When city evolutions illuminated Newcastle’s east end earlier this year it was apparent that something exceptional had arrived.

The brainchild of creative geniuses Chris Tucker and Mario Minichiello, City Evolutions is bringing research into the public domain in the form of a world-class interactive art project. Tucker and Minichiello, both based at the University of Newcastle, will provide a keynote address on their ground breaking initiative at the inaugural Design, Interactive Technology and Greentech (DiG) Festival in Newcastle this October 2-4.

The City Evolutions project, which unites the disciplines of architecture, computer science, software engineering, design, IT, and fine art, demonstrates the role of technology in achieving widespread public engagement with research.

Internationally acclaimed architect and University of Newcastle Master of Architecture program convenor, Chris Tucker, says the project offers a low cost, pragmatic solution to the ongoing Newcastle CBD revitalisation strategy debate.

“The project presents coursework and research as a form of entertainment in the public domain, activating the streets of Newcastle with small scale interventions and increasing the public amenity of these spaces until decisions can be reached on the future of the CBD.”

Renowned illustrator Professor Mario Minichiello from the School of Design Communication and IT at the University of Newcastle, says the new experiences created by City Evolutions are changing the nature of Watt street and repurposing city spaces.

“Design and visual communication provide solutions to problems, promote clarity of thinking and encourage creative ideas. In this way we are developing the human capacity to meet the challenges of our future.”

Chris Tucker and Mario Minichiello will deliver their keynote address at 1.30pm, Friday 4 October.

Visit the festival website to view the full conference program and purchase tickets.

About Mario
Dr Mario Minichiello is Professor of Design and Visual Communication and Director of the Hunter Creative Industries and technology centre, at The University of Newcastle. Professor Minichiello has had a long career as a practitioner, researcher, educator and academic advisor in the UK, America and Australia.  His research is focused on the role of design and visual communication in issues of climate change, social communication, economic betterment and human behaviour. He is also committed to developing a greater understanding of the role of drawing as both a language for art and design practice and as a means of thinking and researching social and personal issues.

“I believe that ‘design-thinking’ can be universally applied and that it traverses all disciplines within a University – that at its core it captures the interdisciplinary ethos of my School and attracts many international partners and friends”.

Minichiello continues to practice  and has recently worked with Film and Television commissions as well as a number of print publications. His recent research outputs include books and papers. Minichiello lives in Australia, he is visiting Professor at DeMonfort University UK and Sydney University AU.

He regularly travels around the world to conferences and events.  He is also editor of an international academic journal and is on the advisory boards of a number of international conferences.

About Chris 

Chris Tucker is a Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Newcastle. He has a Bachelor of Science (Architecture), a Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) and a Master of Philosophy, and is the Design Coordinator for the Final Year Master of Architecture program and director of the architectural practice Herd.

Chris has been awarded a number of regional, state and international prizes for architecture, including being the first Australian to win the prestigious Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition. He has conducted extensive research into the social sustainability of residential streetscapes and the analysis of the visual characteristics of buildings using computer and robotic software

Chris retains a private practice in Newcastle and his buildings and designs have been widely exhibited and published.