourteen years in Brisbane. His training was at Kingston Polytechnic, UK, where the academic currency was design quality and rigor. As such, he has accumulated rich experience of living and working in three continents. Professor Sanders’s pursuit of research is founded on his discipline expertise, and he has published in a number of international journals in the fields of architecture and urban design. His service record is evidence of his ability to impact on the wider community and, as such, he believes it imperative to embolden the current generation of students to issues of social equity.


  • Innovative teaching through engaging, designing, assessing and managing learning
  • Contributing to cross-disciplinary teaching
  • Supervision of post-graduate students
  • Architecture course leadership
  • Engagement of authentic ‘real world’ learning.


  • PhD and Master of Architecture by research
  • International journal publications
  • Editor of refereed published proceedings for international conference
  • Referee of papers for journals
  • Scientific committee member for international conferences
  • Member of editorial boards.


  • 2007: Grant: $5.97 million federal and state government awards to community based projects
  • 2005: Convener of AASA international conference hosted at QUT
  • 2013:Convener of ISUF international conference hosted at QUT
  • 2010: QUT Engagement Innovation Grant: Towards a practice-based teaching and research framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander design learning and knowledge for Working with Country. The Ailan Studio pilot investigation to augment authentic partnerships between remote indigenous communities and QUT.
This information has been contributed by Professor Paul Sanders.


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