Hansen collaborates with RMIT on smartSKIN studio

Hansen Partnership has partnered with RMIT’s School of Architecture and Urban Design to sponsor a smartSKIN studio in the Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of Design Innovation Technology courses this semester.

Led by RMIT Landscape Architecture Lecturer Dr Yazid Ninsalam and Design, Innovation and Technology Lecturer Dr Mehrnoush Latifi, the studio has been exploring ways to enhance a sense of ‘place’ and public realm upgrades around transit nodes using ‘smartSKINs’.

smartSKINs may take the form of energy efficient ‘smart’ building facades; biotech solutions to improve indoor air quality; augmented reality interfaces for driver awareness; virtual reality tools to alleviate anxiety or even telepresence devices for enhanced international communication.

This studio invites a multi-disciplinary team of students (landscape architecture, architecture, engineering) to question the premise of improving connectivity and pedestrian experience within the public realm utilising smartSKIN solution.

The Heidelberg Station Urban Design Framework (a Hansen Partnership project) is being used as a pilot project and case study for the studio with students exploring how innovative technique in data collection can improve design decision making process and outcomes.

The area around Heidelberg Station was selected for studio exploration due to its challenging topography, landscape and built fabric which cannot be captured accurately using conventional 2D mapping techniques. The studio has also investigated opportunities to use drone technology and terrestrial survey technology (also known as point cloud technology) to document existing conditions in 3D format.

It is anticipated that point cloud analysis will deliver improved modelling to enhance and broaden the contextual understanding and testing of the area including the development envelope, landscape management and any visual implications resulting from design decisions.

Improved modelling of existing conditions with enhanced accuracy, will also support designers and stakeholders in exploring opportunities to overcome physical barriers posed by the existing rail line including a more detailed appreciation of access and movement to further enhance approaches to transport oriented and pedestrian oriented development.

Whilst Point Cloud Visualisation is a familiar surveying tool, this studio demonstrates how a multi-disciplinary approach to design process can yield positive outcomes and Hansen’s commitment to supporting inter-disciplinary process across academia and practice.

The studio culminates on Friday 2 November in an exhibition of student work across two sites with Master of Design and Innovation students exhibiting their work at the Knowledge Market in Docklands and Master of Landscape Architecture students exhibiting at the RMIT Design Hub at 100 Victoria Street, Carlton. Register your interest for the opening event at 6pm, Friday 2 November at the Knowledge Hub. The exhibition runs until 16 November 2018.

For more information about Hansen’s urban design expertise and how we’re partnering with universities to innovate and enhance our urban design services, contact Urban Design Associate Gerhana Waty.