ASPECT Studios is delighted to welcome Adam Kiekebosch as the studio’s new Director of Infrastructure. Having previously led a large integrated studio of Landscape Architects, Urban Designers, Architects and Planners, the recent appointment sees Adam join the ASPECT Studios Executive Team to lead our Australian studios with a collaborative focus to achieve high-quality design outcomes.
Adam brings more than 16 years’ industry experience to ASPECT Studios spanning multiple geographies and typologies, including significant multi-modal precincts, civic spaces, new communities, renewables and major tourism and zoological projects. He has worked across the full spectrum of project delivery, from visioning and master planning, through to detailed concept development, documentation and delivery.
Adam steps into the role providing direction and leadership in collaboration with the wider team of 16 Studios Directors and Executives globally.
Adam is quick to recognise that one of ASPECT Studios key points of difference is in their commitment to purpose, cross-collaborative culture and ability to share resources and knowledge across their six studios in Adelaide, Brisbane, Dubai, Melbourne, Perth, Shanghai and Sydney.
“ASPECT Studios operates as one design studio, one business and are one cohesive team. This depth of collaboration, knowledge sharing and national design review continues to see innovative design thinking, leading to outstanding outcomes for our clients and our communities. It is also very humbling to be part of a studio environment that is constantly seeking to progress and evolve its conceptual design approach and innovative processes,” says Adam.
His immediate agenda as Director will focus on the continued development of our culture, design process, and One Studio project delivery structure across ASPECT Studio’s portfolio of infrastructure projects. Beyond this, Adam will look to extend the brand across Australia and Internationally.
We sat down with Adam to go through a Q&A of his career path, insights into becoming an industry leader and more.
WL: Adam, did you always envision your career to be in the Landscape Architecture industry? Or a specific focus on Infrastructure?
AK: For me, this role is a culmination of over 15 years of practice, from learning the ropes in AutoCAD for months on end to taking on projects of ever-increasing scale and complexity, to ultimately leading large teams in the delivery of large, city-shaping projects. My pathway into infrastructure has been a winding and not necessarily planned one.
Over the years I have worked on a wide range of projects including new communities, zoos, commercial towers, wetlands, streetscapes, and beach resorts. It is only in the last few years that as a Studio leader I proactively pursued infrastructure projects, driven by a desire to be involved in major, multi-dimensional projects which brought together the diverse range of skill sets which I had in my team.
WL: What were some of the key highlights in your career that assisted in progressing to becoming a director of a global studio?
AK: The one constant through all of this has been a mindset of diving in the deep end, challenging myself and continually developing and evolving my capabilities across design, advocacy, and project/team/client/stakeholder management. A strength and determination in all of these skill sets are central to successfully delivering large infrastructure projects.
What excites me most about Infrastructure is the transformational nature of the projects. In addressing what is often defined as a singular problem (e.g. ‘move more people!’), infrastructure projects often give rise to a host of opportunities to simultaneously tackle a whole range of connected objectives - improving social interaction and facilitating active, healthy lifestyles, catalysing economic growth and urban transformation, and improving our natural systems.
WL: What key themes do you anticipate will occur within landscape architecture/infrastructure in the next 5-10 years?
AK: Infrastructure projects are inherently complex – complexity which, if embraced, brings with it enormous opportunity. The progression of scale across the design process brings an ever-evolving mindset from a design perspective – from considering suburb and precinct-scale moves early on in a project to the fine detailing of furniture in the back end.
There are opportunities to weave in a whole range of design offerings on a single project and across a continuous, uninterrupted design process. We get to work with the full range of allied design disciplines, and there is no such thing as a typical day. You go from resolving architectural and landscape interfaces to discussing drainage strategies and car park design, to detailing furniture and heritage interpretation elements, and on to working with the contractor on construction methodologies and programming.
There aren’t many project typologies that offer this diversity or pace of progression.
As such, Landscape Architects are uniquely placed to be significant leaders on these projects – the challenge lies in finding these complementary project opportunities, advocating for them across a diverse project and stakeholder team, and working to fast-paced, dynamic delivery programs.
WL: What is one word of advice you have for budding landscape architects who have the ambition of becoming a future leader of the landscape architecture industry?
AK: With our urban and natural environments under ever-increasing pressure on many fronts and facing challenges that directly impact the quality of life for our communities, there has never been a more important time for visionary leadership and pushing the boundaries of what is achievable in delivering major infrastructural projects. It is in this vein that I am tremendously excited to have joined ASPECT Studios in the role of Infrastructure Director and to make my contribution to building upon the incredible portfolio of work that the practice continues to deliver.