UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture launches Foundation Strategy

17 Nov 2021
UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture launches Foundation Strategy

The new ADA2051 Foundational Strategy envisions a better future for the world and the roadmap for getting there. 

UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture (ADA) has developed its foundational strategy ADA2051, which establishes the strategic framework for how the faculty will achieve its vision of improving life on earth. 

The release of the new strategy could not be more timely. Launched in 2021 as UNSW’s newest faculty, ADA was created with a vision made for the times. The 2020s have been identified as the critical decade for the planet to start improving life on earth, and ADA2051 identifies the critical areas of focus for the faculty to ensure it contributes to the change required to enable lives with purpose. 

ADA2051 is a strategic framework that outlines how we will deliver our mission to reach our vision,” said Professor Claire Annesley, Dean of UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture. “How we are going to listen, challenge, create and share diverse knowledge about people, place and cultures so that we can seek and solve the problems to improve life on earth.”

ADA2051 identifies 30 years as a timeframe within our reach, and that the world will be a very different place by 2051. The strategy itself establishes the trajectory for how the faculty will leverage its knowledge and skills to create a future that is sustainable, connected, healthy and socially just for all. 

“In ADA, we aspire to combine diverse knowledges with our creativity and imagination to design futures we hope for,” said Prof. Annesley. “We must start making a difference now, before it’s too late, by doing things differently and with purpose.” 

ADA2051 identifies the fundamental problems the faculty will strive to seek and solve now and over the coming decades. It sets out six crucial foundational goals as the focus for the ADA community to help shape a better world, starting with the commitment to listen to, learn from, and elevate Indigenous knowledges. 

“Through this goal, we aspire to improve our understanding of the world and its interconnectedness significantly, and for our faculty to become a culturally safe and genuinely inclusive place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, students, and visitors,” said Prof. Annesley.  

The diversity and strength of disciplinary knowledge about people, place and culture at UNSW ADA is highlighted in the goal to create super-strong disciplines. 

“In ADA, disciplinary strength is formed not in isolation from other bodies of knowledge or ‘the real world’ but through ongoing relationships, dialogue, and partnerships across all disciplines as well as communities, governments, and industry partners in Australia and internationally,” said Prof. Annesley. 

The faculty’s vision underpins the remaining ADA2051 goals: to seek out and prioritise the most pressing problems that need to be solved to improve life on earth, keeping a focus on 2051, as well as the issues that are most urgent now; become effective problem-solvers and innovators; translate innovations into sustainable change; and lead by example, using our knowledge and scholarship to promote equity, wellbeing, and sustainability in our own practices.

In particular, the strategy identifies four key problems facing humanity that ADA will endeavour to address:  

  • The pressure that activities of a global human population of 10 billion puts on urban space, natural resources and the climate
  • The ways technology impacts and can enhance life
  • The shifts in world power, authority and security
  • Need for equitable access to education around the globe.

The strategy also announces a plan to establish a biennial ADA2051 summit to take stock of the problems ADA has solved, focus on the next set of problems, and how to deliver change. 

“We will review these problems every two years and ensure we are working on projects that will make the most impact and that we are directing our knowledge and resources to that end,” said Prof. Annesley. 

Read the ADA2051 Foundational Strategy.