How do we bring technology and architecture together to make smart cities work and ensure that sustainability outcomes are meaningful and socially acceptable?

Tuba Kocaturk, is Professor of Integral Design at Deakin University, School of Architecture and Built Environment, in Australia. She is also Director of the Mediated Intelligence in Design (MInD) Research Lab at Deakin University in Victoria, is focused on systems thinking that operates at the intersection of built environment, information technology and design innovation.

Kocaturk shows a clarity of thought when it comes to design and architecture. She is driven by the premise that ‘real world problems do not know disciplines’ and that real world problems demand genuine collaboration and multiple disciplines to conceive, design, develop and implement enduring solutions.

As an architect turned design researcher and academic, Kocaturk is a leader in her specific field. Her work at the MInD Lab is transdisciplinary and involves a practice-based research group. The research program is timely and acknowledges that smart cities extend beyond autonomous vehicles and superficial use of Internet of Things devices.

Kocaturk has taught, conducted research, delivered keynotes/workshops and published extensively in the areas of Intelligent Built Environment, Digital Design Pedagogy, Design-Driven Innovation, and Digital/Physical Place Making.

Most importantly she advocates the use of ‘design thinking’ and ‘system thinking’ as a methodology for knowledge production and as a strategy for cross-sector innovation. This includes various practice-based design studios exploring the creative, collaborative and innovative adoption of digital and media technologies in architectural and urban design.

Tuba is the Senior Editor of International Journal of ‘Architectural Computing, which is committed to deepening the understanding of the foundations of digital systems for Architectural and Urban Design and the technologies enabling their development and application. She is also the founding co-director of Resilient Urban Ecosystems (RUE) Research Network and European Trans-Disciplinary Network of Design. Tuba is currently collaborating with the City of Greater Geelong, in Victoria for the development of the city’s future agenda as a UNESCO City of Design."

At a time when Australia is confronting significant social, environment and economic challenges, Kocaturk’s work is pivotal. It recognises the potency of design across disciplines and domains to be an effective problem solving endeavour that is agile and adaptive. He understanding of circular economy principles and thinking underscores her wide-ranging knowledge and what is required to deliver smart cities of the future.

For Kocaturk, technology might be the answer, but she is deeply mindful of asking the right questions that will help inform and empower the architect of the future.

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