Equity Office is a research-led architectural practice creating projects that shape our built and socio-spatial environments. EO’s portfolio includes culturally, socially, economically and environmentally responsive works, including community engagement strategies, architecture, exhibitions and events. Our projects are always supported by action research, education, public discourse and writing, to ensure high social impact. Always at the heart of our projects is advocacy for positive social change and equity, achieved through diverse, often “bottom-up” methods.


Our work is cross-disciplinary, involving a finely curated mix of traditional and non-traditional collaborators, depending on the right fit for the project.


Equity Office is Robert Lees and Director, Nikhila Madabhushi.



Nikhila Madabhushi

Nikhila is an architect, researcher and educator. Her research-based practice is founded on spatial justice and equity in our built environment, with a special focus on decolonising and participatory methods. These themes were influenced by further postgraduate study in disaster management and global development, a pursuit that was assisted by the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship—a privileged award that also enabled her to establish her practice in 2017.

In 2020-21, Nikhila was the Monash Innovation Fellow within the Department of Architecture. Her research and teaching through this role, focused on rethinking community-led recovery of built environments in the regional Victorian context, following the 2019-20 bushfires in East Gippsland / Gunaikurnai-Bidawel Country. Nikhila has subsequently become a research fellow within Fire to Flourish, a five-year transdisciplinary program led by Monash, where she will continue to explore these themes concurrent to practice, from 2022.


Robert Lees

Robert Lees is an architectural graduate, working across practice, research and education who currently holds a Research Officer position in the Codesign for Placemaking lab, Fire to Flourish & the Constructing Communities on Country project, University of Melbourne. Lees’ approach to architecture focuses on how participatory engagement can democratise architectural processes.


Lees’ projects to date have foregrounded disaster recovery and community development, including contributing to the Olkola Cultural Knowledge Centre in Cape York. His most recent work involved project design and documentation of the Wangun Amphitheatre cultural performance space.

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