Dan Hill

The infrastructures of everyday life

Dan Hill Professor and Director Melbourne School of Design

Professor Dan Hill is Director of Melbourne School of Design, the graduate school in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, Australia. A designer and urbanist, Dan's previous design leadership roles include the Swedish government’s innovation agency Vinnova in Stockholm, Arup in London and Sydney, Fabrica in Treviso, the Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA in Helsinki, and the UK's Future Cities Catapult and BBC in London. Dan is also a Visiting Professor at UCL's Institute for Innovation and Public Practice and a founder member of the Council on Urban Initiatives, a joint venture between UN HABITAT, LSE and UCL. Dan was one of the inaugural Design Advocates for the Mayor of London and a Trustee of Participatory City Foundation. Dan is the author of the books 'Dark Matter & Trojan horses: A strategic design playbook' (Strelka Press, 2012) and 'Designing missions: Mission-oriented innovation in Sweden' (Vinnova, 2022).

The infrastructures of everyday life

I'll talk about the impact of tech on us—our communities, our environments, our places—via the new and old forms of shared infrastructures that tech can create, or diminish, and how they in turn embody, and shape, what we stand for as communities, societies. These are 'social infrastructures', such as streets, libraries, parks, playgrounds and the like, but also the 'increasingly social' infrastructures of energy, water, waste, mobility and so on, as well as new understandings of nature-based technologies, shared spaces, shared housing, shared resources. These new and old forms can address our shared systemic challenges, but this requires new forms of interdisciplinary design practice, drawing from UX and service design as much as architecture and urbanism, as well as innovative modes, and increasingly by public sector and governments, as much as private sector. I'll draw from project work all over the world, but also locate it firmly in an Australian context, including the work of Melbourne School of Design as a 'design school for the 21st century'.

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