Three dimensions

We see three trends emerging across the built environment.  First, city systems are becoming more complex. Transport, water, waste and energy must now be considered alongside one another when designing complete solutions. Second, Data streams—like Twitter—have made it easier to quantify the way we perceive our environments. Third, machine learning, robotics, and automation have given us the tools to produce higher quality goods in a way that’s faster, cheaper, and produces less waste along the way. Issue II of the Australasia Research Review shares our explorations into the opportunities presented by each of these trends.

Front cover: Hoa Yang, Lighting Designer, Melbourne.

Contents

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Complex City Systems

The systems that make up our cities are more intertwined than ever. It's no longer sufficient to design for transport, water, or energy in isolation. Infrastructure projects need to be seen through the twin-lenses of environmental and urban resilience. City design needs to be considered with respect to social systems like economics, health and education. To deliver truly sustainable solutions, it's important to take measure of these interdependencies. We believe understanding the relationship between people, place, and technology in the built environment is a good start.

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Perceptions and Evidence

For the first time we have access to new data streams to collect qualitative data as well as the quantitative data we traditionally design around. Data streams —like Twitter and other digital forums—have made it easier to explore the way we perceive our environments. To take advantage of that opportunity, we must safely collect, clean, analyse and understand data like we’ve never had to before. Understanding how, and why, we interact with our environment is a fundamental first step toward being able to design for human well-being, economic resilience, and social good.

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Age of Augmentation

We are entering an age where not just our physical, but our intellectual capabilities are being augmented through machine learning, robotics, and automation. It's not just digital; new materials and new methods are being introduced to our industry. We must harness these tools and materials to produce higher quality designs and products that are faster, cheaper, and produce less waste along the way.
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