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Media Release • 19 Sep 16

Design Futures

What might the future hold for energy, mobility, money and water? How might the potential of design as an agent of change open up new opportunities or address current or future challenges? These questions form the framework for the National Gallery of Victoria’s upcoming event series Design Futures, four weekly sessions featuring industry leaders in energy, money, mobility and water, as they look ahead to anticipate how their world may be transforming. Design Futures will take place over four Wednesday evenings from 21 September to 12 October 2016 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, ‘Design touches every aspect of our lives and affects the way we live in very fundamental ways, often guiding how we work, learn, spend and interact. The NGV is pleased to bring together experts in their fields of to make us consider what might shape the future of energy, mobility, money and water.’

Each session includes a keynote talk from the featured speaker, followed by a Q&A moderated by The Age columnist and chief editorialist Michael Short.

Wednesday 21 September, 6pm: ENERGY

The journey from high-carbon centralised utilities to low-carbon distributed systems.

Samantha Coras will speculate on the disruptive design and innovation opportunities that might reshape the ways that energy is captured, stored and valued, as society shifts from high-carbon centralised utilities to low-carbon distributed systems. With 15 years of engineering science and design experience, Coras has a thorough understanding of the issues faced by renewable projects in the market. She is currently Head of Project Management Australia for the leading global solar energy company First Solar.

Wednesday 28 September, 6pm: MOBILITY

Radical ideas changing the way we move.

Award-winning space craft designer and scramjet engineer Michael Smart will explore ways that international travel could be radically transformed – forecasting hypersonic technology and a future of international and space travel. A Professor at the University of Queensland School of Mechanical and Mining, Smart spent 10 years at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia designing hypersonic engines called scramjets. As head of the University of Queensland’s HyShot Group, he now leads scramjet-related research within the Centre for Hypersonics.


Wednesday 5 October, 6pm: MONEY

Globalisation, digitisation – tech start-ups changing the future of money.

Globalisation and digitisation have radically changed the nature of money, particularly with the emergence of fin tech businesses and start-ups that are disrupting financial services. Alex Scandurra is an expert in these changes as CEO of Stone & Chalk, a not-for-profit fintech hub for financial services start-ups in Australia. Scandurra will explore the future of money and what financial services may look like, drawing on his experience helping to foster and accelerate world-leading tech start-ups in Australia.
Wednesday 12 October, 6pm: WATER

Water scarcity. A complex problem requiring transformative solutions.

Rosalea Monacella will examine the issues surrounding water resource availability and discuss how transformative solutions could address future water security issues. As co-director of the Office of Urban Transformation Research and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at RMIT University, Monacella has a deep knowledge and expertise in transforming the urban environment, and the impact of the changes in resource flows. OUTR is a network of architects, landscape architects and urban planners, exploring design as a responsive agent to contemporary urban challenges, with an intent to generate sustainable urban futures. Their research brings together complex urban issues and advanced digital modelling techniques as an approach for providing solutions.

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