Dr Gretchen Wilkins

Dr Gretchen Wilkins

School of Communication & Design
Department of Design
Associate Professor
RMIT Saigon South
(+84) 28 37761300
Phone extension: 
2 241

Gretchen Wilkins is Head of Department, Design, at RMIT University Vietnam, where she oversees programs in Digital Media, Fashion and the new Master of Architecture program she initiated in 2016.

Previously, she was Program Director for the Master of Urban Design at RMIT Melbourne and Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan. She practiced architecture in the US and Australia before relocating to Vietnam. Her design research focuses on contemporary urbanisation, especially in developing or post-industrial regions.

  • 2013: Doctor of Philosophy (Architecture), RMIT University
  • 2009: Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and Learning, RMIT University
  • 1999: Master of Architecture with Distinction, University of Michigan 
  • 1994: Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Catholic University of America, Washington D.C.
Research interests

Architecture, urbanism, manufacturing, new industry, urban design, urban development, urban agriculture.

Key publications/creative works
  • 2010 Distributed Urbanism: Cities After Google Earth, Routledge, London (edited book) 
  • 2008: Hitoshi Abe: On-The-Spot, Michigan Architecture Papers 14, Ann Arbor (edited book)
  • 2008: Entropia: Incremental Gestures Towards a Possible Urbanism, Champ Libre,Montpellier, France (edited book)
  • 2016: ‘World Architecture Workshop: Memes and Shortcuts’, chapter in Studio Futures, URO Media, Melbourne 
  • 2013: ‘Fab-Pak’, chapter in Studioplex, H. Abe, H. Roberge, eds., UCLA Press, Los Angeles
  • 2010: ‘Bubble Cities: Airplanes, Islands and Nomads’, chapter in Distributed Urbanism, Routledge, London
  • 2014: ‘Manufacturing Urbanism’, chapter in The Practice of Spatial Thinking, Volume One, onepointesix, Melbourne
  • 2013: ‘Final Draft: Designing Architecture’s Endgame’, chapter in The Innovation Imperative, (AD), Wiley, London
  • 2016: ‘Eco-Urban Food Security: Designing Vertical Food Production,’ grant awarded by the Australia-China Council, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade  (w/ G. Crist, J. Doyle)
  • 2015: Shortlisted, Churchill Fellowship (final round) Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
  • 2013: Shortlisted, Vice Chancellor’s Doctoral Research Excellence Prize (RMIT University)
  • 2012: ‘Rebuilding Sendai: post-tsunami urbanism in Japan,’ Research grant awarded by the Australia-Japan Foundation, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, (w/P. Minifie)
  • 2011: ‘Experiments in computer-controlled architectural prototyping’, Vice-Chancellors Research Grant, Bond University, (w/ C. Knapp)
  • 2009: ‘Post-Waterfront Living Design’ research grant awarded by the Australia China Council, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (w/J. van Schaik, P. Minifie)
  • 2007: James L. Knight Foundation (Borderlands International Workshop, Detroit)
  • 2006: Japan Foundation Fellowship (research on housing and urbanism based in Tokyo, Japan)
  • 2006: Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies (w/ A. Takenaka)
  • 2002: Asian Cultural Council, New York Japan-United States Arts Program
Research supervision

Masters by research (RMIT University)

  • 2012: Ian Nazareth
  • 2012: Prue Fea 
  • 2011: Simon Venturi
  • 2011: Rutger Pasman

PhD by practice/roject (RMIT University)

  • John Cherrey (current)
  • Nicholas Williams (current)
  • Eduardo Kairuz (current)
  • Damien Chwalisz (current)
  • Andrew Currie (current)
Awards & recognition
  • 2017: Symposium convenor, ‘FarmHD: High Density Agriculture in Asia,’  The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • 2014: Honourable mention, Future Factory, Competition of Competitions, Storefront for Art and Architecture, NYC
  • 2014: Shortlisted entry, ‘BLiMP: a smart doc for ONE Lab, in the One Prize: Award to promote Green Design in Cities
  • 2011: First place, ‘TANKview.pdx, Water Tower design competition, (w/ J.Comazzi)
  • 2010: Curator, Peripheral Living, UAL contribution to the Bushfires Australia Exhibition, Tarrawarra Museum of Art, Australia
  • 2010: Curator of RMIT Architecture: Advanced Technologies and Emergent Practices, RMIT Architecture’s contribution to the Machinic Processes Exhibition at the Beijing Architecture Biennale, 798 Space, Beijing, China (with B. Allpress)
  • 2005: National Faculty Design Award for Mies in Michigan project, at the ACSA Chicago National Meeting (Wilkins +Comazzi Design with A. Canfora)
  • 2004: Finalist, Mies in Michigan, design entry for the Mies van der Rohe Memorial Competition, (Wilkins+Comazzi with A. Canfora)
Industry experience
  • 2012-14 Founding Director, Studio Apparatus, Melbourne, Australia
  • 2002-08 Founding Principal, Wilkins+Comazzi Design LLC, (W+C), Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 2001-02 Principal, PLY Architecture LLC, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 2000-01 Associate, PLY Architecture LLC, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 1999 Research Assistant, Iwamoto + Scott Architecture, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 1999 Research Assistant, Robert Levit Architect, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 1999-00 Intern Architect, SmithGroup, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 1995-97 Intern Architect, J.P. Franzen Associates, Architects, Southport, Connecticut
Employment history
  • 2017- Head of Department, Design (Architecture, Fashion, Digital Media), RMIT University Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 2016 - 17 Acting Program Director, Master of Architecture Vietnam, RMIT University Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 2014 - 16 Program Director, Master of Urban Design, School of Architecture + Design, RMIT University
  • 2014 - 16 D_Lab Cities Research Coordinator, School of Architecture + Design, RMIT University
  • 2010-14 Senior Lecturer, Architecture; Coordinator, Urban Architecture Lab (UAL), School of Architecture + Design
  • 2008-09 Lecturer, Architecture; Co-Coordinator, Urban Architecture Lab, School of Architecture + Design, RMIT
  • 2003-08  Assistant Professor, Taubman College of Architecture, University of Michigan
  • 2001-03 Lecturer, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan