Housing Choices hosts international social housing architect, Manuel der Hagopian

Housing Choices is excited to be hosting international social housing architect, Manuel Der Hagopian of G8A Architects, at this year’s Oswald Barnett Oration to be held at The Capitol in Melbourne’s CBD on 7 March.

Hosted by Housing Choices, the event is named in honour of Frederick Oswald Barnett (1883-1972), a Melbourne civil servant and social campaigner who lobbied for the abolition of the Melbourne slums and was instrumental in the establishment of the Victorian Housing Act and the Victorian Housing Commission.

Housing Choices Managing Director, Michael Lennon, connected with Manuel last year at the 12th Global Affordable Housing Conference in Singapore. In his keynote presentation, Manuel shared his passion for sustainable design and showcased examples of G8A social housing projects in Singapore, Switzerland and Vietnam.

Michael toured some of Manuel’s work in Singapore, including the amazing Punggol Waterway Terraces development – completed in 2015 – and Greenridges estate.

Michael said he was delighted Manuel had accepted our invitation to present in Melbourne.

“As Australia faces its biggest challenges yet in supply, affordability and the effects of climate change on how we design homes, we thought it timely to look to overseas practitioners, like Manuel, who are innovating at scale in a range of challenging environments,” he said.

The OBO, as it’s been affectionately coined, has emerged as a keynote speech event for Melbourne’s social housing, planning and academic communities, and generally attracts 200-300 guests. This year, as well as our valued stakeholders, we are widening the audience through event partnerships with RMIT School of Architecture and Urban Design and the Victorian chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects.

Housing Choices General Manager of Property Development, James Henry, will lead a post presentation discussion with Manuel and industry experts:

“We are really pleased to be partnering with RMIT School of Architecture and Urban Design and the Victorian chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects and look forward to drawing more thought leaders and emerging practitioners into the conversation and ultimately, the social housing sector, which is experiencing unprecedented growth, diversification and opportunities,” James said.

To register your attendance at this special event, click here.


Born in 1971 in Geneva, Switzerland, Manuel Der Hagopian graduated from the Geneva Institute of Architecture, Geneva, Switzerland (IAUG) and Belleville School of Architecture, Paris (ENSAPB). He is one of the original Partners of group8 architects in charge of operations at the Singapore office as well as co-managing offices in Geneva, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. His main responsibilities include design direction, conceptual design and project management. In collaboration with international and local institutions, Manuel co-curates the Singaporean exhibition and event hub TB80 Space whilst simultaneously coordinating touring exhibitions contributing to architectural and cultural exchange. Through G8A’s think tank, aptly named 8+, he also purses his strong interest in the consequences of a rapidly growing population’s impact on the residential housing situation in South East Asia.