Integral Design Futures (IDF) provides a holistic interdisciplinary research framework for the school to address issues facing the built environment. Our expertise in Architecture, Construction Management, Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture, together with collaborations across the university such as with Health, Engineering and the Creative Arts, provides the capacity to generate outcomes that have real-world impact.

Our research approach

IDF provides a four-quadrant research framework (see diagram below) that integrates qualitative and quantitative approaches from both individual and collective perspectives. This integral approach provides a transformative research methodology that addresses ecological and socio-cultural sustainability, health and wellbeing through the art and science of building.

The underlying assumption of IDF is that for our research to make a difference it must be based on a holistic understanding that takes multiple viewpoints on any given research question.

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Integral Design Futures

Thus, IDF projects combine four processes:

  1. Measurement of building performance and construction processes;

  2. Evaluation of sensory experiences of the built environment;

  3. Interpretation of collective perception of the socio-cultural value of the built environment; and

  4. Mapping relationships to urban and ecological systems.

Our current projects

Building Ampara, Sri Lanka

In the rural communities of Ampara Sri Lanka, progress in women’s empowerment, children’s education and income generation are slow due to disparities between community needs and top down policy driven initiatives. The project will illustrate how the process of design and constructing community buildings in Ampara can be improved by the application of an IDF process.

Learn more about the Building Ampara, Sri Lanka project

Charting Pre-Design Sustainability Indicators

Charting Pre-Design Sustainability Indicators recognises that construction projects may impose a detrimental impact on the environment, both socially and economically. While the wider Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry is deeply concerned with improving social, economic and environmental sustainability outcomes, existing management systems are almost entirely focused on the post-design stages of projects.

Learn more about the Charting Pre-Design Sustainability Indicators project

Heal the Scar

Drawing upon industry partner collaboration with Grimshaw Architects, the research involves the investigation of long-term ecological, social and economic sustainable rehabilitation options for closed or exhausted quarry and mine sites including their surrounding human and natural environments.

Learn more about the Heal the Scar project

Simulation Environments for Integral Sustainable Design and Construction

Integral Design Futures (IDF) is based on the premise of simultaneous consideration of qualitative and quantitative issues from both individual and collective perspectives. There is currently no design simulation software that enables an integral approach at the crucial early design stages, where key decisions are made. Addressing this gap, this project develops prototype software, where quantitative feedback on sustainable performance can be balanced against qualitative, experiential and cultural evaluation.

Learn more about the Simulation Environments for ISDC project

Strategic Assessment of Potentials for University Campus Sustainability

University campuses have been an inseparable component of the society, economy and environment in their located cities or towns. This project investigates the Integral Design Futures (IDF) of university campuses through quantitative and qualitative assessment of their individual and collective performances. The project applies the four-quadrant IDF principles to sustainable design, construction and management of university campuses by means of their economic, environmental, social and technological sections.

Learn more about the Strategic Assessment of Potentials for University Campus Sustainability project


The #VacantGeelong project is a creative exploration of Geelong’s industrial identity with a focus on redefining Geelong as a 21st century city. Our research asks questions such as 'What do industrial buildings contribute to a city like Geelong?' and 'What is the value of industrial architecture once its original function is removed from the equation?'

Learn more about the #VacantGeelong project

Associated research bodies


HOME is a research centre with a single core aim of a home for all. Bringing together experts from Architecture & Urban Planning, the Humanities & Social Sciences, and Health & Social Development, we seek to address the causes and outcomes of social polarisation in the built environment.

Learn more about HOME


The Interdisciplinary Design environments for Engineering and Architecture laboratory (IDeEA lab) provides a home base for staff with expertise in digital technology and aims to provide multiple proof-of-concept and pilot studies that can underpin larger funded research projects within Deakin and externally with industry.

Learn more about the IDeEA Lab

Contact us

Associate Head of School, Research
Associate Professor Richard Tucker
+61 3 5227 8308
Email A/Prof Tucker