Designing for Future Generations at Sydney Build Expo

Sydney Build Expo is a two-day exhibition and conference for the construction, architecture and design industries. This year marked the third annual Expo and it featured more than 200 exhibitors, 50 conference and workshop sessions and 90 speakers including DesignInc Managing Director Sandeep Amin.

Held on 15 and 16 March 2018 at the Royal Hall of Industries, Sydney Build Expo attracts a broad range of professions related to construction, architecture and design, and provides a platform for networking, discussion and invaluable knowledge sharing. This year it also included the Australian Construction Awards, which recognise innovation and excellence in products, process and service delivery.

Sandeep launched The Future Sydney Summit on day two of the Expo, which included a series of seminars based on future-proofing and building innovation. His presentation “Designing for Future Generations,” discussed the change required in present-day school environments and education systems in order to prepare students to be the workforce of the future.

As Sandeep elaborated, work and the workforce has changed over the last century, but the education system has not. It is still focused on the skills required for the industrial age, rather than the digital age. “The challenge is to understand the changes that are happening, appreciate the importance of what we do today and be informed and guided by it,” Sandeep explained. “We need to take clues from emerging trends in workplace behaviours and apply them to education, allowing for the built environment to initiate and foster such behaviours.”

Sandeep supported this with two DesignInc projects: Lindfield Learning Village and Ultimo-Pyrmont Public School.

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Lindfield Learning Village

Lindfield Learning Village is a unique education environment that encourages specialisation from an early age, and to conceive the design, DesignInc researched new ways of learning and the needs of the new-age workforce. “We needed to consider what the future workforce will be and what will it require. This includes the traditional professions such as accountants, engineers and architects, but also the new workforce employed for gaming and animations, or companies such as Google, which don’t follow the convention of traditional professions,” said Sandeep.

Making use of the old UTS Kuring-gai Campus, Lindfield Learning Village has woodworking, metalworking and ceramics workshops; drama and filmmaking studios; science labs and other special-level equipment; and six smaller learning communities for students to develop and progress in line with their natural aptitude: stage-based, rather than age-based learning. “There is no restriction on learning due to age, convention or lack of facilities. Rather it focuses on user need, instead of following what has been done in the past,” Sandeep said.

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Lindfield Learning Village

A new model has also been proposed at Ultimo-Pyrmont Public School, which will offer green space and flexible learning in a high-density inner-Sydney environment. DesignInc is undertaking the project in collaboration with Lacoste + Stevenson and BMC2 and it provides students with a flexible and imaginative environment appropriate to the various stages and ages of their education. “The school is located on a steep site in Pyrmont, and terraces carved into the site from its days as a quarry are being used to create three distinct playground levels for: kindergarten, years one and two, and years three to six, with visual surveillance between the three.”

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Ultimo-Pyrmont Public School

Sandeep’s presentation received a great deal of interest and was followed by a Q&A. “We had an interesting discussion about the case studies and how we are responding to the challenge of creating present-day learning environments that will build the future workforce.”