Karen studied architecture in Brisbane and Milan before graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) in 2002, completing her undergraduate thesis on architecture and homelessness. Following 10 years at one of Brisbane’s leading architectural practices, Karen established KO&CoArchitecture with the desire to focus on socially responsible architecture and a belief that architects can, and should, make a difference to the way people live through good design.
Karen’s portfolio of work includes social and affordable housing units, specialist disability and residential care accommodation, high end private residential, clever renovations, education facilities, commercial fit outs and cruise liner terminals. Amongst the many award winning buildings she has been responsible for, Karen was instrumental to the creation of Arkhefield’s Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, which received the Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage Architecture from the Australian Institute of Architects in 2011.
Throughout her career, Karen has contributed to architectural education through tutoring and guest critiques at four universities in South East Queensland and retains a position on the Board of Architects Queensland examination panel. She has participated in many panel discussions relating to social and affordable housing, mental health respite accommodation and specialist disability housing. Karen is a design review panel member for Economic Development Queensland, was appointed as a State Juror for the AIA Queensland Architecture Awards 2019 and is a member of the Design Excellence Panel for Queensland social and affordable housing.
ONE OF MY FAVOURITE PLACES IN THE WORLD
Venice, Italy. There is no other city like it.
MY CHILDHOOD DREAM JOB
A vet, before I knew I had to dissect animals in science.
IF I COULD SEE ANY MUSICIAN (PAST OR PRESENT) PERFORM LIVE, IT WOULD BE...
Chris Martin from Coldplay.
WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, I'M NORMALLY...
Either renovating or bushwalking.
IF I WERE A CAR, I WOULD BE...
A Mini Cooper S - small and fast.
IF I WASN'T AN ARCHITECT, I WOULD BE...
IF I WON A MILLION DOLLARS, I WOULD...
Establish a Sunshine Coast office of KO&Co!