Mark Southcombe

Mark Southcombe profile picture

Senior Lecturer School of Architecture

Qualifications and affiliations

NZCAD(Open Polytechnic), BArch (Auck) MArch (VUW)

RAB Registered Architect #2212, FNZIA

Personal website


Senior Lecturer Mark Southcombe is the Associate Dean Post Graduate Research of the Faculty of Architecture and Design, at the School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is an architect and academic with over 25 years of creative practice experience in Architecture, Interior, Landscape and Arts projects. He leads Design Teaching and Research projects at Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design, and is a member of the Ecologies Design Lab Masters Research Unit. Mark is also a Director of Southcombe Architects (, a specialist design consultancy that realises architecture, research and design work for selected clients through collaborations with them and other professionals. Mark's practice history over time includes leadership within Southcombe McClean and Co, BSM Group Architects, PRAXIS Architecture Research Design, VOID Architecture Research Urbanism and his current practice Southcombe Architects.

Mark's research history spans and shifts between academic and professional practices, towards integration of knowledge from both. His deep and broad design-lead history in professional architectural practice has been combined with a similar level of informed engagement with theoretically based and applied design knowledge over time. His research outputs and contributions typically negotiate this same territory between architectural thinking, and design and making, engaging with real world and often collaborative contexts in the process.

Mark's teaching specialisation is design, design led research, and design methods.


Mark's research is in the following areas

  • Housing and Collective Urban Housing Ecologies
  • Design-Led Research, and Prefabrication
  • Whanganui and New Zealand Architectural Histories
  • Design Pedagogy

His current research includes

  • MacroMicro Reciprocity: Creative alternative design propositions for New Zealand high density housing focused on specific contextual design. Publication late 2018.
  • Rangahaua; Architecture and Cultural Interface. Publication mid 2018.
  • Facilitating New Zealand Cohousing: A Summit on translating CoHousing to NZ Cultural Contexts.
  • Urban Housing Ecologies, part of a larger Ecologies Design lab book project titled ecology is not a Metaphor.

Recent design projects include Seasky house coastal housing for a marginal site. a sustainable cohousing subdivision and house, a ‘Treasure chest’ for an early childhood education center, a final design selected in a sacred space competition, and rural housing.

Selected publications

Southcombe, M. A. (2018). Rangahaua: Architecture and Cultural Interface. In Joanna Merwood-Salisbury, Michael Dudding and Christopher McDonald Historiographies of Technology and Architecture: Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand, Wellington, 2018.

Brown, D., McPhearson, P., Pretty, A., Manfredini, M., Rieger, U., & Southcombe, M. (Eds.) (2017). Crossing Boundaries: Reflections on Applied Collaborative Architectural Research. Siracusa, Italy: LetteraVentidue Edizioni S.r.l.

Brown, D. K. (2017). Critical Thresholds. Traversing Architectural Pedagogy, Research and Practice (Vol. 2). D. K. Brown, M. Manfredini, P. McPherson, A. Pretty, U. Rieger, M. Southcombe, & C. Fournier (Eds.), Brisbane, Australia: Queensland University of Tech.

Southcombe, M. A. (2017). Settlement. In M. A. Schnabel (Ed.), Back to the Future: The Next 50 Years. 51st Interna-tional Conference of the Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA). (pp. 295-304). Wellington: The Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA), Australia.

Southcombe, M., & Charleson, A. (2017). University praxis. On exchange between professional
and academic practices in architectural education. The Journal of Public Space, 2(3 (Special Issue)), 157-166.

Charleson, A., & Southcombe, M. (2017). Strategies for the seismic upgrading of pairs of buildings in a historic precinct. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 50(1), 50-58.

Southcombe, M. (2016). City of Privilege. Architecture New Zealand AR0516_p30-41.

2016 Arman Hashemi, UnRyoung Kevin Kim, Pamela Bell, Dale Steinhardt, Karen Manley and Mark Southcombe, Prefabrication, ZEMTEC: Towards the Delivery of Mass Custom Homes, Ed Masa Noguchi

Charleson, A. W., & Southcombe, M. (2015, October 2). Negotiating spaces between: [Re] Cuba Collaborative Stud-ies. In D. Brown, M. Manfredini, P. McPherson, A. Pretty, U. Rieger, & M. Southcombe (Eds.), Proceedings of the 8th International Conference and Exhibition of the AASA: Applied Collaborations (pp. 104-111). Hamilton: AASA.

2015 SOUTHCOMBE MA & Read Henry, SubUrban Dream. Applied Collaborations: 8th International Exhibition of the Association of Architectural Schools of Australasia. 2-3 October.

2015 SOUTHCOMBE MA & Ayres Nic, Outside-in: Dwelling in the City, Applied Collaborations: 8th International Ex-hibition of the Association of Architectural Schools of Australasia. 2-3 October.

2015 SOUTHCOMBE MA & Qiduan Zinder Aisin-Gioro, Applied Collaborations: 8th International Exhibition of the Association of Architectural Schools of Australasia. 2-3 October.

Southcombe, M., & Charleson, A. (2014). [RE] CUBA: Renegotiating Seismic Resilience in Cuba Street Wellington. Wellington: Wellington City Council and Heritage New Zealand.

Southcombe, M. (2014). Translating Habitat: Revisiting Pitarua Court and Thorndon Mews. In C. Schnoor (Ed.), Trans-lation: SAHANZ Unitec Auckland 2014 Vol. 31 (pp. 839-850). Auckland, NZ: SAHANZ and Unitec Press.

Southcombe, M. (2013). Wilson House. In J. Hansen (Ed.), Modern; New Zealand Homes from 1938-1977 (pp. 126-135). Auckland, New Zealand: Godwit, Random House

Bell, P., & Southcombe, M. (2012). Kiwi Prefab: Cottage to Cutting Edge: Prefabricated Housing in New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: Balasogulou Books.

2011 SOUTHCOMBE MA The Same but Different: the Plischke-Gray House and Studio. Presented at the SAHANZ Annual conference, Brisbane 7-10th July 2011.

2010 SOUTHCOMBE MA Depth of Shadow: Research and Design. Proceedings of the 44th Annual ANSACA conference 24th-26th of November 2010.

2009 SOUTHCOMBE MA Silent Voices: the Chapel of Futuna. Proceedings of the 26th International SAHANZ Conference Cultural Crossroads: 2-5 July 2009.

2009 SOUTHCOMBE MA Abstraction & Artifice. Proceedings of NZ Architecture in the 1980s symposium ed Christine McCarthy 4 Dec 2009 p70-76.

Southcombe, M., & Gatley, J. (2008). New Zealand Modernism. Articles on 6 Wanganui projects - Government Life Building, Wilson House, Turere Place subdivision, Wanganui City Council Building, Terrace House and the Quaker Settlement. Wellington, New Zealand.

Southcombe, M., & Pettigrew, W. (2008, April-May). Bringing the World Home. Home NZ. (pp. 43-44).

Southcombe, M. (2007). The end of the wooden shop: Wanganui Architecture in the 1890s.  Strident effects of instant sophistication: New Zealand architecture in the 1890s: a one day symposium. Ins by McCarthy, C. (Eds). Centre for Building Performance Re-search, Faculty of Architecture and Design. Wellington, New Zealand.

Southcombe, M., & Pettigrew, W. (2006). The end of the golden weather. 1930s NZ Arch Symposium.

Southcombe, M., & Pettigrew, W. (2005). European fruit; Tikitiki, A treaty signatory’s house. Celebration 2005 conference, Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand. (pp. 341-346).

See a full list of publications.