Universities are often at the forefront of developing new ideas, methods and solutions. They are also well placed to challenge the norm and question whether ‘business as usual’ is meeting the expectations of society, especially when we discuss the built environment.
With an ability to freely to work across disciplines, industries, sectors and communities, universities are able to explore, create, critique and advocate independently without the influence of vested interests. In theory, this provides a fertile context for developing the best possible ideas and solutions to deal with some of Australia’s most pressing imperatives, especially in relation to liveability and sustainability.
The Lab for Mediated Intelligence and Design (MInDLab) at Deakin University in Geelong Victoria is one of these research hotspots, and smart urban ecosystems is squarely on its research agenda. The group is very much aligned to system thinking and design thinking.
It is a practice-based group that operates at the intersection of the Built Environment, Information Technology and Design Innovation. This is further reflected in some of their flagship research projects including:
- Smart Surfaces in Buildings – IoT enabled material intelligence
- Swarm Intelligence for Public Transportation: towards a de-centralised, self-organising system in smart urbanism
- Informed, Intelligent, and Connected – Extended Reality for the Design of Future Cities
- Place Making Using Virtual Environments
These projects reflect a strong interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach, which enable the potential of IT, intelligent data and digital media to ‘create more agile and adaptive solutions for socially, environmentally and economically viable built environment’.
In a recent article published by the MInDLab’s director, Professor Tuba Kocaturk notes that:
‘Technology plays a crucial role for this on-going exploration of the new values design can offer and in understanding the potential contribution of Architectural design to the emerging understanding of “sustainable development’.
It is research centres like Deakin University’s MInDLab that often provide the embryonic concepts that ultimately get developed for commercial application. Their website provides a glimpse of what they do, how they do it, with whom they collaborate. It also articulates their comprehensive commitment to research and innovation, industry engagement, and implementation and dissemination.
This is a research centre to watch as all sectors and industries seek to make the most of digital tools and solutions, including intelligent design.
More information visit MInDLab