Specialisation


Third + Fourth Year
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PLAYTIME

Tutor: Caroline Vains
Schedule: Wednesday 9.30am - 12.30pm
Location: 8.07.49 (Workshop)

SUMMARY

In this workshop-based specialisation students will design and construct innovative play equipment and toys for children in local refugee playgroups to use. In order to store and move the equipment between playgroups, students will also design and construct a purpose-built transport; a wagon, buggy, or other mobile carrier. 

Our partner and client is the Coburg-based, not-for- profit organisation called VICSEG (the Victorian Cooperative on Children’s Services for Ethnic Groups). They have been working with refugees and asylum seekers for over 30 years, delivering a wide range of programs and services to this community. VICSEG’S brief asks us to develop play equipment and toys that are interpretive, process-based, age appropriate, culturally nuanced and adaptive, adhere to health and safety regulations, are finished to a high level, and inspire wonder and delight. The mobile transport structure should also inspire wonder and delight, and be designed to trigger a sense of occasion as it is wheeled in and unpacked for its various playgroup visits.

One of VICSEG’s programs is ‘Playgroups in Diverse Communities’ and it coordinates 26 playgroups across the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne. The play equipment will be developed in consultation with refugee women and children from one or two of these playgroups. During this consultative phase we will attend playgroup sessions and observe circus workshops conducted with the children by Westside Circus (tbc). Students will then prototype, develop and construct their designs in partnership with refugee men (fathers and sons) as part of VICSEG’s ‘Father in a New Land’ program.

The final design outcomes – equipment, toys, and mobile transport structure – will be exhibited twice: at VICSEG’s new gallery space on Sydney Road in Coburg, and during the Guesthouse Project’s public launch/event in Brunswick.

KEY LEARNING OUTCOMES

+ Design equipment and toys for children and gain a basic knowledge of the role of play in childhood development and education.
+ Design and construct play equipment for use by a culturally diverse range of refugee playgroups.
+ Design and construct a durable mobile transport structure that is fit for purpose (easy to move, lightweight, etc.)
+ Learn how to use equipment in the workshop and understand protocols for working with power tools and machines.
+ Develop skills for working collaboratively with people of differing ages, genders and cultures.
+ Gain experience working in accord with an open participatory structure.
+ Design and deliver in accord with a client brief
+ Curate and exhibit final design outcomes in two diverse settings.

 

SOUND, THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE CITY

Tutor: Catherine Clover
Schedule: Wednesday 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Location: 8.10.28

SUMMARY

This specialisation concerns the development of an understanding of the role of sound and listening in students’ interior design practices. Primarily, listening is the key component of this specialisation and the subject will address this from multiple viewpoints but specifically from the orientation of urban environmental considerations. The environmental crisis, such a huge concept that is hard to grasp, will be introduced through its impact on our lives in the city. Listening and sound are spatially oriented practices, three dimensional in nature, the development of which will provide students with a keen understanding of sound in general, and sound in the city in particular. The external is a focus of this specialisation but many of these skills are transferable to internal space and place.

The sonic city is a shared topical concern for all urban inhabitants, yet we rarely listen carefully to these sounds preferring to either psychologically block them or replace them with personal music devices.  By encouraging students to listen to the city around them, this specialisation will highlight the rich diversity of the sounds that they hear every day. Using the orientation of the environment and environmental pressures such as climate change, students will be introduced to another layer of the city in which they live, through information that evolves into skills and tools they can directly apply to their design practices.

This specialisation is focused on practice and practice-led processes. The specialisation encourages careful reflection on how students reach their outcomes by having them work regularly in a listening journal/sketchbook/blog that details their processes through both thinking and practice. With an emphasis placed on process through the journal, the final submission will be a finished product but one that displays an engagement with the content of the subject – sound, the environment and the city - and how that content can be addressed in their practices.

Through sound walks students will experience urban sound for themselves and its possibilities and potential. Audio tech skills are not required for this subject but if students have audio skills they can use them. Sound can be documented through the written word using description. Sound can also be realized in many ways and will not be dependent on the production of audio files.

KEY LEARNING OUTCOMES

+ An expanded understanding of sound
+ An understanding of the acoustic characteristics of place
+ An understanding of how sound works in interiors and/or spaces
+ The role of journal keeping in the development of ideas and practice
+ Listening and creating works in response to listening
+ Soundwalks in the city
+ Location specific practices
+ Process and reflection through journal keeping

 

RENDERING THE [IM]MATERIAL

Tutor: James Carey
Schedule: Friday 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Location: 8.11.47

SUMMARY

rendering the [im]material aligns with my current PhD candidature, its creative research practice, and in conjunction with the Melbourne Public Art Biennale, as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival 2016. This specialisation will investigate expanded ideas of drawing that includes ideas of occupation, maintenance, and mark making. These drawing techniques have no predetermined or specific outcomes, but immerse students within the process of ‘drawing’, and hence, there is a highlighting and celebration of process. Here, Gilles Deleuze’s philosophical notion of ‘duration’ will be introduced. Students will be asked to develop multi-layered material and immaterial understandings of site, and in doing so, will be asked to respond to these material and immaterial conditions. Furthermore, students will be asked to develop a large body of research in relation to a specific site, which will inform their final projects. A major component of this course will see students develop grant-writing skills, which will encourage a sense of enterprise formation during their undergraduate studies, and also upon their graduation. This will develop students’ confidence in creating and exhibiting their own creative research practice in the future. During the semester, relevant practitioners will be asked to present their own practices that align with rendering the [im]material. The course is designed to offer up expanded understandings and practices of interior design.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

+ Evaluate key issues and requirements within a design brief.
+ Conceptualize and engage in research through design as part of the creative process to open the potential for new understandings, experimentation and innovation.
+ Communicate your ideas and designs verbally, visually and textually through a range of media to your peers as well as professional, academic and public audiences.
+ Reflect, analyse, synthesize, critique and evaluate your own work as well that of your peers and apply your knowledge and skills with initiative and insight in professional practice and/or scholarship.
+ Engage in research with an enhanced appreciation and understanding of theoretical, environmental, social, historical, cultural and technical contexts in relation to the activity of interior design and be able to engage and extend this knowledge through the practice of design.
+ Use technology as an intrinsic part of the design process and have the ability to identify relevant techniques, skills, materials and technologies for specific designs.
+ Understand and value your individual abilities and way of working as an interior designer; to initiate independent strategies together with the ability to plan and time manage projects; to develop a personal work ethic based on initiative and self-motivation.

 

SPACE FOR MAKING

Tutor: Kate Archibald
Schedule: Wednesday 5.30pm - 8.30pm
Location: 8.11.46

SUMMARY

A Space For Making is a live project which utilizes a cold shell space within RMIT’s city campus. The project asks students to create a concept for a coworking ‘making space’. The 88m/2 tenancy will provide a space in which multidisciplinary students can cowork, engage and create together.

The project will run as a competition; the student with the winning concept will be offered the opportunity to work with an architect who will assist the student in developing their concept through to construction documentation and will be engaged with the builder in the construction phase.

Students will be asked to engage with design principles that explore what makes an optimum making space. Researching materiality, ‘making spaces’ such as coworking spaces, workshops, studios, and multiuse spaces.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

+ Research and exploration; students are asked to explore existing making spaces (studios, workshops etc) and identify what makes an ideal making space.
+ Students will be asked to demonstrate their understanding and observations of these learnt key aspects of space making within a studio or workshop, by giving examples and examine and consider how this learnt knowledge will shape the way they develop their space.
+ Students will be asked to research standards of design that pertain to the design of making spaces, such as typical seating typologies for different types of making (cardboard model making, using clay, drawing etc…); students will be expected to illustrate the importance of these standards when planning the space.
+ Students will be prompted to question and interview ‘the client’ (each other, other classmates) in order to tease out a brief and parameters of the client’s needs and desires for the space. The students will then need to realise these key aspects within the space in an engaging and dynamic way. Potentially even challenging the client’s understanding of their own parameters in order to push the design to a better outcome. They need to decipher the university’s parameters and their brief of the space; safety aspects, basic budget constraints etc.
+ Students will need to utilize visualization tools specified and of their choosing in order to clearly and effectively convey their designed space.
+ Students will need to be able to support their visualisations with documentation evidence, through the production of scaled working drawings to demonstrate their designs are practical and engage with the needs of a premium making space; understanding the activities that will play out in the space, how the space will allow multiple activities, how these activities can be safely engaged with whilst still being an adaptable and engaging space that allows the end user to create and manipulate the space as they need.

 

FUTURE BATHROOM

Tutor: Ross McLeod
Schedule: Wednesday 9.30am - 12.30pm
Location: 8.10.28

SUMMARY

The class will bring together the broad based research and creative ‘blue sky’ design practice of RMIT Interior Design with the extensive trend forecasting and technical knowledge of Reece to develop visions for the future of the bathroom.

The class will be involved in examining the social dimensions of the bathroom and developing narratives for specific bathroom experiences. This investigation will entail a familiarisation of the current products, technology and trends in bathroom design.

In identifying different approaches to bathroom design, students will be asked to become knowledgeable in the Reece range of bathroom fittings as well as wet area surfaces and tiling innovations and lighting systems and intelligent interactive technologies that have the potential to enhance the bathroom experience.

In undertaking the project, students will familiarise themselves with contemporary housing typologies and modes of inhabitation in order to project future scenarios of urban and suburban living.

From this base, students will produce design proposals based on detailed social and spatial scenarios in which the role of bathroom in relationship to the entire dwelling and the lifestyle of its inhabitants will be explored.

Ultimately students will develop a series of narratives around the idea of the bathroom and develop provocative design solutions that respond to a given social scenario.

These imaginings of developments in the bathroom will be presented as a series of ‘art-directed’ magazine style advertising poster images which visualise new and innovative ways in which the bathroom can be encountered and used.

The focus of the project is to present ideas of the ‘future bathroom’ that can act as inspiration for Architects, Interior Designers, developers and home owners in the conception of bathroom solutions.

 

DINING ILLUMINATION
Multi- Sensory Perception/Application

Tutor: Sarah Palliser
Schedule: Friday 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Location: 8.11.46

SUMMARY

This course will cover the art/science of Restaurant lighting, in which the student will take the diner into a carefully constructed multi sensory experience drawing on all of their 5 senses. The students will create the environment based on their selected type of cuisine to create an atmosphere in which taste, intimacy, visual perception, sound & smell will form the diners over all experience, using light (sight) and colour as the narrator to the dinning experience.

Within the course the student will explore colour rendering in relation to food. (multi colours) The relationship between colour and taste. Understand the location of light source to diner. Research into the behavior of diners and their time allocation within a restaurant and how that relates to levels of light i.e. light levels are directly linked to how fast or slow the customer will stay in a given space.

Investigate the thriving restaurants within the CBD and analyze how it is lit and why it works. What are the key components to success?

Explore the selection of finishes, textures/luxury in context of the cost of meal, value for money, to high end dinning.

The Students will acquire the skills and understanding using light, covering:
+ Colour rendering/ Presentation of colour
+ Light and shade – intimacy
+ Accent light – bring attention to the visual narrative/theme
+ Ambiance / Atmosphere
+ Colour temperature
+ Light levels
+ Full lighting documentation
+ Scene setting- luminaire grouping

In a city such a Melbourne, standards on cuisine, variety and quality are very high and the market is very competitive and ever changing. So creativity, individualism and atmosphere are key components to the success of the restaurant. The lighting must address/respond to all of the above points – create a back drop to the type, style of the food, whilst ensuring that the food is show cased in colour, atmosphere and theme.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The students will be given the necessary tools to be able to produce a documented lighting scheme using their gained hands on experience with light fixtures, lamps. Use their experimental/research on the reflective qualities of light, as well as understand the necessity of producing a lighting scheme that include:

+ Mood board (that showcases the lighting design intent)
+ Produces the required light levels

Analyse different light techniques (up-lighting/wash light, framing etc.) and evaluate the come in relation to your design

+ Illustrate sound understanding of colour temperature
+ Documentation (lighting control schedule, produce CAD light plans, elevations)
+ BCA Section J and wattage restriction

 

URBAN SURFACES
Melbourne Quarter Interface

Tutor: Ross McLeod + Charles Anderson
Schedule: Monday 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Location: RMIT Design Hub Level 5 : ALL Research Lab and 8.10.28

You are invited to join the Augmented Landscapes Laboratory team in the design, fabrication and installation of an interactive public hoarding for the $2Billion Melbourne Quarter Development project.

This is an exciting opportunity to work on a live real world design research project funded by Lendlease.

Working in groups as part of the ALL research team you will conceive, develop and present to client design proposals for this new urban interface.

A prize of $1000- will be awarded to the best student project. Students will then have the chance to refine this proposal and then to oversee its construction and installation. These last phases of the project will occur in November and December and the lead students will be encouraged to contribute to the finalisation of the project.

Urban Surfaces asks students to engage with issues surrounding major urban developments. In particular these include public engagement processes and the agency of art and design projects to contribute to the achievement of resilient, vibrant urban communities with a shared sense of place.

This is a multidisciplinary specialisation involving students from both Interior Design and Landscape Architecture. 

NB: First class to be held at Lendlease MQ Display Suite - 655 Collins Street Melbourne

Important note:
Only six students from Landscape and six students from Interior will be chosen for the project.