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Paul Carter

Professor of Design, Urbanism

Paul Carter is an internationally acclaimed academic and artist and has an outstanding track record as an industry collaborator, creative researcher, design mentor and public lecturer. He is Professor of Design/Urbanism at the School of Architecture and Design.

Paul has theorised creative research practice and mentors in this area. His research interests include: the poetics of place-making, public space design and the application of creative research to community renewal, strategic planning and policy formation. In 2004 he published Material Thinking which became a seminal book on the theory and practice of creative research. In 2008 he followed this up with Dark Writing: performance, geography, design which extends creative research theory and practice into the domain of planning.

Well known for publications such as The Road to Botany Bay and his public artwork Nearamnew at Federation Square, Paul characterises his current research portfolio as three concentric rings that have at their heart the challenge of defining and designing ambience:

Creative Region is a constellation of creative place-making projects located in Victorian’s Western District;Turbulence is a project based exploration of the complex interplay between crowd behaviour and physical setting and program; andArchipelago (also project based) explores the scope of design to broker new creative communities internationally whose shared goal is the development of design tools to sustain fragile environments and advocate their values.

Later in 2013 Paul will be a visiting fellow at the Institute of Interweaving Performance Cultures (Free University, Berlin), where his research topic is ’the dramaturgy of turbulence’. This research builds on a creative research program currently unfolding in the City of Dandenong as part of the landscape design for the new civic square. Its broader remit is to identify the environmental affordances that are conducive to improved sociability.

Archipelago will be taken forward through a three year research agreement with Charles Darwin University focused on a coastal design and management project called Ocean Connections.

These initiatives are mechanisms for regrounding design in informal, everyday experience; in this context Paul is particularly interested in auditory aspects of place recognition. He maintains an active radiophonic and installation practice, and is currently developing projects with Tarrawarra Museum of Art and the J,M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice (Adelaide). The latter project, Siren Sonata, has strong roots in Spain and Paul is keen to bring the project to RMIT’s Barcelona hub and to use this base to develop the audiovisual design for the work.