News and upcoming events:


Books - Unmaking Waste 2018 International Conference & The World is Already Full Exhibition

Two books are currently planned for publication, with contributions from the conference and the exhibition. More news coming soon.

For more details and the latest news please visit:


Past events

The Transparency Project Seminar: Everyday Products, Consumer Knowledge and Environmental Impacts (20-21 February 2020)

Hosted by China Australia Centre for Sustainable Development at the University of South Australia this one day and a half seminar and linked publication will be focused on the problem of opacity, or a lack of evident transparency and traceability in everyday products in today’s global economy.

The seminar's themes were addressed from a multidisciplinary perspective:

1. Case Studies profiling the impacts of products and services in everyday use, clarifying ways of measuring their impacts in a more accessible manner.

2. Communicating environmental impacts more effectively to non-specialists, through labelling, app-based systems, sensing, and other assessment systems.

3. Policy and regulation transitions towards ‘responsible production and consumption’ (UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12), with a particular focus on greater transparency and traceability.

For more details  please visit:



Unmaking Waste 2018 International Conference (20-23 September 2018)

Building upon the achievements of our first conference, Unmaking Waste: Transforming Production and Consumption in Time and Place (May 2015), Unmaking Waste 2018 focused on the problem of consumption itself, and its role in increasing emissions, resource depletion and environmental degradation.

The conference's 4 themes was addressed from a multidisciplinary perspective:
1. Eco-Design and Development
2. Sustainable Consumption
3. Waste Minimization 
4. Circular Economy

For more details  please visit:


Unmaking Waste 2018 Exhibition & Opening Night - September 20th 2018

The world is already full: things are now made faster, sold sooner, used, and then discarded more frequently, and in larger quantities, than ever before. This requires more resources, and results in more waste and pollution. Given the environmental crisis that is now upon us, what might designers do now to ‘unmake waste’? 

This exhibition will challenge designers, artists and reimagine what designing out waste could look like via new processes and mediums.

See website for more details.


Book launches (Sep 2018)

Unmaking Waste: Designing the Circular Economy 
Robert Crocker, Christopher Saint, G. Chen and Y. Tong (Eds) (Emerald)

Subverting Consumerism: Reuse in an Accelerated World 
Robert Crocker, Keri Chiveralls (eds) (Routledge)


Powering the Change to a Circular Economy (15-16 November 2017)

Business, government and academia exchange ideas on achieving a Circular Economy in South Australia. Join the discourse and hear of ground-breaking projects and research at the cutting edge. Through keynotes, panel sessions, networking events and workshops, the conference engages participants across diciplines, industries and sectors. 

Date: 15-16 November 2017
Location: Tonsley Innovation Precinct, Adelaide, South Australia



15th International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management (11-14 July 2017)

For more than twenty five years, CUPUM has been one of the premier international conferences for the exchange of ideas and applications of computing technologies to address a diverse range of social, managerial, and environmental problems impacting urban planning and development. Rapid advances in computing, information, communication and web based technologies are reaching into all facets of urban life, creating new and exciting urban futures. For more information click here.

Date: July 11-14, 2017
Location: Adelaide, Australia


Somebody Else's Problem - Book launch (3 March 2017)

Dr. Robert Crocker’s latest book calls for a radical change in how we think about, design, make and use the products and services we need, arguing that consumerism is the main engine driving Climate Change.

Date: March 3, 2017
Time: 5.30-7.30
Venue: Packer Civic Gallery, Hawke Building

Futures of Waste Keynote Address: “The role of sustainability and materials in the new innovation economy: Green Materials from Waste Resources” - Professor Veena Sahajwalla, SMaRT Centre, NSW

Waste materials are a growing concern for societies all around the world. The traditional method of recycling waste into similar items of a lesser value needs to be re-imagined. Far greater environmental and economic impacts can be achieved by “greening” the industrial processes that deliver the materials, components and products that our mass, global markets demand; thereby potentially reducing the environmental footprint of everything around us.

> Read more

Futures Of Waste Seminar (8 September 2016)

This seminar concentrated on what steps can be taken to reduce and reverse the unsustainable direction of consumerism’s waste production, on innovative ways of ‘closing the loop’, and how waste can be ‘designed out’ of our present economic system. Highlights: 

1. A Relaunch of the China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development, a research collaboration between UniSA and Tianjin University, China, with special guests, led by Professor Guanyi Chen, from Tianjin University, China, in attendance; and

2. A specially recorded interview with Professor Walter Stahel, a globally recognised pioneer of the Circular Economy (courtesy of UniSA’s Associate Professor David Ness). This will be followed by a roundtable discussion on the Circular Economy, and its implementation.

You can watch an edited summary of ‘The Circular Economy with Professor Walter Stahel’ here.

Or, the full-length interview is available in five parts here.

> Click here for more information.


Exhibition Futures of Waste (7 September - 7 October 2016)

Exhibition Futures of WasteIn these photographs we are reminded that waste is an enduring part of the human story, and that it is through waste as well as through pollution that we are now transforming the world through Climate Change. However, these photographs also remind us that there are solutions, in repair, remaking and recycling, in what is now called ‘Circular Economy’, an economy that brings these ‘3 Rs’ from the margins to the centre of our economic life.

The exhibition was remounted for showing to the UNCRD’s regional 3R forum, held in Adelaide on 2-4 November 2016, at the Adelaide Convention Centre. It attracted great interest amongst the four hundred delegates from the Asia Pacific region. It is to be represented for a larger international and Chinese audience in Tianjin University’s History Museum, from July to September 2017.

Unmaking Waste Symposium (22 – 24 May 2015)

Unmaking Waste

Unmaking Waste 2015: Transforming Production and Consumption in Time and Place, was held at the University of South Australia in May 2015. The initial idea for the conference came from many discussions at the Zero Waste SA Research Centre, where it became clear that most of us felt that waste – at the global and local scales – is essentially a consumption problem.

Conference Keynotes:

Design Shift: a path to holistic design – Stuart Walker

Green manufacturing: Recycling endoflife polymers in steel making an example of successful translation of research into industry – Veena Sahajwalla

Eco-industrial parks as a niche for sustainable low-carbon urban transition in China – Shi Han

Waste, city and resistance: The cooperative practices of catadores (wastepickers) in Brazil – Maria Cecilia Loschiavos dos SANTOS

Unmaking Waste Dinner Speech – Vaughan Levitzke

Click here for more information on the Conference Proceedings

Launch of the China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development and the China-Australia Symposium (21 February 2013)

Launch of the China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development and the China-Australia Symposium (21 February 2013)The University of South Australia in conjunction with Tianjin University launched a new collaborative initiative in Australia at the China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development Symposium on 21 February 2013.

Along with launching this new research centre, this Symposium explored sustainable urban development and environmental research currently being conducted in China and Australia. Keynote speakers included:

  • The Hon. Jay Weatherill MP, Premier of South Australia
  • Professor David Lloyd, Vice Chancellor and President of the University of South Australia
  • Professor Jiajun LI, President of Tianjin University
  • Fred Hansen, Chief Executive Officer, Renewal SA

View the Symposium program (PDF 9.91mb).  

Official Launch of the China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (27 October 2012)

Official Launch of the China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (27 October 2012)On 27 October 2012, UniSA and Tianjin University (P.R. of China) launched the joint China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (CACSUD) in Tianjin at a launch conference attended by senior Chinese officials from National and Local Government, academic experts on environmental science, management and urban planning, and the President and Vice President of Tianjin University.

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