Studio leader: Maud Cassaignau

Monash University plans to turn the Clayton Campus into an Innovation Precinct branded ‘Monash Technology Hub’. It follows a global trend of innovation districts around universities, hospitals, research facilities and major employers. Such clusters promise collaboration and knowledge generation, innovation in products and services, immense economic contributions, higher quality jobs, wages and tax revenues, according to various governmental and audit reports.

The studio unpacked criteria for successful innovation precincts rooted in a synergetic interaction with their contexts, and distinct identity rooted in place. The studio team developed careful designs for the edge conditions between precinct and surroundings, with the aim to enable synergies between campus and its wider urban context. Simultaneously the studio investigated the conceptual underpinnings and values of ‘innovation districts’. It aimed to identify ways to counteract possible disruptive impacts to surrounding neighbourhoods, communities and industries, through design approaches.

Thereby it engaged with criticisms of audit-urbanism by key urban thinkers, sociologists and economists of our time, offering alternative approaches, solutions,values and perspectives: This happened through a series of proposals around synergetic medical, food, transport, diy, ecological, cultural, social and community innovation approaches, rethinking the role of universities and innovation within urban contexts. Illustrated through banners, these interrelated approaches are further connected in an interactive 3D model.


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