Design Futures: Visions for Humane AI


Queen Victoria Gardens
Opposite National Gallery of Victoria View map

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Queen Victoria Gardens

Join us for a panel talk, which sees international guest speakers Nashin Mahtani and Keller Easterling come together with local urban designer Bree Trevena to discuss rethinking the future of AI, for a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable society.



Nashin Mahtani is an architectural theorist and designer investigating the interplay of software aesthetics, ecological governance and social behaviour to advocate for environmental justice. She is principal co-investigator of MERA, a research and design collective investigating the future of governance structures foregrounded in ecological homeostasis, and also the director of Yayasan Peta Bencana (Disaster Map Foundation), a South-East Asian non-profit developing humanitarian technologies for community-led disaster co-management.

Keller Easterling is an architect, designer, writer and the Enid Storm Dwyer Professor of Architecture at Yale. Her books include Medium Design (Verso, 2021), Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2014), Subtraction (Sternberg, 2014), Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and its Political Masquerades (MIT, 2005) and Organisation Space: Landscapes, Highways and Houses in America (MIT, 1999). Easterling is also the co-author with Richard Prelinger of Call it Home, a DVD history of USA suburbia from 1934–1960. Easterling lectures and exhibits internationally. Her research and writing were included in the 2014 and 2018 Venice Biennales. Easterling is a 2019 United States Artist in Architecture & Design.

Dr Bree Trevena is a passionate urban designer, dedicated social researcher and leader of Arup’s Australasia Foresight team, Bree spends her time working with partners to explore complex change in the service of envisioning and realising more just and regenerative futures. This picks up the common thread across Bree’s career in policy, governance, strategic design, R&D and infrastructure delivery – building resilience into place through practices of care, maintenance and long-term thinking. She is a co-convener of the Data Informed Design (DiD) community of practice and holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne exploring complex adaptive systems in precinct governance and design.

This is a collaboration with Living Cities Forum. This event was previously advertised as The Future of Built Environment: Agency in Urban Planning.


Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the people of the Eastern Kulin Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which MPavilion stands. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present – and recognise they have been creating, telling stories and caring for Country for thousands of generations.