The Innovative Design Lab
– The Centre for Urban Design, Architecture and Sustainability
TWO new research centres that aim to use design and technology to solve problems of modern living and improve the quality and sustainability of the urban environment have been established at the University of Huddersfield. They will carry out important research and teach the next generations of experts in the field.
The centres – which come under the aegis of the University’s School of Art, Design and Architecture – are the Innovative Design Lab (IDL) and the Centre for Urban Design, Architecture and Sustainability (CUDAS).
The IDL is headed by Professor Patricia Tzortzopoulos Fazenda, an architect with industrial experience in collaborative design integration and management who is the University’s Professor of Integrated Design and Head of the Department of Architecture and 3D Design.
The Director of CUDAS is Professor Nicholas Temple, who is Professor of Architecture. Much of his research and publication has focused on the city of Rome. His new research centre has now been launched at a special event that included addresses from Professor Simon Pepper, an expert on the history of architecture, and David Rudlin, of the Manchester-based urban design practice named URBED.
Professor Temple himself opened the event and outlined the vision behind CUDAS. The day closed with an interactive session that focused on sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings. The aim was to identify how university expertise and collaboration can support construction industry professionals.
CUDAS will research the themes of urban design, architectural practice and humanities, plus Sustainable Environments and Practice. A common thread is the integration of architectural, environmental and urban design.
There will be Master’s programmes in Urban Design, Advanced Architectural Design and Sustainable Architecture, with the first two programmes to be launched in September 2015.
The Innovative Design Lab was launched about a month ago and it researches product design, with an emphasis on the built environment, pushing the impact of design thinking and practice to new areas. It cuts across architectural design, construction management, interior design, new product development, engineering, social sciences and health care.
There is a focus on solving real-world problems through design innovation and the IDL’s research is developed closely with public and private sector organisations to propose novel solutions to design challenges. On offer are “future focused” undergraduate, Masters and PhD programmes.
The IDL mission states that its vision is for “increasing the value of design whilst reducing costs, enabling the society to benefit from high quality environments and products that are supportive of users’ needs and activities. This vision will be achieved through scholarly research and industrial engagement. More specifically, the potential of design innovation, collaboration, co-design and lean strategies to improve design and production processes and products will be examined.”