New centre to drive next-gen architecture

Leading Swinburne researchers will work with colleagues around the world to help transform the architectural profession and deliver architectural manufacturing that can address Australia’s increasingly ambitious climate targets, through the new ARC Centre for Next-Gen Architectural Manufacturing.

Swinburne is co-leading the centre, administered by the University of New South Wales (UNSW), which has received $9 million in funding through the ARC Industry Transformation Training Centre scheme, including over $4 million in matched funding from industry.

The centre will bring together world-leading researchers, visionary partners and talented graduates, including 21 PhD scholarships and three postdoctoral fellowships, to help the sector deliver complex, high value-add and carbon positive architectural manufacturing.

Swinburne Professor of Urban Futures, Mark Burry AO, and Dean of the School of Design and Architecture, Professor Jane Burry, are two of the Key Chief Investigators for the centre.

“While advanced manufacturing has made huge strides in the past three decades, the construction industry has struggled to fully leverage these gains for sustainability, quality and productivity,” they said.

“To access the environmental and productivity benefits of these advances, architects need the complex skills to help steer their projects towards advanced manufacturing.

“The centre draws on both Swinburne and UNSW’s world class expertise in the digitalisation of professional practice to accelerate this necessary transition and continue Australia’s international reputation for innovation in this field.”

In addition to the Swinburne leads, Professor Mark Burry and Professor Jane Burry, a number of researchers from Swinburne’s Smart Cities Research Institute and School of Design and Architecture are part of the research consortium, including Professor Mark Taylor, Professor Marcus White, Dr Pantea Alambeigi, Dr Mehrnoush Latifi Khorasgan, Daniel Prohasky, Dr Sascha Bohnenberger and Professor Blair Kuys.

Creating a more sustainable future

Through digitisation and skills development, the centre will help address the massive amounts of waste and carbon emissions created by the construction industry, and support Australia’s immediate productivity needs and climate goals.

The centre’s program of industry-embedded PhDs, national and international placements, short courses, and post-doctoral projects will help develop the human capital needed to transform the architectural profession in Australia and around the world.

The centre will integrate research into practice through digital business strategies, augmented intelligence, and computing domains of expertise, working closely with industry and university partners around the world.

Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Karen Hapgood, said the new centre was a perfect example of how leading experts from industry and universities can work together to leverage advanced technology and create sustainable solutions for architecture and the built environment.

“The ARC Centre for Next-Gen Architectural Manufacturing will help drive digital transformation in this critically important industry and develop the next-gen workforce required to power it,” said Professor Hapgood.

“We are delighted to have the support of the ARC and our university and industry partners as we work to create a more sustainable and innovative planet.”

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