The Architect and the Futurist

AI generated image of person walking dog in Melbourne, in the future
AI generated image of City of Melbourne, person walking dog.

Dulcie Hollyock Room, Ground Floor, Baillieu Library

  • public program
  • exhibition
  • architecture

Often when we think about ‘the future’ our imaginings are often driven by ‘used futures’ – the tropes that surround us in contemporary culture or are embedded in current paradigms of living – such as science fiction utopias. How do we imagine the many possible futures emerging from contemporary design when they are outside our present experience? How do we shift away what is deemed relevant, important or urgent and unlearn what we think we know about ‘the future’? Bridgette Engeler (The Futurist) and Kirsten Day (The Architect) will discuss strategies and tools they use to think the unthinkable.

This conversation will be chaired by Associate Professor Peter Raisbeck from the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. It forms part of the public programs for Gregory Burgess: From the Coalface, currently on display in the Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library until 25 June 2023.

Dr Kirsten Day lectures in Architecture at the University of Melbourne. She coordinates Construction as Alchemy and Architectural Practice. Prior to joining MSD, she was Course Director of Interior Architecture at Swinburne University of Technology. Her publications, workshops, and studios explore themes of future scenarios and the impact of change on the architectural profession and the human condition. She was an invited speaker on the subject Future Design | Future Melbourne as part of Melbourne Design Week for the Design Institute of Australia and involved with design and futures projects for Melbourne Knowledge Week since 2018. She organised the international Conference Future Housing: Global issues Regional problems at Swinburne in 2016 with Architecture Media Politics Society as part of the Housing Critical Futures conference series.

Kirsten is the Chief investigator on the project ‘New methods of procurement in design and construction: Identifying critical quality and risk factors in novation’. She is a member of the Education Committee and Co-chair of the Research in Practice Committee with the Australian Institute of Architects (Victoria) and an examiner for the Architects Registration Board of Victoria. Kirsten is a registered Architect and director of Norman Day + Associates Architects with over 20 years experience working in the profession

Bridgette Engeler is a foresight practitioner and pracademic who’s curious about post-growth innovation and designing in crisis. She teaches strategic foresight and innovation at Swinburne University and her work focuses on the nexus of design, innovation and futures. Her PhD investigates the use of futures and foresight in design and ways to bring futures literacy into design practice to curtail dominant discourses around short-termism, normativity and material culture.

Recent projects include collaborating with a global consortium of women to design a feminist futures framework for IWDA, public participatory futures installations in Melbourne and Hong Kong, researching viability of VR and AR wearables for people with early-onset dementia, investigating the challenges of self-sovereign identity, and exploring ways to use technology and new materials to support sexual and reproductive health. She holds a BA and MA from Monash and Masters in strategic foresight from Swinburne.