History of the School of Art, Architecture and Design
The School of Art, Architecture and Design at UniSA is an exciting partnership between the long-established South Australian School of Art (founded in 1856) and the Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture and Design (founded in 1906). Each of these schools had a long history.
- South Australian School of Art (SASA)
- Louis Laybourne Smith (LLS) School of Art, Architecture and Design
The South Australian School of Art was one of the oldest art schools in Australia. In 1856 the School was inaugurated as part of the South Australian Society of Arts, an organisation that included, in embryonic form, most of the major cultural institutions now situated along Adelaide's North Terrace: the State Library of South Australia, South Australian Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia and the Adelaide School of Arts.
The School has a rich and innovative history. In 1892, it was the first in Australia to appoint a woman teacher of painting, Elizabeth Armstrong. She remained in that position until 1928. Under the leadership of Harry Pelling Gill and then Lawrence H Howie, Armstrong became one of many women staff. By the 1920s, and in contrast to the trend elsewhere in Australia, the majority of staff were women, including Jessamine Buxton, Ethel Barringer and Marie Tuck. In the 1930s and 1940s, other women teachers, including Mary P Harris, Dorrit Black and Jackie Hick, were instrumental in introducing students to modernism.
During its long history the School had a number of names including the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts, the School of Design, and the School of Arts and Design.
The School has been variously located in the Exhibition Building on North
Terrace; at Stanley Street North Adelaide in the 1960s and 1970s; at Underdale
campus as part of the South Australian College of
Advanced Education (1970s and '80s) and during the
1990s as part of the University of South Australia. In 2005 the School
relocated to the City West
The Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture and Design has a
long tradition of professional education in the building industry. The
first architectural course was established at the South Australian
School of Mines by Louis Laybourne Smith in 1906.
After the Second World War the School experienced a rapid expansion with a flood of applicants for architectural training. Gavin Walkley, who succeeded Laybourne Smith as Head of School, proceeded to expand the School's programs to embrace all major skills relevant to the built environment. Town Planning (the first course of its kind in Australia), Building Technology, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture were offered.
In 1960 the School of Mines was renamed the South Australian Institute of Technology and the range of course offered in building and allied skills increased. By 1963 the School had developed its activities in the building discipline as distinct from architecture to such an extent that the new name of the School of Architecture and Building was adopted.
In 1991, the South Australian Institute of Technology and the South Australian College of Advanced Education merged to form the University of South Australia. At the beginning of 1997, the School moved into the newly completed City West campus. Today, the School has over 20 full-time academic staff and 650 undergraduate students in the three disciplines of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Industrial Design.
Top: Class, Exhibition Building, 1963
Bottom: School of Mines and Industry (Brookman Building), c. 1906