About us


For much of the 20th century, South Australia followed a global trend that separated decisions made at the design stage from the planning process. Industry practice and government policy have compounded the problem by isolating development as a separate exercise again.


The Integrated Design Commission is founded on the belief that decisions we make at the design stage, and in planning, impact on the opportunity for development to contribute positively. And expertise from all these phases should be allowed to inform the other. New construction practice can drive new design technologies. Design tools like visualization and simulation allow more effective, participatory planning. And engaging communities through design always leads to better outcomes. We see design as a process of enquiry, planning as a process of defining, and development as a means of delivery.


The Integrated Design Commission supports the delivery of the targets and objectives of South Australian’s Strategic Plan and The 30 year plan for Greater Adelaide. It also contributes to the State Reform Agenda, in particular Vibrant Adelaide, Transit Oriented Developments and Green SA.


The Commission’s role will be to provide leadership, independent expert advice and strategic direction to:


  • ensure the quality and sustainability of publicly funded buildings, infrastructure programs, urban design and public realm place-making
  • maximise the potential of the built environment to contribute to the health, safety, wellbeing, prosperity and lifestyle of South Australia and the creation of a vibrant identity
  • maximise opportunities for good design to contribute to the State Government’s commitment to sustainability
  • support the State Government’s aim to reduce greenhouse emissions and the life-cycle costs of buildings and infrastructure
  • model and promote an integrated approach to design
  • work across government to develop guidelines for good design policy, processes and practices based on evidence and best practice
  • provide advice on legislation and regulation that will influence good design practice
  • raise community awareness of the value of good design and a more sustainable built environment
  • foster collaboration between government, industry and local government to achieve best practice in the built environment
  • develop a partnership with the tertiary sector and professional associations to advocate for appropriate curricula, qualifications and continuing professional development
  • ensure delivery of value for money and cost effectiveness by undertaking leading design research that will reduce capital costs of projects, reduce the operating and resource cost of assets and define optimal delivery systems.


Design South Australia
52 projects that have the potential to change and transform South Australia. Read more
Report: COAG Reform Council
Read review of capital city strategic planning systems Read more
Connecting the Dots
Find out how IDC SA is connecting with the SA Strategic Plan and the 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide Read more
zero carbon challenge - winner announced
We challenge South Australia's development industry to build a house that achieves ‘zero carbon' Read more
Audio: Women with a Plan
Listen to the Panel discussion from the Women with a Plan event on 15 May 2012. Read more
Design Friday
Weekly spotlight on South Australian design Read more
Report: Tracking South Australia's Integrated Design Sector
Download South Australia's first ever snapshot of the integrated design sector Read more
5000 + Your ideas can help shape the future of inner Adelaide. Read more
Creating Places for People
An Urban Design Protocol for Australian cities Read more
a space to speak – bringing together research, informed opinion and resources; generating debate and discussion; expanding the spaces for women in Australian architecture. Read more
Design Review Panels
Everything you need to know about the IDC SA's Design Review program Read more
Recipes for Systemic Change
Australian Urbanist Dan Hill delivered the public lecture ‘Recipes for Systemic Change’ on 16 November 2011 Read more
Design Council Forum: Talking Heads
In 2011, Design Council UK and IDCSA embarked on a unique partnership which, recognises the role of good quality, well-designed places in enhancing quality of life. Click here to see highlights from the Design Council Forum in London. Read more
Video: Jamming in the classroom
See what happens when designers from the Jamfactory Contemporary Craft and Design, swap the design studio for the classroom.
Diamond standard
The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute is a significant development in health & medical research for South Australia. Read more
The Plan 101.5fm
pod and broadcasts Read more
Design Calender
A month-by-month calendar on all things design, urban planning and development Read more
Video: Shall we dense?
A presentation on density and renewal by Simon McPherson, architect and practising urban designer.
On Location: Every city has its harbour
Opinion piece by Timothy Horton, Commissioner for Integrated Design. Santa Monica, July 2011 Read more
Video: Flux 2011
UniSA architecture students found themselves waist-deep in recycled plastic designing an awe-inspiring centrepiece for the opening night of Flux 2011. www.flux2011
20th Century heights
20th century skyscrapers scaled new heights and transformed the city Read more
Green Belt
Adelaide’s Park Lands are a living testament of enduring city design and planning. Read more
Urban cartoonist
From the provocative to the thought provoking, urban cartoonist Ross Bateup delivers a unique perspective on Adelaide’s urban initiatives Read more