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Architects hold the key to creating sustainable communities

Climate change. Socio-economic inequality. Infrastructure development. Sustainable living. The growth of megacities. Increasing urbanisation.

When you think of the major challenges and changes the world is currently facing, it’s interesting to see how many solutions can be found in the study and practice of good building design.

Action on climate change, for instance, can be addressed by incorporating alternative energy use, energy reduction, waste recycling, rainwater collection and non-toxic building materials into the design of our future homes, offices and commercial buildings.

Rapid urbanisation and the growth of our cities will require homes designed to enhance our sense of community and connectedness.

Socio-economic inequality can be at least partially address by the provision of affordable housing.

At the forefront of what we hope will be a new and improved world order is the Architect – the creator and innovator who is, even now, re-imagining how we interact with our environment and those with whom we share it.

From housing projects that bring clean water and sanitation to disadvantaged communities to industrial complexes that incorporate world’s best practice environmentally sustainable design; from small rural housing developments to integrated community estates in high density urban settings; from childcare centres and hospitals to shopping centres and retirement villages, architectural design has the capacity to direct how we live … and how well we live.

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In recent years, this has been fast-forwarded by the emergency of new materials and technologies: Construction tiles made from plastic waste, concrete reinforced with fibres from old car tyres, coatings that transform buildings into solar energy farms are just some of the sustainability-focussed materials that are already starting to come online.

And there is a whole host of design and fabrication technologies that will allow architects to experiment even further: computer-modelling programs and software, robotics, 3D printing, virtual reality, laser cutting.

Bond University’s Abedian School of Architecture is leading the way in architectural education, ensuring students get an education that will equip them to deal with global challenges and play a part in creating sustainable cities of the future.

The newly redesigned Bachelor of Design in Architecture focuses on creative design and ‘learning by making’, with a project-based curriculum focused on pressing national and international issues.

The result is graduates who have practical experience and a strong understanding of issues including rapid urbanisation, environmental change, technological emergence and socio-economic inequity.

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