Dipl.-Ing. (HfT Stuttgart Architecture) / PhD (SIAL/RMIT)
Associate Professor M. Hank Haeusler Dipl.-Ing. (Fh) / PhD (SIAL/RMIT) is the Discipline Director of the Bachelor of Computational Design (CoDe) at the Australian School of Architecture + Design (Built Environment) at the University of NSW, Sydney. Since December 2017 Haeusler is also a Professor at the Visual Art Innovation Institute at Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing due to being internationally recognised as a researcher, educator, entrepreneur, and designer in media architecture, digital technology, computational design, interaction design, and ubiquitous computing.
Under Haeusler’s leadership, the CoDe degree was developed as a nexus of architecture and design with engineering and science all through a profound understanding of computing and computation. The program focuses on applying state of the art thinking in design, architecture and urbanism, engineering and science, together with frontier computational skills and digital fabrication technologies. Commencing in 2015, and unique in Australia, the degree focuses on the design and application of digital technologies for and within the built and urban environment, to address and meet the challenges of the 21st century.
The core focus in Haeusler’s research at UNSW is studying the integration of digital technologies within and for the built environment. The motivation for this interest is based on the belief that fine-grain data collected in real-time, can provide crucial information about the performance of the built and urban environment, and subsequently enable enhanced knowledge for the design of cities. He is author of seven books and over 50 book chapters, journal and conference papers discussing significant topics such as responsive public transport systems ‘InterChanging – Future Designs for Responsive Transport Environments’ (Spurbuch, 2014) and ‘Infostructure – A transport research project’ (Freerange Press 2010); media architecture and the role of the Internet of Things for the built environment in publications such as: ‘New Media Façade – A Global Survey’ (avedition, 2012), ‘Media Facades – History, Technology, Content’ (avedition, 2009); and data visualisation and info aesthetics in ‘Chromatophoric Architecture – Designing for 3D media facades’ (Jovis, 2010).
Haeusler has consistently combined research with practice, and exhibited several prototypes at public events including: on media facades with ‘Janus Face’ (Smartlight Festival / VIVID 2009), ‘Hypersurface Architecture [Redux] (Sydney Architecture Festival, 2012), Media Façade, Media Façade Exhibition (VIVID 2013), Orkhēstra (Luminale Frankfurt, 2014 and Sydney Design Week, 2014), and on public transport with InterChanging (Sydney Design Week, 2014).
From 2012 Haeusler has led a competitive ARC Linkage Grant investigating how to relieve growing patronage pressure on Australian public transport by integrating user-responsive digital technologies to offer a complementary approach to infrastructure expansion. This project investigates low-cost approaches to transport infrastructure expansion through the use of digital information technologies that work in conjunction with existing hard infrastructures. This aims to improve passenger flow through facilities by distributing loads across services through new approaches to information delivery and access for passengers. The vision is to enhance the customer experience while increasing mode-share and revenue performance of public transport, reducing operating costs, energy use and service disruption during periods of upgrade and refurbishment.
Haeusler has lectured extensively in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia at several universities including SciArc Los Angeles, ETH Zurich, TU Munich, Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart, University of Hong Kong and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Copenhagen. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field of media architecture he was appointed as a Professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China in 2013 and from 2017 Guest Professor at the Beijing Advanced Visual Innovation Institute at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing.
As a board member of the Media Architecture Institute Vienna / Sydney and in the role of director of the institute from 2011 – 2014, Haeusler has organised media architecture summits in Europe and Asia (Media Façade Summit Frankfurt, 2012 and 2014; Media Façade Summit Hong Kong, 2013). Additionally he was on the curatorial board as industry chair and special advisor of the Media Architecture Biennale 2012 and 2014 in Aarhus, Denmark. He was the General Chair of the 2016 Media Architecture Biennale in Sydney. The Biennale attracted over 500 global visitors, with a total budget of A$130k and is considered a significant event in the media architecture research community. Prior to his UNSW appointment Haeusler held a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the UTS, Sydney. He completed his PhD thesis ‘Spatial Dynamic Media Systems’ (VDM publishers, 2010) at SIAL/RMIT University, Melbourne supervised by Professor Mark Burry in October 2007 and was awarded the RMIT University Research Prize in recognition of excellence in a Higher Degree by Research Program assessed in 2008. Haeusler has studied architecture in Stuttgart, Tokyo and Delft and worked for several years as a practicing architect in Germany, Australia and the US in housing and high-rise office developments. In 2002 – 03 Haeusler designed and project managed two exhibition booths for Mercedes-Benz in Switzerland (Automobile Salon Geneva 2003) with 1500 square meter and Mercedes-Benz largest booth in China up to this point (Auto China 2003) with 3500 square meter.