Dr. Peter Raisbeck

Like most architects, I have a wide range of critical interests. But essentially, I am an architect, design tutor and a researcher. At a broad level, my focus is on architectural design and architectural knowledge and its travails in different contexts. 

I have been at the MSD at Melbourne University teaching architectural practice and design since 2006. Before this I worked in architectural offices, research organizations and in my own practice. I have taught design at RMIT and Melbourne University. I once worked for a dot-com until it imploded. 

I currently write here about: architecture, urban design, technology, and architectural history. I see architecture as a domain which requires research that is future driven and directly confronts the dilemmas that architects face. I hold grave fears for the profession’s continuing existence. 

My research is increasingly focused on the sociology of architecture and architectural design. I have previously published research related to the use of quantitative methods to measure design, procurement systems, the aesthetics of BIM, as well as the relationship between 1960s avante-garde architects, such as Robin Boyd,  the Metabolists and technology futures. I have also presented papers on biometrics and agent-based technologies. My PhD thesis on the Marine and Underwater City movement of the 1960s identified Bertalanffy’s systems theory as the core idea underpinning these utopian schemes.

In 2010 I collaborated with others to exhibit a project called Mould City as a part of the Australian Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale. In 2010 and 2012 I led postgraduate MSD students to  Monterrey Mexico. This work involved to working with people in informal settlements. Recently, as an architect, I have worked with the Port Phillip Community Housing Group and the Quaker Society of Friends.

More recently, in 2015, I formed a collaborative group based in MSD which entered an entry in the Planetary Urbanisation competition sponsored by the journal ARCH+. The entry proposed the remediation of the Whaleback iron ore site in the Pilbara while giving primacy to indigenous ownership and governance in that region. The scheme was published in ARCH+ in May 2016.

In early 2016 and now in 2017 I have been teaching a new elective called Design Activism which introduces MSD MArch students to the skills needed to position design thinking and design research into protest campaigns.

In 2017, amongst other things,  I am doing specialised research across: the institutional logics of architectural practice, design value metrics, workplace design, digital practice in architects offices, the history of architectural computing in the mid to late 1980s via the William J Mitchell Collection and more on the work of the Australian architect Robin Boyd.

As a design orientated architectural researcher, I am both a generalist and a specialist. I have also been known to have a laconic, and to some cynical, sense of humor. Feel welcome to follow my blog and contact me if anything here sparks your intellectual passions.

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