UNSW Built Environment: Riding the Design Wave

29 07 2011

Chris Fox’s first-hand experience of the risks associated with water sports led him to design a self-inflating life jacket, which has just won a coveted James Dyson award.

The ‘9th Life’ wetsuit jacket monitors oxygen levels and automatically inflates when the user is at risk of drowning, bringing them into a safe upright position and signally for help via GPS, explains Chris, 23, who graduated last year with a Bachelor of Industrial Design with first-class honours.

It was the drowning tragedy of fellow Queenscliff surf club member Saxon Bird, who was knocked unconscious in a surf-ski accident on the Gold Coast, that highlighted the need for such a design, Chris said.

“My personal experience is through kiteboarding kilometres off shore in windy conditions – I realised that I’m vulnerable if knocked unconscious with no help close by.”

“9th Life is unlike any other life jackets on the market today. It provides users with a high level of safety without restricting their mobility and fits in with the sporting style and beach culture,” Chris told The Sun Herald.
Chris’s innovation won the silver prize in the student awards, presented recently in Melbourne as part of the 2011 Australian Design Awards.

“I like the challenge of solving problems and looking for solutions that are different and that will make a difference to people’s lives. I also enjoy the hands on experience of designing, testing and building products.”

Chris was one of four finalists from UNSW’s Faculty of Built Environment vying for the Dyson Awards.

Dr Miles Park, Director of the Industrial Design Program, said, “This year’s entries continued a very strong run of student design work – the innovative thinking and attention to detail has been outstanding.”

It follows the outstanding success of Samuel Adeloju, who last year won the international James Dyson Award for his Longreach flotation device launcher

Other UNSW design alumni to be recognised in the Australian Design Awards were Craig Burke who won the Housing and Building category for his recently launched product, Klinch tool tether, which allows the user to carry and use multiple tools safely without the risk of being dropped from heights.

“The significance of Craig’s win is that it demonstrates how a design that he first worked on as a student can be successfully commercialised and be award-winning,” said Dr Park.





UNSW Built Environment: 2011 NSW Architecture Awards Ceremony

26 07 2011

 

Earlier this month, the 2011 NSW Architecture Awards Ceremony was held at the Sydney Hilton. The Awards celebrate and honour NSW Architects who have worked on public and private projects across Australia which have demonstrated design excellence and innovation. From this talented group many represented UNSW Built Environment as staff and/or alumni.

A total of 41 awards, prizes and commendations across 15 categories were awarded from 191 submissions. Awarded projects are eligible for a national award to be assessed late this year.

This year the UNSW Built Environment community was strongly represented at the awards ceremony. Esteemed UNSW Built Environment Professor and alumnus Glenn Murcutt received the Award for Enduring Architecture for his iconic design of ‘Magney House’ Bingie Bingie on the NSW south coast which was completed in 1984.

The President’s Prize recognises an individual who has made a meaningful contribution to the industry. The 2011 honour was presented to UNSW Built Environment Visiting Professor and NSW Government Architect Peter Mould. NSW President Matthew Pullinger commented that “Peter Mould is a quiet achiever. In his role as Government Architect, he has been a tireless advocate for design excellence. He promotes design quality purely for the benefit of society and the profession.”

UNSW BE graduate Matt Chan (BArch 1996) from Scale Architecture was awarded the Emerging Architect Prize for his hard work and diligence within the industry.  Matt has been creating and working in a variety of facets within the industry developing thinking through teaching, research, discourse and speculative work, as well as collaborative practice.

This year’s top honour the Sulman Award was presented to Bligh Voller Nield (BVN) Architecture for their innovative design of the ‘Brain and Mind Research Institute (BRMI) – Youth Mental Health Building’. BVN received an additional triumph when they were awarded the John Verger Award in Interior Architecture for the ‘BVN Sydney Studio’. Visiting UNSW Professor James Grose was a project principle in both of these winning projects.

Other prizes which were won by members of the UNSW BE community include an Architecture Award in Residential Architecture – Housing to Chenchow Little Architects (BArch 2003/2004 respectively) for their ‘Skylight House’, and an Architecture Award in Commercial Architecture for the ‘ERA’ project to Stanisic Associates Architects, who includes current UNSW studio master Frank Stanisic.

Dean of UNSW Built Environment, Professor Alec Tzannes said “the awards night produced a fantastic result for the Faculty and the University, with recognition going to UNSW Built Environment professors, lecturers and alumnus. These successes help to reinforce this faculty’s position as a highly successful and innovative educational facility who continues to produce individuals who are highly sought after within our industry.”

Professor Tzannes is also Director of Tzannes Associates.  His firm received an Architecture Award in Public Architecture for the ‘Hillingdon Ascham School’ in addition to three Commendations in Residential Housing, Residential Multiple Housing and Commercial Architecture.

We would like to congratulate all winners at the 2011 NSW Architecture Awards.

Click here to view a full list of this years winners.





UNSW Built Environment: UNSW Industrial Design Student Joseph Louis Tan Named one of 50 Finalists for VIVID Awards

15 07 2011

The VIVID – Vibrant Visions In Design Awards is a furniture design competition held in Australia, as part of the Furnitex exhibition event, running in tandem with the State of Design Festival in Melbourne. It features the 50 most inspiring and talented designers in Australia for the year with their unique product designs. There are four different categories to participate in: Commercial, Concept, Student and Green.

This year UNSW Industrial Design student Joseph Louis Tan has been named as one of the finalists in the student category with his design MEW Modular Coffee Table. When asked about his reasons for entering the competition Joseph said “ VIVID presented to designers and design students like me an opportunity to showcase and share our designs in Australia’s largest furniture and furnishing trade fair to over 17,000 trade visitors. I hope that by entering VIVID, not only will I be gauging myself against Australia’s talented designers, but also be given a chance to meet and network with them, exhibitors and trade visitors. I was always curious about the underlying process of participating in a huge exhibition like Furnitex and hope to use it as a platform to learn and experience valuable lessons that cannot be taught in university lectures and tutorials. I am also interested in the potential of possibly commercializing my design and VIVID will be an ideal stepping stone in that direction.”

Joseph’s design of the MEW Modular Coffee Table was inspired by traditional Japanese wood joinery and modern cutting technology capabilities. The design is a simple, versatile and interactive modular coffee table that can be rearranged to suit different individuals needs with its three smaller separate tables. Made from water-jet cut locally sourced Hoop Pine plywood, it uses various types of unique slotted connections that allow it to be easily assembled without fixtures or fittings and comes flat-packed for easier transport and storage.

We would like to congratulate Joseph on his achievement.

Click here to find out more about the VIVID Awards.





UNSW Built Environment: Electrolux Design Lab 2011 Semi-Finalists Announced

22 06 2011

Modern day living means that time constraints and changing lifestyles are altering consumers needs for household products. Innovative designs are required to cater to these changing needs. This year the Electrolux Design Lab has asked industrial design students and recent graduates worldwide to create home appliances that consider intelligent mobility; their designs need to show a combination of lateral thinking and ingenuity.

There were 1300 entrants and from that 25 semi-finalists have been chosen from all over the world. Three of the semi finalists are from Australia and of those three, two are Industrial Design students from UNSW!

We would like to congratulate Alfred Ching and Saba Zara on their creative and innovative designs. Alfred Ching’s design ‘Honeycomb Modular Induction Tiles’ (pictured above) looks at creating different sized and shaped movable heating surfaces which can be stacked for easy storage. Saba Zara’s design ‘Mywash’ is a communal washing machine with individual barrels which can be controlled via a smart phone.

The 25 semi-finalists will be whittled down to a final eight. The finalists will present their designs to a jury who will consider the entries based on intuitive design, innovation and consumer insight. The winning designer will receive €5,000 ($6,786AUD) and a 6 month paid internship at an Electrolux global design centre.

Click here to visit the website and checkout all the semi-finalists designs.





UNSW Built Environment: Awards Ceremony

16 06 2011

On Friday 3 June the UNSW Built Environment Awards Ceremony celebrated and acknowledged the faculty’s highest achievers. Over 200 family, friends, benefactors and faculty staff were present to celebrate the academic excellence of these talented students.

The night was officially opened by the Faculty Dean, Professor Alec Tzannes, and was hosted by Professor Alan Peters, Head of Discipline for Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Construction Management and Property, who noted that “the ceremony was a wonderful opportunity for our students to have their hard work recognised, and to meet the beneficiaries whose generous donations are assisting them with their education at UNSW.”

This year the faculty awarded 49 prizes to 56 students for their outstanding academic accomplishments. This year The Dean’s Award, which honours students who received the highest mark this semester was shared by two Architecture students, Matthew O’Brien and Yun Fu.

Other awards were: The Program Director Awards (acknowledging students who achieve the highest marks within a specific degree or subject) and a variety of other awards and prizes which were funded and presented by a wide variety of Built Environment benefactors.

The awards ceremony provides an opportunity for benefactors to meet the students they are supporting and to foster better relationships between industry members, students and built environment professionals.

Santiago Villa Moreno (Master of Construction Project Management) received two awards at Friday’s ceremony and noted in a thank you letter to Professor Alec Tzannes “My journey at UNSW would not have been possible without the support provided by your organisation.”

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the award recipients for the dedication and determination and to encourage them to keep up the good work.

2010 Built Environment Prizes

Image: Faculty Dean, Professor Alec Tzannes with students Lillian Chung and Santiago Villa Moreno.





UNSW Built Environment: Scholars Program

3 06 2011

A new initiative called the Built Environment Scholars Program has been created to acknowledge the faculty’s highest achieving students.

The Built Environment Undergraduate Scholars Program is comprised of a group of 20 students who are identified as the BE’s top performing students based solely on their annual academic performance.

For a one year period the BE Scholars will receive recognition from their peers, the faculty and industry professionals. The benefits given to these talented and driven students include a $500 scholarship and vouchers to the UNSW book shop, mentoring and support, special invitations to BE events, a certificate of achievement and more.

The 2010 BE Scholars were formally congratulated at a morning tea on 18 May where they were presented with a certificate of recognition, their $500 scholarship and a $100 voucher for the UNWS bookstore.

We would like to extend our congratulations to all the BE Scholars for 2010.

BIA – Catherine Allington, Tara Christina Gunasekera, Yoshimi Iwaya

B Arch Studies – Mathew O’Brian, Pouwel Frederik Wind, Yun Fu, Cissy Miao Kang, Sean Thien Tran

B Arch Comp – Chor Yan Lau

BCMP – Thomas David Bitmead, Shane Christopher Bleyer, Shane Saba Rouhani, Gary Yaghlejian

B Plan – Ellie-Mae Simpson, Rachelle Ariane Newman, Katherine Louise Tudehope

B Land Arch – Jason Kenneth Cuffe, James Hargrave

B Ind Des – Aryetta Pazpinis, Jason Jian Hao Khiang





UNSW Built Environment: BE Student Andrea Wechsler Wins Best Paper

24 05 2011

UNSW Built Environment Master of Research student Andrea Wechsler recently presented a paper at The First International Postgraduate Conference on Engineering, Designing and Developing the Built Environment for Sustainable Wellbeing, which was held in April at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

This is a peer reviewed conference and Andrea’s paper titled Sustainable Furniture panel composites from forestry and food industry by-products in Australia, presented in the theme Energy, Environment and Sustainability, won the best paper in the theme.

Andrea’s paper was based on part of her research which compared polypropylene based materials and different fillers: macadamia shells, pine cones and eucalyptus capsules with traditional wood plastic composites with pine wood fillers.

We would like to congratulate Andrea on this achievement

Click here for more information on the eddBE 2011 Conference.