Linking Design Research to Practice via Education

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


Cities are becoming increasingly complex overlay of systems. Challenges such as mobility and accessibility, food and waste cycles, energy supplies, social inclusiveness, to name a few, have direct influence on the functioning of other urban systems and on the well-being of the inhabitants. In addition, uncertainties and unpredictable events will more and more raise the degree of difficulty in facing those challenges. As matter of fact, in this pandemic period we are witnessing how quickly circumstances can be changing. Uncertainty, complexity and wicked problems are currently part of the ‘new normal’ we have to face every day, and who knows how, when and which matters may be shifting in the near future. But we also live in times of major innovations, e.g. renewable forms of energy are starting to become widely applicable, or in the field of traffic and transport major system changes are already taking place. Moreover, digital environments influence the shopping behavior, the logistics of goods, but also the social connections and movements of people. In the meantime, cities have to cope with a number of pressing issues. First and foremost, the need of suitable space. Where do we build the homes that are needed to house everyone? How do we ensure a good business climate? How do we deal with the displacement of people? And how do we make sure that all these transformation tasks are carried out in such a way that undesired effects on existing urban fabrics and landscapes can be prevented? Yet, agreements upon UN sustainability goals have been made at international level and cities are engaged in programs striving for healthy and vibrant living environments, bringing forward intervention pathways for, among other things, the increasing heat stress and urban water management, as well as accessibility and the attractiveness of public spaces. These are major themes, where the national and local authorities cannot switch without having private parties and citizens on board. In short, there are plenty of reasons to focus on the roles of design: enabling connections among disjointed matters and providing insights in how they can be brought together, eventually creating synergies and envisioning new opportunities. The presentation will briefly elaborate on the above mentioned challenges, showing through one or two specific project initiatives how design research can be linked to practice via education.
Period11 Nov 2020
Event titleProArch; Design Research Languages: Architectural design as research product and possible communication tools
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational