Skip to content

ARC Centre for Next-Gen Architectural Manufacturing 

What is the ARC Centre for Next-Gen Architectural Manufacturing?

Australia’s foremost Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) organisations and professional bodies have come together to establish the ARC Centre for Next-Gen Architectural Manufacturing. We aim to transform the national architectural profession to meet Australia’s immediate strategic needs in terms of productivity and climate goals. Being a partnership between academia and industry, we will triangulate world-leading researchers, visionary practitioners, and talented graduates to integrate state-of-the-art research into architectural practice. Our program of industry-embedded PhDs, national and international placements, short courses, and postdoctoral projects will grow manufacturing knowledge, skills, and capacity within the Australian architectural workforce, while delivering novel manufacturing-specific design tools and frameworks for the sector.

The Problem 

The Australian Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) sector is worth over AU$134 billion a year to the national economy. However, it faces major challenges. The sector consumes natural resources and energy at unsustainable rates, while also being responsible for a significant portion of national carbon emissions. Further, it has been slow to adapt to advances in architectural computing including industry-specific applications of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Digital Fabrication, and Big-Data analytics. Consequently, the Australian AEC sector is plagued with performance and productivity problems, compromised efficiency, and reduced international competitiveness. A sector-wide digital transformation strategy to become more innovative is essential.

The adoption of advanced computational methods across the architectural profession and service industry is estimated to lead to time and cost savings of up to 15%. In Australia, this would mean an annual operational saving of AU$900M, equivalent to 6000 new jobs in the sector.  

Our Solution 

The Centre will harness digital processes, workflows, and tools to deliver sustainable productivity and efficiency improvements in the Australian AEC sector. The research will investigate when and how digital strategies in the Architecture, Design, and Engineering industries can deliver new solutions, services, or modes of operation that can fundamentally change the way buildings are designed and manufactured, while also seeking net-positive solutions. 

The integrated, cross-disciplinary, and innovative training framework of the ARC Centre for Next-Gen Architectural Manufacturing is designed to bridge current gaps in knowledge and practice through three key connected research and training themes:  

  1. Synthesis of creative operational processes and practices in design.
  2. Management of business processes and commercial models.
  3. Analytics unlocking the potential of historic project data.

How will we achieve this? 

The ARC Centre for Next-Gen Architectural Manufacturing is recruiting 25 PhD researchers and 3 postdoctoral fellows to pursue industry-embedded research projects over the next 5 years.  

With our industry partners Architectus, Bollinger + Grohmann, Cox, Grimshaw, and Tzannes we will accelerate digital transformation in AEC businesses by developing industry and organisational interventions. 

This new developed knowledge will be communicated via research education standards developed with our institutional partners Australian Institute of Architects, Association of Consulting Architects Australia, and the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, to facilitate adoption, exploration, and innovation in training in architectural manufacturing. 

Through this framework we can leverage advanced architectural computing discoveries made by our academic partners University of NSW Sydney, Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne, and University of Adelaide; together with our international university partners University College London, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia Barcelona, and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Copenhagen to connect architectural design with the opportunities afforded by advanced manufacturing systems.