At a recent Property Council lunch, Premier Mike Rann observed that ‘one of the most important initiatives to emerge since the launch of the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide is the establishment, last July, of the Integrated Design Commission. ‘In its first year of operation, the Commission has already played an influential role in decisions relating to long term city planning and development proposals.’ Nice recognition.
The origins of the Commission may be known to many, but have their genesis in the Adelaide ‘Thinkers-in-Residence’program.In2009, Architect and educator Professor Laura Lee worked with 15 partners on what has UDFQ 95: September 2011 become a foundational document for next generation thinking in design, planning and development. Refer http://www.thinkers.sa.gov.au/Thinkers/Lee/finalreport.aspx.
We’ve translated nine recommendations comprising Professor Laura Lee’s final report into five essential founding principles. These include:
• Design in all stages;recognising the impact design can have when considered upfront, not last minute
• Collaborative Culture; acknowledging that exemplary outcomes emerge from the successful collaboration across sectors.
• Environmental Leadership; building on the essential strengths of a state with solid credentials in clean energy, advanced manufacturing, water, and exceptional environmental science
• EvidencethroughResearch;promoting relevant research to enable evidence-based policy advice across design, planning and development
• Inform, Engage, Educate; advocating the role of design as an essential tool for successful engagement of communities in negotiating change.
In our first year we’ve initiated a number of ‘firsts’ for SA, including:
• driving Australia’s most ambitious urban redesign project, the Integrated Design Strategy (www.5000plus.net.au). 5000+ will deliver an urban design vision across eight inner metro council areas, backed by local, state and federal agencies. But it will also deliver a new ‘model’ for how others can do this, based on Adelaide’s experience.
• initiating a design-led collaboration with the construction sector to deliver what we hope will be SA’s first Carbon Zero house at Lochiel Park in 2012 (in conjunction with the Land Management Corporation)
• initiating a master plan for Adelaide’s Riverbank to identify new opportunities for public space alongside a $1bn upgrade to the Adelaide Oval and Convention Centre
• review of Adelaide’s unique Torrens corridor – site of Australia’s first Linear Park – to provide a vision for the next 30 years (inconjunction with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources)
• analysis of the design sector in South Australia; to understand the health and trends in the sector over time
• establishment of a formal process of multi disciplinary Design Review to shepherd projects through the first few vital months of design; to assist early to avoid intervening later on when attitudes are fixed and the stakes are higher.
We know that there is strength in networks. The Commission is already looking to build international collaborations with like-minded design agencies around the world, including the UK Design Council CABE, Design Singapore and Finland’s SITRA.
Aside from an independent Commissioner, a Government Architect, a Director, the ambitious range and remit of this new Commission is supported by a multi- disciplinary staff, and by an Advisory Board of eminent minds that reflect our broad focus. Chaired by the Commissioner, the Advisory Board includes:Professor Catherin Bull AM; Professor Graeme Hugo; Professor Janis Birkeland; Assoc Professor Joanne Cys; John Denton; Dr Elizabeth Farrelly; Jim Hallion (Chief Executive of SA Department of Premier and Cabinet); and Dan Hill.