Anna Rubbo, B.Arch (U-Melbourne), D. Arch (U- Michigan) joined CSUD in 2012. Prior to this she was Associate Professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney. A member of the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers (2002-04), Anna went on to lead the Global Studio, an action research project to assist urban professionals to work effectively with the urban poor. The program attracted over 600 students, academics and professionals from 66 universities and over 30 countries to its conferences and programs in Istanbul (2005), Vancouver (2006), Johannesburg (2007-09), and Bhopal (2012). Global Studio was exhibited at the UN General Assembly (2005), Customs House, Sydney (2008), and the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam (2009). Sanitation improvements initiated by Global Studio and developed by Diepsloot township’s WASSUP were included in the exhibition ‘Design with the other 90%’ (Smithsonian, New York, 2011). Since 2006, Rubbo has mounted events at eight UN -Habitat World Urban Forums.
In 2012, she headed up People Building Better Cities, a traveling exhibition shown in 18 cities and 10 countries from 2013-15, including at WUF7 Medellin and the Union of International Architects (UIA) congress in Durban. Currently, she is working on a three stage project, Accelerating the SDGs. Stage 2, the Local Project Challenge launched in November 2019 at the Urban Thinkers Campus ‘Accelerating the SDGs in Cities’. Over 7000 votes were received for the LPC People’s Choice Award with results announced at WUF10 in Abu Dhabi in 2020.
In 2021, the UIA23 Scientific Track Committee invited Anna to co-chair the UIA23 Congress Resilient Communities track. Of the 176 papers received, 65 were presented at the July 2023 ‘Leave No One Behind’ UIA Congress in Copenhagen. She was a judge for the 2022 UIA-UN Habitat bi-annual 2030 Award for built projects that consider the SDGs.
Her publications cover resilient communities, design education, women in development, housing in developing countries, and architect Marion Mahony Griffin. In 2016 she developed the exhibition “Marion Mahony Griffin: In Her Own Right” for the Elmhurst Historical Museum in Chicago. Co-editor of Design for Resilient Communities (2023) and co-author, with Michael Taussig, of Esclavitud y Libertad en el Valle del Rio Cauca (UniAndes 2011), in 1996 she and Adrian Snodgrass founded the journal Architectural Theory Review (ATR). Remaining as an editor through 2010, she currently serves on ATR’s Advisory Board.
A Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects since 2010, recognition includes the 2014 UIA Vassilis Sgoutas Prize mention for humanitarian work in education, the Australian national Neville Quarry Education Award (2011), the 2009 Skandalaris Award for Entrepreneurship in Design (University of Washington) and the Marion Mahony Griffin Prize(2006). She serves on the Board of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization and the Public Space Academy Steering Committee, and is a member of the Habitat Civil Society Working Group.