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Foresight at Arup

Foresight at Arup



2009 11 24 UPMF - An intro to the tools and techniques of Arup Foresight.

2009 11 24 UPMF - An intro to the tools and techniques of Arup Foresight.



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  • what I will cover – intro to arup, the way we explore the future – research, innovation, foresight – more detail on foresight methods we use – I will run through some of our research output – finally you can spend some time to help invent some drivers of change for UPMF
  • me – engineer, AI, heavily influenced by user centred design – web, product, service design – at arup joined R&D – set-up foresight activity
  • We are a global firm of designers, engineers, planners and business consultants, providing a diverse range of professional services to clients around the world. A partnership. Holistic design. Sustainability, shaping a better world at our core. We work from 91 offices on projects spanning 128 countries .
  • We work from 91 offices on projects spanning 128 countries sydney opera house 1959 – 1973 – iconic project for Ove
  • The building is sustainable & energy efficient. 90% of the solar energy falling on it, is trapped within the structural zone & will be used to heat the pools & interior. THE WATER CUBE, NATIONAL SWIMMING CENTRE, BEIJING, CHINA 17,000-seat swimming centre, with a total floor space of over 70,000m2 for the Beijing Olympics 2008. The Centre will be used prior & post Games as a multi-purpose leisure & elite swimming centre. The Water Cube, which was inspired by cells & soap bubbles will be clad in ETFE foil cushions. It is based on a common natural pattern, the most effective sub-division of three-dimensional space - the fundamental arrangement of organic cells & the natural formation of soap bubbles. It is also based on the way that structure tiles spaces. A structure based on this unique geometry is highly repetitive & buildable whilst appearing very organic & random. Also the ductile space frame that is generated from this geometry is ideally suited to the seismic conditions found in Beijing.
  • © Stevenson, Kinder & Scott WANDOO CGS, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
  • NOW, NEW, NEXT - this chart shows a view of how the company supports research innovation and foresight activity. Issues are pushed from the right and pulled from the left
  • Acoustics | Applied Geology | Architecture |Audio Visual | Bridges | Building Physics | Business Administration CAD | Communications & IT | Consultation | Ecology | Electrical | Energy | Environmental Services Engineering Environmental | Facade Engineering | Facilities | Financial | Fire | Fluid Dynamics | Geotechnics | Graphics | GIS Highways | Investigation, Repair and Refurbishment | Legal | Lighting | Logistics | Maritime | Marketing | Materials Mechanical Services | Project Management | Property Consulting | Rail Operations | Risk | Research Resource & Waste Management | Quality Management | Security | Seismic | Site Development & Regeneration Structural | Sustainability | Transport Consulting | Track | Traction Power | Train Control | Tunnels Venue Consulting | Virtual Design| Water | Wind Engineering
  • Research happens through-out the firm but is also supported centrally via a research term. Their mission: Responding to Business needs by: Encouraging, leveraging and sharing research outcomes and best practice within the Arup community
  • ROADMAPS - Allow us to plan our research activity against overarching trends evolving to reflect latest developments and research needs Future needs and priorities include design tools, health and lifestyle, building performance , water etc.
  • NETWORKING Our staff have many formal and informal links through to higher education - “Our vision is to significantly advance the UK’s capability to deliver solutions for a sustainable future, by forging practical research collaborations and sharing the outcomes regionally, nationally and internationally”
  • FUNDING - Their role is to support the strategic development of research and guide the strategy for our funding portfolio – investment in arup Internal R&D calls for proposals: 4 per year £1,250k Intellectual Property Executive £380k Project Plus £50k External Collaborative Research projects £1,825k Pays Arup staff time and expenses for collaborations Leverage between 50% and 2000%
  • foresight works with thought leaders both inside and out the company to help identify trends that will affect the built environment – multi disc team – architect, engineer, art historian, physicist, economist, geek, social scientist + many interns
  • how do we work? we have 6 working assumptions head – design analysis; heart – our sustainability philosophy; gut – the qualitative feelings 57 seconds to interview someone
  • futurists don’t right THE future – they write many futures
  • we believe there is great value in speaking to many diverse people and listening – much of our drivers of change work has been crowd sourced the future is already here it is just not evenly distributed - gibson
  • expertise is important – but so is collaboration, networks and ecosystem thinking – Arup employ T shape people
  • we are biased - a sustainable future is critical
  • this is probably our main assumption that we try to get our business sectors to accept as standard working practice.
  • But what do we deliver? March 2006 saw the launch of DoC 2006 – an Arup Design and Technical Executive funded initative – a set of 50 big issues that we believe will drive change.
  • Where do these issues come from? We do themed workshops with industry thought leaders – to understand current opinion and create plausible futures. for example the hotel of the future resulted in 4 different hotel designs based on 4 quite different future scenarios
  • socially engineered, designed, user centric approach.
  • CSM gazette – summer project
  • included a publication as output – coauthored, published by GDI
  • The different worlds are created by selecting 2 issues that when mapped as opposites in a 4 square allow us to explore 4 very different worlds. One square will often be the official future – the other three are often difficult “hard to think about” scenarios that seem implausible to those working in the industry
  • for example between 2005 and 2008 we collected the opinion of 1000’s of people on where they thought we were today (e.g. C) and where they thought we were heading in 20 years time (e.g. C’) – the arrows show the trends of movement of votes from one quadrant to another.
  • to help understand the plausible futures which may exist we try to identify issues that will drive change. We use the STEEP framework to help broaden our thinking – most people will have good knowledge of 2 or 3 STEEP areas but not all.
  • here are examples of the top drivers which emerged through events over the past few years.
  • videos - http://vimeo.com/1690342 or channel ForesightbyDesign http://vimeo.com/channels/foresight
  • in addition to face to face workshops we also gather opinion online via our tag clouds – here is one from poptech where we had just over 5000 votes cast
  • we also did an exhibition in a shipping container for design week in tokyo – we had a sushi bar conveyor carrying the cards plus blanks – we received 1200 issues over the duration of the 1 week show.
  • During 2007/2008 we developed themed card sets around 6 specific themes – researchers interned with us to develop sets of 25 issues – these have also been supplemented with 2 sets on the theme of poverty and food.
  • So what kind of content is in the cards?
  • 1 - urbanisation– why is everyone moving to cities? WEALTH HEALTH OPPORTUNITY -
  • implications here for the kind of infrastructure that will be required in future cities – opportunities to leap frog in developing vs developed? different kinds of risks in developing communities – environmental, security, health….
  • from the 2006 set
  • from the 2006 set
  • from the 2006 set
  • impact on requirements for built environment, community, society
  • summary - we normally spend a day thinking about this, online versions, add comments
  • summary - ning site - add a group if you want, tag cloud - if you want to create a public version for UPMF then let me know.
  • how to get involved – if you want to contribute to examples of bits of cities that you would “cut or paste into the neighborhoods' you use – go to this project. it concerns a wider range of aspects of urban fabric and life - not simply spatial, though it can be - and also enables you to suggest things you'd like to see less of i.e. a cut from a city, as well as a paste into a city. So we might imagine suggested pastes into an urban environment could be elements of urban infrastructure - trams, funiculars, recycling systems, local food delivery services, community gardens - as well as services - integrated ticketing systems a la Oyster or Octopus or Go Cards, say. Cuts could be unnecessarily large freeways, examples of dreadful architecture, potential development sites being sat upon, shoddily run services and so on.

Foresight at Arup Foresight at Arup Presentation Transcript