Dr Tim O'Rourke
Tim O’Rourke is a lecturer in the School of Architecture and has long association (beginning 1990) with the AERC as both a researcher and an architect. Tim’s research at the AERC is related to both historical and modern aspects of Indigenous built environments. He is interested in the use of cross-disciplinary methods in the study of Indigenous housing, settlements and landscapes. His PhD examined the history, traditions and uses of Aboriginal—Girramay and Jirrbal—built environments in the Wet Tropics Region of Queensland. The documentation and analysis of 12 traditional dwellings reconstructed for this research formed a major component of doctoral project. The varied concerns of this research extend to a broader interest in building technology and craft traditions, the environmental and socio-cultural context for vernacular architecture, and its actual and potential influence on Indigenous housing.
Tim has participated in architectural and multi-disciplinary research projects at the AERC. These include a study of water quality and its affect on Aboriginal housing and settlement infrastructure in Northwest Queensland (2011) and project on the potential effects of climate change on Aboriginal built environments in the same region (2013). He has been involved in an ARC Discovery project, which, in part, examined the use of spinifex grass (Triodia spp.) as a sustainable building material. The use and adaptation of traditional building materials in architectural design informs other current research endeavours.
At the School of Architecture, Tim teaches architectural design, technology and research courses in the BArch and MArch programmes and serves as a supervisor/advisor to postgraduate scholars. He is a registered architect who has designed projects for several Aboriginal communities.