Designing for Social Impact
The article "On contributory architecture" has been published in the Australian Design Review. The story features commentary from HDR Australian Design Principal Simon Fleet on the concept of "socializing" architecture and the contributory role that architecture plays in the built environment. In the article, Simon discusses the importance of fostering a design-driven culture, the emergence of innovation tools, and why designing for social impact or betterment needs to be an intent – great architecture gives more than it takes.
Simon reveals time, people and discourse/collaboration as the three secrets to a successful design-driven culture and likens design to a “labor of love” — a love that can be onerous and exhausting, yet immensely rewarding if people are guided by a passion to design spaces that benefit all users. He also shares his perspectives on the importance of collaboration and socialization, noting that technological acceleration has widened design circles and improved the co-design and stakeholder engagement process.
The article also outlines the various data-driven tools that are transforming architecture and design. By placing time on the designer's side and enriching knowledge sets, Simon believes design teams can make better-informed decisions faster and cites HDR's Regenerative Design Framework as an example of delivering impeccable climate-responsive design using data sets.
Ultimately, Simon believes that in pursuing sustainable, inclusive and accessible design, architecture must give something back to the human condition and by going beyond the brief HDR can continue to design solutions to some of the world's greatest challenges for years to come.