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State of the Art Research in Design

The Catapult is seeking to commission a research piece into the state of the art of digital innovation in architecture and other related disciplines (landscape architecture, urban design etc). The objective is to produce a report and/or interactive web platform providing detailed insight into products, projects and discoveries being undertaking in this market, both domestically and globally.

Future of Planning programme

Connected Places Catapult is a technology and innovation centre set up by UK Government to advance businesses with innovations in mobility services and the built environment that enable new levels of physical, digital and social connectedness.  The Catapult’s Future of Planning programme has been active since 2016 at examining the role emerging technologies can play in innovating planning practice. In these three years the Catapult has delivered a number of projects exploring this interplay. The Catapult has begun to expand its focus to wider built environment practice (eg. architecture, viability and environmental professions) and its interplay with technology. Back in 2016 at the onset of the programme the Catapult commissioned research, the “State of the Art in Planning” to understand leading innovations in planning practice in academia, industry, local and strategic government, in the UK and beyond.

Project description

With the now broader remit looking at innovation in the wider built environment sector, the Catapult is seeking to commission a similar research piece into the state of the art of digital innovation in architecture and other related disciplines (landscape architecture, urban design etc).

The objective is to produce a report and/or interactive web platform providing detailed insight into products, projects and discoveries being undertaking in this market, both domestically and globally.

 Objectives of producing this research report

The Catapult is already engaged in a number of projects that are both researching the need and opportunity for new ways of accelerating and enhancing various facets architectural and urban design practice and demonstrating new tools and techniques enabled by new technology.  To ensure that the Catapult and the wider UK innovation ecosystem are both aware of what innovations have already been deployed, are being developed by start-ups, or are being tested into academia, we wish to commission research into the State of the Art in innovation in architecture and urban design.

Research is to focus on:

Innovations in computational, generative and parametric design in architectural and urban design practice, and quantifying quality of design and place (80% of focus of the research project):

  • Developing a framework to help categorise identify gaps and understand the maturity of these innovations in these fields; (10% focus of the research project) and
  • How emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and the like could influence future practice in architectural and urban design practice. (10% of focus of the research project)
  • Note, the Catapult is not seeking research into innovations in architectural materials, BIM or EIA practice. The scope of the project, as well as the categorisation process for tools identified, will be agreed in a kick-off meeting with the Catapult steering team.

Description of deliverables

The successful supplier will complete this activity via a combination of:

  • Desk research;
  • Interviews; and
  • Workshops with Connected Places Catapult.

Outputs of the work would include as a minimum:

  • Database of innovations;
  • Categorisation framework;
  • Presentation of interim findings; and
  • Presentation of final report material.

Throughout the research the successful supplier will have a named project manager and also will have the support and guidance of a Connected Places Catapult internal steering group, made up of planning, insights and development experts. 

The successful supplier will not be required to design the final report/interactive web-based platform, as this will be done by Connected Places Catapult.  However, the successful supplier will be required to supply images and design input as well as the research.

The project will start in the second half of June and must be completed within three months.

Who the Catapult is looking for

The successful supplier will have experience of:

  • An understanding of the architecture and built environment industries;
  • A good overview of existing tools and technologies that are in practice; and
  • Conducting research and identifying trends and innovations.

Registering your interest

 The Catapult is undertaking this formal process to select the successful organisation to deliver the project.  If this project is of interest please provide a proposal for the work by email to procurement@cp.catapult.org.uk before 12:00 on Thursday 27th June.  Your proposal must include:

  • Detail of your experience and suitability in this area of research. (2 pages maximum)
  • A project plan which identifies the stages of service delivery with definitions that are clear and provide a robust and feasible achievement of the objectives within the timescales outlined. The plan is to identify how the service will be conducted from award of contract to delivery of the final output. This should outline the steps required, the tasks, milestones, dependencies, risks, the Catapult responsibilities and contingency arrangements for potential delays. Please also detail your methodology for how your organisation will deliver the services requested.  (5 pages maximum)
  • A quotation of the total cost for delivering the project exclusive of VAT.

Submission of the above information within the stated date will be considered an expression of your organisation’s interest to deliver the research.  The submissions will be reviewed by the Catapult based on experience, capability, suitability.

Any queries about this process or the project should be addressed to procurement@cp.catapult.org.uk

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