AUT’s Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies’ School of Future Environments and Fletcher Construction have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the inaugural Chair of Future Environments. The Chair will be Professor Charles Walker, Head of the School of Future Environments.
The School, established in 2020, brings together teaching, learning and research in built environment engineering, architecture and creative technology.
This MOU recognises that the challenges facing the construction industry require a new way of thinking that pulls together disparate disciplines for a combined future vision.
Professor Walker says the fit is a natural one and will be mutually beneficial to staff and students of Future Environments and to Fletcher Construction.
“When we established the school we purposefully brought together disciplines that have historically not worked together. The reality is that to achieve a more sustainable future, we need to change the way we think about the design and construction of our future environments.”
Fletcher Construction Chief Executive Peter Reidy says the partnership signals the cultural shift needed in the industry as it adapts for a changing world.
“While we all have a part to play in future proofing our built environment and delivering infrastructure that works for people, we have not always shared common goals or a common language,” he says.
“Our Fletcher purpose – We Make Places Better for Generations to Come – marries with the School’s vision – Huri Te Ao, or Change the World. To do that, we need to change the way we work and learn.”
Professor Guy Littlefair, Dean of Design and Creative Technologies, says the relationship with Fletcher Construction is not new. “We have a long history with Fletcher. When we were first developing our Master of Construction Management degree Fletcher provided guidance that ensures our graduates are ready to jump straight into the industry. Fletcher was also involved in the construction of our award winning WZ Ngā Wai Hono Building, which houses our School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences. “This is a partnership about the future of the industry and how we change the way we work together.”
Professor Walker says the future demands a new approach to building. “The School of Future Environments is excited to share its knowledge with Fletcher Construction and find ways to disrupt the status quo. A future that has more diverse viewpoints and skillsets involved in construction will serve us all better.”