Tom Verebes will be presenting a public lecture titled ‘Computational Urbanism: Strategies Confronting Rapid Urbanisation and the Problem of Disposable Buildings’.

This will be held 6pm – 7pm, Tuesday 25th May, level 5 Architecture Studios Building 6, UTS City Campus

Recent, prolonged demands of increasing speed of design and construction pose challenges to building longer-lasting, socially beneficial, well performing buildings and cities. Rather than celebrating impermanence and ephemerality, contemporary design research faces a paradox between the seeming parallel necessities of adaptive, evolutionary forms of urbanism and the need for greater cultural, social, environmental and economic endurance of architecture. As an alternative to throw-away architecture and the design of instant cities, the economic benefits of high-quality design emphasise innovation in computational and material research, aiming for increasing the design life of buildings, and the capacity of cities to evolve and adapt to dynamic contextual conditions. Given the current instable state of the global economy, along with planet earth’s changing climate, there has never been a more crucial time to challenge, reassess and propose alternatives to conventional urban masterplanning and its associated techniques. By definition, Urban “Planning” assumes the future to be knowable, manageable and able to be controlled and forecasted with great precision.  This approach to contemporary urbanism requires new vehicles with which to manage the immensely complex qualities of interaction, communication and exchange that characterise the twenty-first-century city.  These investigations into aggregate, incremental, and time-based models of urban growth, correlate top-down and bottom-up systems, played out as both a cyclic set of quotidian, weekly, and seasonal phenomena, as well as longer-term timescales of urban growth and change.

Tom Verebes is currently Associate Professor in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong. Formerly Co-Director of the AA Design Research Lab (DRL) at the Architectural Association in London, where he had taught design studio and seminars in the post-professional MArch course from 1997-2009, as well as a former Guest/Visiting Professor at ABK Stuttgart.  Tom is also the founder and Creative Director of OCEAN.CN, a consultancy network of specialist design consultants based in Hong Kong, with links to Beijing, Shanghai, Jakarta and London, working on urban and architectural projects in China and the Asian region.  As the team leader of an integrated, multi-disciplinary team, including architects, urbanists, engineers, experts in computational design, manufacturing, visualisation and information communication, OCEAN.CN strives for innovation across a range of scales and types of design projects. Tom has written, published, exhibited, curated, and lectured extensively in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East.