R+D For the Built Environment | 2019

About the Program

We know that innovation in the built environment (the desk-, building-, and district-scale) takes time, energy, and resources. At R+D for the Built Environment, we’d love to accelerate that process and support those working in related fields bring their ideas to the next level. We are establishing a paid six-month design fellowship program for candidates to advance, test, and share their work. We’re looking for participants with expertise and established projects in either of these key topic areas:

Building Material Science

How can innovations in material science improve how we construct the buildings and spaces we use? How can these innovations be better for human experience and the environment?

Examples: Super lightweight materials, bamboo skyscrapers, carbon absorbing facades, self-healing materials, biomimicry, etc.

3D Printing, Robotics, AR/VR/MR

Can 3D printing, robotics, AR/VR/MR or other relevant fabrication or digital advancements improve sustainability, material efficiency, costs, safety, and predictability on/off the construction site?

AI, Machine Learning, Analytics, Building Intelligence

How can emerging technologies improve happiness and health of building inhabitants?

Quality Housing at a Lower Cost

Are there alternative ways to improve how we design, source, construct, and deliver housing in the Bay Area for better human experiences with lower costs?

Building Resiliency and Sustainability

In the face of many future uncertainties with climate change, energy supply, and available resources (water, labor, etc.), are there ways our buildings can be “future proof” or fully self-reliant? Are there ways we can exceed our building needs and provide energy resources to our neighbors? Are there district-scale changes we should implement?

Workplace Optimization

Buildings are typically only utilized for select portions of the day (i.e. residential at night, offices in the day, etc.). Are there ways to make use of space in buildings more hours in a day? How can these places be delightful destinations where people want to spend their time? Can we lower rental and operational costs with strategic sharing and efficient designs? Micro-leases? Multilayered programming? Transformable rooms?

Adaptable Environments

Can we build spaces that easily adapt to changing needs? Can these spaces improve quality of life and help create frictionless work?