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High density, zero carbon futures

05 Feb 2018

By Meg Hill

This month The Exchange, a year-long collaboration between Lendlease and RMIT at the Knowledge Market, uncovers Docklands’ potential for zero carbon futures.

From February 2 until February 28 between 10am and 5pm, the Knowledge Market (at Shop 8-10, 892 Bourke St, Victoria Harbour) will showcase its newest exhibition, Zero.

Students from RMIT have designed the exhibition specifically for Docklands’ Victoria Harbour as part of the 2018 Sustainable Living Festival.

Landscape architecture; interior design; and design innovation and technology students worked on the project theme of “climate crunch time”.

The students added their extra focus of high-density urban environments, from large-scale infrastructure to personal devices, to fit the Docklands landscape.

The result is a number of exciting projects based on “forward thinking ideas surrounding sustainability with innovative design” boosted by The Exchange’s local expertise.

The Food Delta Project investigated “fertile land” in Docklands, resulting in an integrated mobile application – Foodie Go – that incorporates food systems and sociability.

The team, comprising Gordon Goh, Ni An, Po-Hsuan Kuo, Jia-Rong Huang, Jie Cheng and Qing-Yun Chai, has designed the app to facilitate a healthy, self-sustainable food sharing economy in Victoria Harbour.

“Today, we can hardly imagine Docklands as fertile for agricultural purposes,” said team member Ni An.

“But, Docklands was truly the ‘fertile land’ prior to western settlement, and was also a hunting ground and meeting place for Aboriginal communities.”

“The term ‘fertile land’ therefore refers not only to the physical land, but also the social, cultural and ecological aspects.”

The project and app is a gamification of self-sustaining community gardening, allowing players to accumulate experience points and progress through levels as they grow their food and participate in real-life activities.

“Basically, it is like realising a ‘gardening utopia’ in an existing urban context through the game, in which people are happily involved in the gardening process,” said team member Gordon Goh.

Over its year-long run, The Exchange is using its Victoria Harbour base to explore four themes relating to the future of cities: Zero Carbon Futures, Social Diversity, Urban Memory and Imagination, and Digitally Enabled Infrastructures.

The Exchange researched its January exhibition, Home Truths, by asking people who work and live in Victoria Harbour what “home” meant to them and what image or object symbolised it.

Participants had their portraits taken with their objects and the result was a creative and insightful exhibition carefully tailored to Docklands.

Now, Zero will use the same local tailoring to show us what a zero carbon Docklands could look like.

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