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Science of Design: Using Research to Future-Proof Design
May 23, 2024

At ACOARCH one of our core missions is to support clients in establishing their ideal, most efficient typologies for their sites. When clients approach us with a new project, ACOARCH begins a collaborative journey guided by the question, "What is possible in the context?" Research forms the foundation of this exploration, guiding us through scales, typologies, and technological landscapes. We delve deep, exploring feasibility, local culture, and user experiences. This exploration leads to designs infused with depth and practicality, crafted through a meticulous methodology tailored to each project's needs.

However, ACOARCH doesn't just use research for architectural intervention; we use it to future-proof our designs.


One of our latest projects - Fumba Gold in the heart of Tanzania - stands as a testament to the transformative power of research. Our visionary client secured a piece of land earmarked for a mixed-use development.  With ambitious yet undefined aspirations - the land could include a shopping complex, a hotel, various business spaces, and residential areas.  ACOARCH’s research offering could provide clarity on the specifics - for example the ideal typologies for the area, and the optimal distribution for the site.

The main objective of the research conducted for Fumba Gold was to establish guiding principles to determine the appropriate scale for the master plan. The end goal was to create a clear brief and obtain metrics to identify the correct zoning and density for each program, and also to develop a brief for each product. During the research, we delved into the density and future growth of the area, cultural integration, zoning of public spaces, security access points, service provision, and response to existing vegetation.

Generally our process generally revolves around delving into an extensive exploration of each possible typology, drawing inspiration from global precedents - failures and triumphs - and conducting comprehensive scaling research. From here we distill invaluable insights. The culmination of our efforts materialise in the form of an exhaustive graphical document, designed to showcase the possibilities, challenges, and potential solutions inherent in the project. Through detailed calculations, we present outcomes, empowering our client with a full scale picture of their development's potential.

At the core of our approach lies a commitment to clarity and foresight.  By equipping our clients with a thorough understanding of their project's nuances, we empower them to make informed decisions that resonate with their vision. At Fumba Gold our approach helped the client to understand the potential of their development, make informed decisions, and enabled ACOARCH to create a clear and concise brief for the next stages of development. This collaborative process not only paves the way for the development of a comprehensive brief but this approach also helps to future-proof the design.  

Our methodology is anchored in the ethos of future-proofing. By leveraging our collective expertise and insights from global best practices, we ensure that our designs stand the test of time, adapting seamlessly to evolving needs and trends.

For more information on Fumba Gold, please see our website here:

To hear more from the team itself on how this process unfolds listen to our episode on the importance of research on our podcast A Couple of Architects by ACOARCH here:

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