Rebecca Chau

I am a senior strategic designer in Arup’s Studio, a research, design and innovation team dedicated to using outcome-led and people-centred design methods to reimagine our built and natural environments. My work is founded on a deep understanding of the lived experience of people and their context to co-create equitable and sustainable design briefs. This participatory research can inform the foundational vision, strategy and future experiences for a community, space, place or service. 

To address complex 21st-century challenges, my work responds holistically and imaginatively to the climate emergency, the imperative for equity and redistribution of power between city-makers and citizens, and draws upon digital technologies. My practice oscillates between systems-thinking and individual interactions and traverses both physical and digital environments. To create cities through this transdisciplinary and future-focused lens, I draw upon my experience in participatory research, inclusive design, urban planning, transport planning and data analytics. 

I have worked across the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, and Singapore, leading projects across social, governmental, and business contexts for the Education, Culture, City, and Property sectors. 

My recent work includes: redesigning a customer-centred bus service across Wales for Welsh Government working in both remote communities and urban centres; policy recommendations to meet the unmet needs of women, support sustainable behaviour change and the decarbonisation of the economy for Transport Infrastructure Ireland; a practitioner toolkit created with communities of colour in London sharing their lived experiences of the city and imaginations for the anti-racist city; and, an ongoing piece of work piloting new models of community-led infrastructure in the northeast of England for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. 

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