2015  Semester 1



Tutors: Peter Knights + James Taylor

Adaptive Reuse Art Hotel looked at reusing and reimaging a neglected industrial era building as an art hotel. Adaptive reuse is the process of recycling existing buildings, sites and materials for a different purpose from which they were intended. Throughout the studio we visited the site in Geelong and explored the inner workings of hotel design. The studio proposed to use the Powerhouse building as a site for a new art hotel which will maintain the thriving art precinct that has started in recent years. The hotel offered the traditional accommodation and amenities of a standard hotel however emphasis was placed upon exhibition and gallery spaces.



Tutor: Phoebe Whitman

Deliberate Operations was a studio that explored the concepts of connectivity and community in the city of Wyndham. This studio had a strong analytical approach to site-specific conditions, deconstructing the qualities integral to a community, and understanding their intentions. Responding through diagrams and mappings, site interventions and installations have been designed to create a space that embodies a successful community space. The studio was an opportunity for students to engage in a creative practice that combines methods of responsiveness, activism and intervention in order to encourage innovative approaches to the construction of social spaces, spaces for connection, community and belonging.




Tutors: Florian Kaiser + Alice Parker

Intersections set out to investigate what happens when FOOD, ART and DESIGN meet. What challenges and opportunities does this meeting place offer, and how can we draw from the three disciplines to develop progressive design thinking and practice. Using food as the common theme, it became both a medium, and a metaphor for engaging the human senses. Throughout this studio we explored the sensory and ritualistic architecture food creates for our bodies, how art shapes society and the potential offerings these intersections create for relational and spatial design.



Tutor: Ying-Lan Dann

As designers, how do we weave the intimate, complex relationships between plant and human life with the institutional concept of the museum? Inside the Gardener’s Cottage addressed the spatial concerns of public and private space, and invited students to challenge this relationship through proposing the reconstruction of the Domain House Gallery within the Royal Botanical Gardens. By borrowing from botanical techniques such as grafting, the designs offered a new type of dwelling where the private life of a gardener and public interface of a botanical museum are considered. The role of the architect becomes of equal dignity to the role of the gardener, in this collaboration of scale and nature.



Tutor: Rowan Dinning + Georgia Hutchison

In translation, we learn of others’ and articulate our own. Looking to and fro between text and space, in translation we find conflicts, idiosyncrasies and subjectivities. This design studio studied the potency of language as a generator for design fictions. In Translation occupied the fringes of our disciplines, and played with notions of design fiction. Drawing from a series of key texts, the students were asked to populate the immaterial with the strange and beautiful; to envision discursive and sensory environments; and to illustrate, design and situate these imaginings. In Translation considered the post-internet era, in which information is public, accessible, multiplied and malleable. Design authorship and appropriation of narrative content is a powerful device for understanding cultures, moments and eras. 



Tutor: Caroline Vains

On The Waterfront asked students to use performative techniques as a means of analysing the atmospheres and affordances of a site, and from this, generate a site-specific wearable space. We worked in ensembles, paying attention to attractors within specific places, and used our bodies to measure and perform material and sensory qualities, atmospheres and affordances of these places. Individually, we each designed a wearable space, body extension or spatial prosthetic with the intention of distilling, amplifying, capturing, manifesting or otherwise performing specific aspects of the atmospheres and affordances of site. Our wearable space designs were constructed at 1:1 scale and performed on site with specific attention to the experience of the performer(s) and audience members.




Tutor: Nest Architects

There is great debate about the pros and cons of the open plan office. Many studies have revealed that productivity, job satisfaction and staff morale are all effected by unsuitable working environments. The students investigated what constitutes a comfortable, productive office environment. Often, buildings that were intend for other uses are used as offices. The project involved refitting an existing building with an office design to suit the workplace of tomorrow. As part of the studio, we explored the notion of ‘office furniture’ and produced prototype ‘elements’ of our office designs. There are a huge variety of office models available to businesses, but it is the role of the designer to customise an office environment to their clients programmatic needs as well as the clients philosophies.



Tutor: Jordan Lacey

This particular studio explored the hidden sounds within the urban environment. The main focus surrounded the notion of sounds that are seemingly unavailable to immediate human perception. Through using both recording and editing technologies, in conjunction with intense analyses of the social and political languages of urban sounds, the hidden qualities amongst these metropolitan spaces begin to reveal themselves.