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Adelaide Living Laboratory Hub update

The CRC for Low Carbon Living’s Adelaide Living Laboratory Hub is delivering a research agenda across the three locations of Tonsley, Bowden and Lochiel Park, developing low carbon solutions with demonstrated outcomes for a diverse range of infrastructure and users.

The PhD students associated with the project are making great strides in their research, with concrete benefits to industry.

For example, Aaron Davis and his supervisors Dr Jane Andrew and Dr Robert Crocker from the University of South Australia (UniSA) have been running co-creation methodology workshops influencing the design of a new 17-storey social services and accommodation hub for Uniting Communities.

The co-creation approach gives a unique opportunity to engage with a variety of end-users, and to allow them the opportunity to participate in the design of the physical, social and organisational infrastructures that they will come to use on a daily basis. Not only can this participation deliver more informed and appropriate design outcomes, but can also help to shift organisational behaviours toward lower carbon practices.

Through the trialling of a draft co-creation toolkit, the UniSA team have helped Uniting Communities recognise the value of end-user feedback to improve the quality of design. These workshops have identified a number of areas where the first-hand experience and knowledge held by end-users can be used to refine elements of the project brief, and where some ingrained patterns of behaviour might need to be challenged.

By exploring in detail the aspirations and experiences of end-users across a variety of levels of the organisation, the participants are able to discover a number of areas where physical design changes plus individual and organisational behaviour change could lead to a lower carbon footprint. The team is planning a further series of workshops with Uniting Communities early in 2016.

The co-creation methodology has also been successfully applied to inform the design process for a community garden project within the Bowden Living Laboratory, empowering local citizens to make informed decisions about the future of their urban environment. Aaron’s draft co-creation toolkit is expected to be released online soon to encourage other groups to trial the co-creation approach.