Dr Dominique Hes

Sustainable design expert Dr Dominique Hes has been announced as director of the University of Melbourne’s Thrive research hub, a built environment-specific initiative focusing on design and innovation.

Dr Hes is a member of the executive committee of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, has been a lecturer in sustainable design at the University of Melbourne since 2006, and was a founding director of the Living Future Institute of Australia.

The hub will develop applied research and outcomes it hopes will lead to a better built environment based on the question: “What are the key aspects that will support sustainable city development in the 21st century – and how can it thrive through future challenges?”

The hub has three main interlinked theme areas: buildings, people and ecosystems, and comprises academics with built environment expertise.

The concept of “thriveability” – a term that goes beyond sustainability – was explained by Dr Hes during a recent talk.

“We can design for the potential to thrive,” Dr Hes said. “I believe in being ambitious and creating a built environment that enables us, as individuals and communities, to thrive through times of change, to adapt and grow. That we, as human beings, along with our flora and fauna not only survive environmental change but find new ways to flourish.

“In summary, I define thriveability as being able to reach your potential, feeling valued and being able to positively contribute to your communities and our futures.”