BArch (Hons) Qld, MRAIA
Tim O’Rourke’s principal area of research examines traditional and modern aspects of Indigenous built environments. This interest includes cross-cultural architectural design for Indigenous housing and sustainable Aboriginal settlements in Australia. He is involved in an ARC Discovery project, which, in part, is examining the use of spinifex grass (Triodia spp.) as a sustainable building material.
At the AERC, he is completing his PhD, under the supervision of Dr Paul Memmott, on traditional and contemporary aspects of Aboriginal built environments in the Wet Tropics region of Queensland. This research extends to a broader interest in building technology and craft traditions, the environmental and socio-cultural context for vernacular architecture, and modern Indigenous housing. The primary interest of his thesis topic is ethno-architecture. He has conducted fieldwork with the Girramay, Jirrbal and Gulngay people in the Wet Tropics Region of northeastern Queensland.
Tim was engaged as a Research Assistant by the AERC between 1991 and 1993, during which time he assisted with the compilation of the Australian entries for the World Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture, and thereby developed an interest in Aboriginal architecture. Between 1991 and 1995 Tim was engaged by the AERC and PMA as a graduate architect on such projects as the design and documentation of the Lockhart River Community Club.
Tim O’Rourke is a registered architect in both Queensland and New South Wales, with practical experience in urban and remote areas.