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A magical, connected autonomous vehicle system through a semiotic technoecology

This research investigates the interaction between connected autonomous renewable energy vehicles (CAREV) and people in the public realm through the synthesis of imaginative design and media processes with interdisciplinary dialogue to understand novel communications and an environmental framework for the future novel technology.

The research provides a deeper understanding of the impacts of artificial intelligence on the public realm including semiotics as part of a future autonomous vehicles (AV) environment which necessarily anticipates humans living and interacting with AV. This raises questions concerning the rights to the city, the effects on the city and the environment through spatial and environmental justices. Developments in CAREV suggest that machine intelligence will need to understand, appreciate and respond to diverse cultural phenomena, and thus CAREV will need to have a semiotic capacity. CAREV will need to understand and anticipate the behaviour of other spatial agents, just as people will need to be able to communicate with and understand the intentions of CAREV.

The research is investigated through practice, including and developing specific design research methods and interdisciplinary symposia process that is qualitative with new data collected through dialogue with a diversity of participants. The practice includes creating imaginative drawings, animations and experiments to provoke discussion. The project’s aesthetic contribution will provide insights into improving design. Through semiotics, communications and novel technologies humanity could positively influence environmental outcomes. The project’s hypotheses that CAREV, as a systemic semiotic technoecology can achieve the social and cultural aspirations of a magical, safe, efficient, convenient, reliable, just, sustainable, synthetically intelligent transportation modality.

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More about Colin

Colin Polwarth RAIA, NSW Architect, is the director of Studio Colin Polwarth PL, a multiple award-winning architecture and transdisciplinary art, urban design, infrastructure, environmental and heritage practice. Colin founded the practice in 2012 and has been involved in the design and construction of Australia’s largest urban design projects. Colin leverages his practice experience with the Royal College of Art (London) expertise in interdisciplinary design, architecture and intelligent mobility for this RCA PhD research by project.

Master of Art in painting (Award with Excellence), University of New South Wales Art and Design, 2016

Master of Architecture, (by research) University of Natal, Durban, (University of Kwazulu Natal), 1994

Bachelor of Architecture, University of Cape Town, SA, 1992

Diploma in Business Management, Damelin, SA, 1992

A+ Member of the Australian Institute of Architects

Member of the NSW Board of Architects

Accredited Quality Auditor, International Standards Organisation (ISO), 2014

Member UNSW Art & Design Academic Committee, 2015

NSW Regional Achievement Award 2021, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects NSW, Pacific Highway Upgrade (Studio Colin Polwarth)

NSW Infrastructure Award 2021, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects NSW, Pacific Highway Upgrade (Studio Colin Polwarth)

NSW Infrastructure Award 2019, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, Pacific Complete (Studio Colin Polwarth)

NSW Infrastructure Award 2017, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects NSW, Pacific Complete, Portion C (Hassell as applicant with Studio Colin Polwarth)

National Award for Engineering Excellence 2017, Engineers Australia, for Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Upgrade of the Pacific Highway (Arcadis), Studio Colin Polwarth was urban design administrator, Colin was lead designer and Associate Director of CM+ urban design

Municipal Safety Award 2009, Glebe Point Road, City of Sydney, Colin was lead designer and Associate of CM+

Planning Award 2008, Planning Institute of Australia for Brunswick to Yelgun Upgrade of the Pacific Highway (HBO+EMTB applicant), Colin was lead designer and Associate of CM+

NSW Infrastructure Award 2008, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects NSW, Brunswick to Yelgun Pacific Highway Upgrade, (HBO+EMTB applicant), Colin was lead designer and Associate of CM+

Planning Merit Award 2007, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects NSW, Bobbin Head and Apple Tree Bay Conservation Management Plan, Colin was lead designer and Associate of CM+

Energy Australia 2007 Award, National Trust Heritage Award, Bobbin Head and Apple Tree Bay Conservation Management Plan, Colin was lead designer and Associate of CM+

Global Roads Achievement Award 2007, International Roads Federation (SMEC) Westlink M7, Colin was lead designer and Associate Director of CM+

Engineering Excellence Award: Infrastructure category 2006, Engineers Australia (National) - (SMEC) Westlink M7, Colin was lead designer and Associate Director of CM+

Engineering Excellence Award: Infrastructure category 2006, Engineers Australia (NSW Division) (SMEC) Westlink M7, Colin was lead designer and Associate Director of CM+

Transport and Civil Infrastructure Award for Excellence 2006, Association of Consulting Engineers Australia (Maunsell) Westlink M7, Colin was lead designer and Associate Director of CM+

International Concrete Award 2006 (Maunsell) Westlink M7, Colin was lead designer and Associate Director of CM+

Award recipient 1992 of the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust

Award recipient 1992 Centre for Science Development SA

Merit Award for Architectural Design II, 1983, School of Architecture, University of Natal (University of Kwazulu Natal)

Merit Award for Architectural Design III, 1984, School of Architecture, University of Natal, (University of Kwazulu Natal)

D. Calvert Mac Donald, Best Student in Third Year Architecture, 1984, University of Natal, (University of Kwazulu Natal)

SA Institute of Steel Construction Award, 1984, University of Natal, (University of Kwazulu Natal)

Studio Colin Polwarth PL

(1993) Colour abstracted, Group art exhibition, Desiree Resnik Group

(2015) Lake Eyre, Group art exhibition Arc at UNSW,

(2015) Traffic lights, Group art exhibition Gaffa, Sydney

(2016) Driverless, Solo exhibition, Blackroom UNSW Art and Design

Polwarth, Colin. 1994. A study of the influence of Barrie Biermann on the architectural culture of Southern Africa. Unpublished Master’s degree thesis, University of Natal, Durban, (University of Kwazulu Natal).