The Comfort Pursuit

Thinkers in the Tropical Shade: Empowering Lessons for Livable Places

Cairns, Queensland, Australia: avoiding the humidity using active transport (Photo by Chuck Wolfe)

Last June, Chuck Wolfe, David Sellars and I published an article on Planetizen about the fundamental relationships at the heart of urban public health and livability, particularly in tropical Australia. In this article we discuss the importance of context, the relevance of the UN-Habitat New Urban Agenda, the Urban Thinkers Campuses recently hosted by JCU (Understanding Cairns and Townsville through the urban diary tool), place-based urban planning and design and the lessons learned so far.

Read more…

Online teaching and learning for practice-based disciplines

Last August I wrote about the blended learning challenges I’d embrance in the new Design Communication subject at JCU.

When I started working at JCU I was given the Design Communication subject with students both in Townsville and Cairns, both groups enrolled at the same time and part of the same subject, while I am based in Cairns only. It soon became clear to me that, with the resources JCU makes available – it has invested a lot in online technologies, from Blackboard platforms with Collaborate tools, to Mediasite capability, videoconference equipment, document cameras and so forth – blended learning was the way to go.  Read more…

Urban comfort in a compact city

Things have been quiet around here as I have been travelling for several weeks, and now I am trying slowly organising ‘normal life’. Even the ‘month in review’ posts, which are so important for me, my sanity and production, and which I hope you also like to read, haven’t been published since October. So I leave a promise here – for you and for me – that the next one, which will be published in the beginning of February, will have a full November, December and January summary. I can assure you some interesting things have happened so far.

Read more…

Blended learning for design communication studio

Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

From next year I will be teaching Design Communication at JCU. This subject is a core subject in the new Major in Urban Environments and Landscape Design.

This is not a new subject for me, as this was the very first experience I had as a tutor in Brazil when I was still an undergrad student. Then I lectured the subject at UFT also in Brazil, and later on in New Zealand.

Despite all these years, the way it will be delivered this time is completely new and challenging to me. Read more…