Leading architect and engineer Professor Carlo Ratti has spoken at RMIT on the ways digital technologies are changing how we live.
Professor Ratti is Director of the SENSEable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
"We are looking at how technology effects our interaction with the city."
Professor Ratti presented a dazzling overview of some of the projects undertaken by the lab, including the use of flying drones as pedestrian navigational aids and tracking individual trash items once they hit the rubbish bin (often for months and over incredible distances).
He spoke about his Digital Water Pavilion, designed for the Zaragoza Expo 2008, which has walls composed of digitally controlled water droplets that can generate writing, patterns or access spaces.
"The result is a space that is interactive and reconfigurable; each wall can potentially become an entrance or exit, while the internal partitions can shift depending on the number of people present," he said.
Professor Aaron Smith, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Industry Engagement, said: "Professor Ratti's presentation was an inspiring survey of just how technology can reconceptualise and enhance the quality and sustainability of life in cities in ways that are only limited by our imagination."
An architect and engineer by training, Professor Ratti practices in Italy and teaches at MIT, where the SENSEable City Lab is located.
His work has been exhibited at venues including the Venice Biennale, the Design Museum Barcelona, the Science Museum in London and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
He is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Urban Management and is a curator for the Future Food District Pavilion for Expo 2015 in Milan.
Professor Ratti is visiting Australia through an International Specialised Skills Institute fellowship, sponsored by the Victorian Government.
The Skills Institute - an independent national organisation - works with government, industry and education institutions to enhance skills and experience in the professions, leading-edge technologies and traditional trades.
The College of Business hosts the RMIT Business Lecture Series in partnership with Ernst & Young and VESKI.
"The series is aimed at promoting innovation in the Victorian business and academic communities," Professor Smith said.
"It provides a forum for the exchange of innovative ideas and experiences and a vehicle for the development of networks between business, government and academic."