URBAN & SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
Urban waste generation and consumption is growing rapidly globally, impacting on planetary health and wellbeing. We use concepts such as Urban Loveabiltiy and Conscious Cities, and approaches from Urban Informatics, Media Architecture, and Urban Morphology to explore how to improve the well-being of communities and places by paying attention to the details of our daily existence and struggle. Using innovation as a frame to focus on the positive, qualitative, intangible and dynamic aspects of the human condition in an urban context we explore empathy, social justice, connections to place, and technological transformations. Our research in this focus area is driven by responsible and sustainable design values spatially as well as experientially.
DESIGN-LED LEARNING & PRACTICE
Design-led learning is a human-centred, participatory, experimental and iterative practice that invites participants to collaboratively explore the issues and challenges of existing situations and contexts to create more desired futures. Design practice seeks to observe, understand, reframe and generate new workable solutions for implementation, thereby developing creative, agentic, and reflective learners to build adaptive and innovative organisations and communities.
This research group collaborates and partners with individuals and organisations to 1) understand the impact of design-led learning approaches and environments, and 2) capture the value of the role of design in facilitating the development of new ways of working for a productive future workforce.
REGIONAL & RESILIENT DESIGN
The future is regional. What role can design play in building better regions — socially, physically, economically, environmentally? How can we capture tacit and lived practices to inform better partnerships with communities and design?
Regions exist at multiple scales — global, city and regional contexts. Designers need to understand vulnerabilities to better assist recovery programs in the context of natural hazards and disaster events for communities. It involves rethinking the city, where resources are open, democratic and horizontally available. Our intention is to shift current practice and encompass transdisciplinary approaches to complex global problems, through systems-based change, designing for sustainable futures to redistribute, reuse, repurpose and recycle. Our research involves embracing alternative modes of design-thinking and transformative design outcomes to support future trajectories that are resilient.