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Research

at the nexus of Business, Knowledge and Design.

 

My research focuses on how creativity in architectural design can be used to find new forms of business and to create novel business strategies. I also research in areas of digital design, digital fabrication and design entrepreneurship.

Peer-reviewed Publications

Finding and using ambiguity to search for innovation opportunities

by Tan, L & Kvan, T (2018)

This paper shows the importance and value of ambiguity to reveal opportunities hidden in problems and the manner in which ambiguity is removed from applications of design thinking. It describes the value of introducing, sustaining and using ambiguity and explains the different types of ambiguity. It follows up by describing the events when a designer encounters ambiguity. This paper proposes that an understanding of ambiguity is needed to harness its capabilities in finding innovative opportunities. To do so, design practitioners should consider 1) identifying the type of ambiguity needed to expand the scope of opportunity exploration and 2) becoming aware of and managing one’s ability to work with ambiguity. Finally, it identifies the lack of literature on the impact of independent and collective experience on using ambiguity in design.

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@ 21st DMI: Academic Design Management Conference
Download: Paper | Slide deck

A Katana Design Experience

by McGinley, T., Hoshi, K., Gruber, P., Haddy, S., Zavoleas, Y., Tan, L., & Blaiklock, D. (2018)

Increases in computation power have allowed design software to be-come more complex. At the same time, big data and artificial intelligence, question the traditional tools of the human designer. Morphogenetic prototyping provides a method for designers to control this complexity by separating the design into pseudo developmental stages to enable the manipulation of its development at different stages. This paper investigates the tools, processes, theory and systems that would be needed to simulate this design experience. Through this process a katana sword is selected as the metaphor for the design experience to relate the affordance of cutting to the simulation of a pseudo biological sub division. A sword prototype is used to identify appropriate gestures to map to biological behaviours in order to trigger the simulation of staged pseudo biological processes in the design model. Finally, the tangible user interface (TUI) tool based on the katana sword is refined and future work is outlined.

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Book chapter in 
Download: Chapter

Peer-reviewed Presentations

Design knowledge as a competitive strategy: the case of architecture practice

by Tan, L (2018)

Architecture firms operate as both design and professional service firm. This dichotomy of creative and commercial goals often led the architect to pursue either design excellence or business profitability. Though existing research shows how architecture firms position themselves along this spectrum, there has been few research that investigates the feasibility of pursuing both goals. This research investigates how resource-advantage theory can serve to build a framework to capture design knowledge as a business competitive advantage in the architecture discipline. This research has arisen from a current industrial problem concerning how, and the extent to which, different design approaches, used by different architects within a firm, contribute to the uniqueness and help establish a competitive advantage for their practice.

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@ Building Bridges Conference
Download: Slide deck

New approaches to identify entrepreneurial opportunities

by Tan, L, & Kvan, T. (2018)

Some entrepreneurs use a design approach to discover opportunities and to develop products and services. Typically, they identify these business opportunities by defining the problem, ideating and validating their prototypes. Similarly, designers use the design process to discover opportunities and propose novel designs. While using a common term, there is a significant difference between the two approached. Unlike the method used by entrepreneurs, some designers keep the problem vague for as long as possible and use its ambiguity to explore and find opportunities in design. This paper identifies the difference and the value of ambiguity in entrepreneurial exploration.

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@ Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (ACERE) Conference
Download: Slide deck

Other Publications

MocapÆI by Aeiva, The future of Dance

by Tan, L (2018)

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in Dancing: Non Architecture

Southbank by Beulah Prologue

by Tan, L (2018)

As the population grows and lifestyles change and evolve, so too does the need for considered development that is designed for current and future generations. Beyond Melbourne, cities are beginning to display positive efforts of future-proofing by utilising big data and employing smart interventions. Architects, designers and engineers play an ever-important role in being able to shape communities and optimise lifestyles. Contextualised, these solutions tend to be climatically and culturally specific, adding layers onto the richness of a city’s past. However, the questions remain; How do we future-proof Melbourne? How do we ensure the viability of life through exponential growth? How do we apply global inspiration while accounting for the local?
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in Southbank by Beulah Prologue

Pilbara: Country, Colony and Urbanism

by De Nardi, B., Davis, M., Tan, L., Maginness, M., Raisbeck, P., Hogg, P., Kennedy, L. (2016)

“Country”, a term used by Aboriginal people of Australia to refer to their cultural connection with the land to which they belong and their place of Dreaming. This cultural connection is based on each community’s distinct traditions and lore, and is inclusive of all things in the landscape (landforms, water, air, trees, rocks, animals) and extends to the connection between the physical environment and cultural practices (knowledge, songs, stories, art) as well as all people (past, present and future), in both traditional and contemporary Aboriginal cultures.

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in Planetary Urbanism: The Transformative Power of Cities

Home of Mother Rhea

by Tan, L, Hazmy, D. & Malek, S. (2014)

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in Fairy Tales: When Architecture tells a story (Vol 2)

General Presentations

Project Managing The PhD


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@ Swinburne University of Technology

Design, Because you're Worth it

The Three Minute Thesis Competition is an academic competition that challenges PhD candidates to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience.

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@ Swinburne University of Technology

Imaginations as Innovations

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@ Swinburne University of Technology

Envato

 

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@ Swinburne University of Technology

Innovate with Fablab

 

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@ Future Assembly 2015

Guest Lectures

Attributes of an architectural designer

Career strategies for architectural graduates

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@ Swinburne University of Technology
Download Slide deck

From mind, through digital, to drawing
An exploration of digital technology and its implications on the idea-to-building design strategy.

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@ Swinburne University of Technology
Download: Slide deck

Ghost and manifestations of drawings

An evolution of drawings and its strategic roles in architecture
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@ Swinburne University of Technology
Download: Slide deck

Architectural Diagrams

A taxonomy of diagrams and their strategic applications in architecture.
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@ Swinburne University of Technology
Download: Slide deck

Design Sprints

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@ The University of Melbourne
Download: Slide deck

Brand Strategy

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@ The University of Melbourne
Download: Slide deck

Courses Taught

3D Scanning and Printing

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@ Swinburne University of Technology

IAAC Global Summer School: Digitize

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@ Swinburne University of Technology

Digital Documentation 1

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@ Swinburne University of Technology

Design Startup

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@ The University of Melbourne

Digital Design and Fabrication

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@ The University of Melbourne

Architecture Design Studio

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@ The University of Melbourne

Design Workshop

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@ The University of Melbourne

Visual Communications

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@ The University of Melbourne

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