Outstanding entries shortlisted for Lake Mac’s dWELL competition

UDIA NSW CEO Steve Mann has recently participated in judging the Lake Macquarie City Council’s dWELL competition. The competition challenges industry professionals and tertiary students in design excellence for the next generation of housing in Australia.

The nationwide design competitions offers a $40,000 prize pool to the best examples of wellness, innovation, affordability and sustainability.

Image: The dWELL competition brief outlines key design outcomes

Nearly 30 entries have been shortlisted under two categories – Professional and Student finalists. The Council’s Manager Property and Business Development David Antcliff has said the standard of entries to the competition has been “excellent”.

“The leading entries have extended beyond traditional urban housing models and taken into consideration how dwellings could be thought of and used in the future,” he said.

“From exploring different financial models behind a development to broadening a home’s ability to adapt to the needs of its occupants and the community, the concepts submitted have been brave and exciting.”

The entries are assessed by an expert panel:

  • Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW CEO Steve Mann
  • Chris Tucker, from the University of Newcastle’s School of Architecture and Built Environment
  • Planning Institute of Australia NSW President Juliet Grant
  • Former The Block contestants Karstan and Maxine Smith

Stage Two of the dWELL competition will be judged in February and March, with winners expected to be announced on Monday 22 March.

Read more about dWELL here.

Student Category – shortlisted teams

Natalie Keynton

University of Melbourne

Riley Sherman

University of Melbourne

Robert Snelling

University of Melbourne


Matthew Hurley

University of Newcastle


Jacob Bucci Ainsworth

University of Sydney

Hugh Beale

University of Melbourne

Hugh Roberts

University of Sydney



Professional Category – shortlisted teams

ELK Design

Wade Fairley, Tim Graham, Peter Golema, Clint Stephenson, Ayrton Di Paolo, Daniel Hadley


Ben Berwick (Prevalent Architecture), Brooke Jackson (Informal Architects/University of Technology Sydney), Arianna Brambilla (The University of Sydney)



Curious Practice

James Ellis, Warren Haasnoot, Greg Lee, Luke Grey