UNSW Built Environment Architectural Studies: Queenie Tran

3 04 2009

So let’s start with a brief introduction: Hello you! This is me – I am finishing up my Bachelor of Architectural Studies degree after working for most of last year in some architectural firms.

I’m 21, and came to UNSW Built Environment straight after completing my HSC in 2005. It wasn’t an easy choice though – it was after many months of researching into all the architecture courses within NSW that I decided that UNSW was for me.

Why did I choose to come to UNSW? With a fun, dynamic campus, UNSW offered a place to study that wasn’t too far from the city centre, but just far enough not to be too distracted! It was also great to meet and see people who actually studied at UNSW and it was clear that they enjoyed uni life here.

Everyone at UNSW was so energetic about UNSW! And the staff is fantastic, everyone’s so friendly, and especially in Built Environment, we’re almost family. UNSW Built Environment has so many disciplines within the one building – we’re the design module on main campus, the Red Centre. Also, the flexibility with the course and the openness to explore other areas of interest was also a great incentive. UNSW architecture allows students to find what is right for them. UNSW Built Environment offers a balanced course that will take from design, right through to history – opening up avenues for architectural design, multimedia, research, etc.

We also tend to have great diversity, with people from all walks of life, which really made this experience particularly appealing, as we all share experiences and perspectives – great for studio design work!

I found that UNSW also has a high rate of employment after graduation – this I discovered whilst working within some firms in my 3rd year of study. UNSW students and graduates are highly employable. After working full-time last session, I’ve become even more motivated this semester. Returning to full-time study has been a good change, especially with such great projects at the moment.

It’s been a packed week, working on a design for a mixed-use Coogee Apartment. Our initial site visit allowed flocks of 3rd year architecture students to land near the main commercial strip, snapping away at our site, sketching and recording details and exploring the area, before a relaxing lunch at the café nearby. It’s been a few weeks now, so we’ve all come up with concepts with our designs. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride from here!

But one project I am really interested in is Project X3 – a purely student driven course where, given a budget of $100,000, students across 3 faculties: COFA, Faculty of Engineering and FBE, will work together to design, fabricate and construct an artist’s studio in Fowler’s Gap. Classes have been buzzing, with everyone excited to contribute to this one-of-a-kind course. Where else in the world can you put a group of students together, a lump of cash and hope for a working building? Only at UNSW, Australia. This innovative course allows for great team work and is just so exciting for everyone involved. The sky’s the limit!

I’m also doing a bit of research at the moment with one of our fantastic staff members who has published numerous papers. So, amongst all the hands-on architectural work, I hope that this side-project will give me an opportunity to learn and explore a personal interest in Research.

Of course, you can’t go through university without doing a semester of psychology where I’ve met people of all ages and different courses. Our tutorials have been fun, if not a bit strange! But I’m sure that all will unveil itself in the weeks to come.

Looks like another busy semester ahead of me – but with such exciting things happening, I can’t really complain.

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