Architecture for Complexity

Presented by Dr Alisa Andrasek and RMIT University

A keynote talk by Dr Alisa Andrasek, introduced by Ewan McEoin

As the world becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, seemingly intractable problems, once thought too hard to address are now approached in a new light.

By using an integrated approach, which involves various disciplines across science, technology and research working together new possibilities are emerging. Accelerating the potential of this interdisciplinary approach, the rapid emergence of high-speed computation that can process vast amounts of data in lightning speeds, heralds an exciting moment where solutions that were once hidden to humanity can now be found.

In this context, architecture as a field that is increasingly defined and enabled by data and computation is on the brink of exciting breakthroughs. Today architecture’s capacity to work with vast amounts of information and new technologies in the pursuit of fresh possibilities opens up a space where the discipline is now actively participating alongside other fields in the development of proposals that respond to increasingly complex environments.

By introducing more technology, big data, AI and cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing into the formation of buildings and cities it is possible for architecture to be more context sensitive, interconnected, responsive, acquiring new capabilities – and thus more relevant for a challenging future.

This keynote by Dr Alisa Andrasek will offer glimpses of possible futures for architecture compatible with accelerating planetary challenges. Andrasek will present conceptual designs of novel tower typologies, high density villages, life supporting architectures for Mars, and projects for the regeneration of abandoned mining sites in Australia.

In particular, Andrasek believes that ‘big data design approaches’ could breathe new life into abandoned mining sites in Australia, remnants of the outdated carbon intensive economy, with life-supporting architectures for the Post-Anthropocene. She asks ‘Can we regenerate these sites with ‘high resolution architectures’ so that they become new, awe-inspiring destinations, in resonance with the country’s deep past?’

This program took place at The Capitol, 113 Swanston St, Melbourne.


Dr Alisa Andrasek is a designer and innovator working on the convergence of design, computer science and exponential technologies. She is bringing AI and robotics to the forefront of architectural design and construction. The founder of Biothing, an award winning design laboratory; a partner of Bloom Games; and co-founder of AI Build, Andrasek is Professor of Design Innovation at RMIT, prior to which she directed an award winning program in advanced architectural design at UCL in London and Wonderlab research. Her work has been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou Paris, New Museum NY, Storefront NY, FRAC Collection Orleans, TB-A21 Vienna, Beijing and Sydney Biennial, among others.