Melanie Yard

Graduate Architect

Melanie Yard grew up in a number of homes between Sydney and Brisbane, each one responding to its context - a timber Queenslander or a post-war brick house in Sydney’s suburbs. It was these experiences and the feelings gained in each house that led her to study architecture at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 2021 with a Master of Architecture. Early memories of the cool concrete floors against her skin, bringing relief from Queensland’s heat, and reaching for a doorhandle as a child remains vivid with a consciousness of touch, scale and dimension. Her master’s thesis, focusing on this tactility of the built and natural environments, continues to direct her on a daily basis, as much as the writings of Japanese author Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s from In Praise of Shadows.

For Melanie, seeing how other people either lived or chose to live by engaging architects, was a driver in her choice to be an architect. The relation between the client and the architect continues to excite and energise her creative bent. The opportunity of having different experiences and working with different players in the design process also gives her great satisfaction, whether it’s dealing with a client, an engineer, or one of the many subcontractors involved in each project, irrespective of scale. And while some graduates gravitate to large architectural practices, Melanie preferred the opportunities offered by smaller practices, such as Hindley & Co. – a level of intimacy and connection that comes with a more personal hands-on approach. As with Tanizaki’s book, there’s a subtlety and softness with Melanie’s approach, making the things people touch in the houses she works on as memorable as the experiences she recalls from her formative years.

Master of Architecture, University of Melbourne