Improving our quality of life through good design

The Office for Design and Architecture SA (ODASA) supports the Government Architect’s role in promoting the value of excellent and effective design to ensure quality built and sustainable environments for South Australians.

— We provide strategic advice to the South Australian Government on design, planning and development of major projects, policy and processes.

— We lead and deliver design review in South Australia.

— We measure and communicate the value of design and publish best practice guides.

— We establish policy and practice frameworks for achieving design quality in the built environment.

— We value the successful development of our future heritage.

Many minds are
better than one

We value partnerships – among government, professional, academic, industry and community bodies, and within our team.

We work to foster collaborations to create better processes, enable integration and ensure the engagement of everyone involved to maximise excellent and efficient outcomes.

We support a coordinated approach to decision-making that shapes our state’s built environment.

Excellence + Effectiveness

Design Review offers independent and impartial advice on the design quality of proposed construction projects and supports design excellence in our state. The South Australian Government Architect leads South Australia’s Design Review Program.

    Design Review in session.
    Image credit: Jeremy Gryst
    Riverbank footbridge under construction
    Design review panel induction session.
    Image credit: Sam Noonan
    Adelaide convention centre promenade
    Tonsley Redevelopment site visit

The Design Review Program encompasses a voluntary design review process that reviews significant development proposals throughout the state as well as the Capital City Design Review Panel (CCDRP). 

The CCDRP supports the South Australian Government Architect, as a statutory referral body, in forming comments to the Development Assessment Commission (DAC) on the design quality of development applications.

The CCDRP is an essential part of the pre-lodgement process for development proposals over $10 million, and forms part of the new policy framework for development in the City of Adelaide.

Find out more about the pre-lodgment process, click here.

Design Review documents

2.1 Guide to Design Review in South Australia

2.1.1 Design Review Panel Terms of Reference

2.1.2 Design Review Conflicts of Interest Policy

2.1.4 Design Review Guidelines for Design Teams

2.1.5 Principles of Good Design

2.1.6 Principles of Good Design Review

2.1.8 Design Review Project Information Form

2.1.9 Design Review Observer Confidentiality Form

Design Guidance Notes

1.1.1 Design Competitions

1.1.2 Project Formation

1.1.3 Master Plans

1.2.1 Adaptive Reuse

    Panel member induction day, Riverbank site visit
    Capital city design review induction day

Multi Disciplinary Team

The ODASA team is made up of a small expert group led by the South Australian Government Architect. Our team has multidisciplinary expertise in architecture, planning, urban design, engagement, public policy and research.

To support the framing of our advice, ODASA utilises a pool of local and national industry experts for the Design Review programs and draws from the methodologies and knowledge of the design professions for our research and design guidance services.

Open Ideas has supported and demonstrated new ways of working together and has valued diverse and informed contributions to help deliver a better future for the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Site and the city.

In 2016 The Royal Adelaide Hospital Site will be relocated. The move has presented an extraordinary opportunity to redesign the vacatd site and create an iconic place within the Greater Riverbank Precinct.

The government of South Australia initiated an Open Ideas two-stage International Design Competition, which invited architects and landscape architects to submit a visionary design proposals for the Site. ODASA has run the competition in partnership with Renewal SA.

We are networked with many industry and government sector organisations and initiatives. Below are a few that you might find useful.

The Government Architects Network Australia (GANA)
ODASA is a member of the Government Architects Network of Australia. GANA is a formalised, national collaborative group that meets annually to share valuable information and transfer knowledge and research.

Creating Places for People: An Urban Design Protocol for Australian Cities
Creating Places for People is a collaborative commitment to best practice urban design in Australia. It is championed by peak community and professional organisations, businesses and all three levels of government, including ODASA.


5000+ was a pilot project about the redesign, renewal and reactivation of inner Adelaide. 5000+ was the beginning of an open conversation on the future of the city and this approach continues to be supported by ODASA. The outcomes of the 5000+ project are available here.

To explore the 5000+ site, please visit

Talk to us

Level 1, 28 Leigh Street, Adelaide SA 5000

GPO Box 1533 Adelaide SA 5001
DX 171

T — +61(0)8 8402 1884
E —