UNSW Built Environment: 2010 Graduand Catalogues

14 12 2010

Our 2010 UNSW Built Environment Graduand Catalogues have been released for viewing. These catalogues showcase the achievements of our 2010 of our graduating students – congratulations to all those involved.

If you would like to view the various graduand catalogues, please click the links below.

Architectural Computing

Architecture (BArch)

Industrial Design

Landscape Architecture

Master of Architecture (MArch)

UNSW Built Environment Landscape Architecture: Ali Gates

29 07 2010

Semester 1 2010 is now in the past. This Semester tested us further then all others. Not only were we working in groups, which brings its advantages and challenges, but our site was at a larger scale then we have worked with before and was largely inaccessible being in Canberra – a bit too far away to be able to go back and check things.  Only one dedicated group managed to return for a second site visit.

Our originally light rail-driven-design developed further in the last few weeks of design. The high density development remained anchored by the light rail but became organised, in an abstract way, by the green corridors that run throughout, connecting the surrounding and existing open spaces. Out master plan shows how these ideas were implemented. These open spaces were to represent the different degrees or nature from the wilderness to man made in relationship to the surrounding areas. We zoomed in on two parts of the green corridors to look at in more detail. This allowed us to get back into a scale we were comfortable with. This is an example of one of our zoomed in parts.


I’m glad to say that all the groups made it through with no friendships lost, which we hear has happened other years. And our professor put this down to our ‘lovely class spirit’. Working in a group of four took some pressure off as we had four times the power to get the work done. Our group ended up almost living together at one of our houses towards the end in order to get the work done. We survived the late nights and long days by listening to music and episodes of Arrested Development.

We presented our work as a group, each talking about the aspects of the design we felt we knew best. We were happy with how it went on the day but mostly relieved it was all over!

Precinct Plan

Until next time! The final chapter- semester 2 2010.

UNSW Built Environment Landscape Architecture: Riley Field

20 05 2010

Hi all…

The second half of the semester has become slightly more intense and I’m finding I’m not so much sleeping like a baby anymore. Design studio has really bumped up a notch.  It is one thing to analyze existing site conditions as we did for the first part, now using this information to inform design process is something slightly trickier. I think group work is a great experience and really does test people. It can become very interesting at times, especially in design where it is so individual and opinionative. Nether the less it’s all about preparation for non uni life. Some amazing work has been produced, as we reach the final stages of the design process you can see different group ideals coming through strongly in their work. It is evident that every group has a different spin on what has been initially proposed.

I think everyone is looking forward to the break, hopefully it will give me some time to write a significant chunk of my thesis. After the break we have our trivia night which will raise funds for our graduation exhibition. I urge you all to get involved, would be a good chance to mix with the other years and a number of professionals from the industry. Look out for the invites!

Attached are a few pics from studio, which shows a few good looking Landscape Architect students deep in thought a week before the interim review. Good times…

UNSW Built Environment Landscape Architecture: Riley Field

27 04 2010

Hey everyone.

My names Riley, I’m currently in my last year of the Landscape Architecture degree. I suppose for all the young ens coming up through the ranks everyone has warned you of how tough it gets. I won’t lie, it does get pretty tough but at the same time it isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Yes, I am sleeping, like a baby. Then again I guess I’m more relaxed about it than some others. Not to mention any names…Ali.

The last four weeks have been actually really interesting. We had a field trip in our second week down to the nations capital. Professor  James Weirick’s lectures were truly inspiring to say the least, and I never realised the complexity underpinning the design of Canberra. We worked hard throughout the day, spotting kangaroos, breaking down barriers and tress passing into various sites followed by class bonding sessions at night in the lovely Canberra Motor Inn.

We returned, some with a greater knowledge and appreciation of Canberra and the Griffen legacy, others with a headache but some great memories. We are now putting our knowledge and our own critical thinking to the test. The class is  working as a whole to cover the vast amount of information needed to design a master plan. Every group is researching a different topic to combine what is a mass bundle of information. Together we are covering every base. Everyone depends on each other which is great to see and makes 4th year a whole lot easier.

At the moment I’m thoroughly enjoying forth year and look forward to the challenges to come, for the mean time anyway.

UNSW Built Environment Landscape Architecture: Shawna Ng

22 04 2010

I remember feeling particularly exuberant on my first day back at uni this year; perhaps, it was because I had survived the onslaught of assignments and exams for two years now, finally arriving at the half-way point. But just as how the effects of coffee never last, this enthusiasm had more or less fizzled out by the end of the week. The prospect of having to deal with more complicated design problems in the context of realistic engineering methodology (yes, we actually need to create designs that work now!) was a little overwhelming.

Two years into the study of landscape architecture, but I still feel as though I know too little about it. Yet, as I gave the issue more thought, feelings of despair were gradually being replaced by a calming satisfaction—I am more certain now that I had made a right choice to study Landscape Architecture.

Don’t get me wrong—I am no masochist; It’s just as how a tutor of mine once said, “If your brain doesn’t hurt, then you are wasting your time because you aren’t learning anything new.” I’m certainly glad that despite two years into the course, Landscape Architecture is still as, or perhaps, even more intriguing to me than the very first day.

The past summer was probably testament to that.

I spend the bulk of my holidays gaining some industry work experience at a range of places—and again the breadth of Landscape Architecture simply blows my mind. I worked at Randwick council nursery for a couple of weeks, where I learnt basic horticultural techniques of repotting, transplanting etc. These might seem boring to some but definitely not to me—after all, having had lived in high-rise residential blocks all my life in Singapore, I never had a chance to pick up such skills!

When I headed back to Singapore, I was also attached to a civil engineering firm for a couple of months. Whilst my daily companions were a camera, pen and measuring tape, it was a highly engaging time for me too. Comparing plans with the actual work site might be tedious at times, but it definitely brought a whole new practical dimension to all the studio work I have been participating in at uni.

Supervision and administrative tasks (like checking for safety, taking measurements of concrete slabs and reinforcements etc) at work

Visiting a completed site

Of course, a holiday would not be any fun if it was all about work, so I went on a couple of family trips to Taiwan, Hongkong and Macau. Perhaps knowledge opens one’s eyes to be more aware of one’s surrounds, (or maybe I was just more alert now that I was less sleep deprived), I began to realise and appreciate the landscapes these cities had to offer. The national parks at Taiwan, the casinos (theme-park like) landscapes and the vibrant urban scape of Hong Kong all became sources of inspiration for me.

In Hong Kong, I also had the opportunity to explore how other designers thought and expounded on their ideas directly when I visited the “2009 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture”. All their works (including an installation by the famous Shigeru Ban Architects) were exhibited across a waste field at the lesser known edge of the Kowloon waterfront. Though at first glance, the place was aesthetically unappealing, it retained a mysterious aura which fueled my curiosity about the site (which reminded me a lot of the 2008 Sydney Biennale held at Cockatoo Island). It was certainly an eye-opening experience, fun too, as I frolicked and interacted with the designed installations—to me, that’s what design ought to aspire towards. Having had been taught that landscape architects design places ultimately for people (and not self-glorification or aesthetic purposes), it is certainly a great reminder that a design cannot be judged by its cover. Essentially, it is all about what it has to offer for people to feel comfortable in, for people to interact with, in order to derive a better quality of life.

Now I remember the real reason why I was feeling partly exuberant on my first day back at uni. Not so much that I had survived the stressful times, but really because I had a great holiday applying all that I had learnt over the past two years (consciously at times, but more often than not, subconsciously appreciating this fabric of life). I just can’t wait to see how the coming year would change my life like the last two did!

UNSW Built Environment Landscape Architecture: Ali Gates

6 04 2010

Hey Everyone! It’s Ali here again.

Well I’ve just had my first few weeks of my final year of Landscape Architecture. I think it’s going to be pretty hectic. For our design Studio this semester our site is in Canberra. This means a 4-day field trip down to our nation’s Capital to get acquainted with our site which should be fun. We’re going to be looking at a large area to the east of Canberra for development. This area includes Canberra Airport and Defense lands so it will be interesting to see how we can incorporate these land uses into our designs. Just to make it more difficult the whole semester’s work is in groups. If group work goes well it can be amazing- but it can also go very badly. We got to pick our groups ourselves so I think our group will work well together. We’ll have to wait and see.

I’ve also decided to write a thesis this year instead of doing more electives. I’m going to be researching urban agriculture – i.e. growing food in our urban environments, closer to where we live. I had my first meeting with my thesis supervisor yesterday and let’s just say I have a lot of work ahead of me!

UNSW Built Environment Alumni: Reactivation – Henry Chan (Landscape 09)

25 02 2010

Reactivation: Initiate a vibrate and self-sufficient metropolis

Site Plan

The project connects and rejuvenates­­­ Glebe Island from a neglected post-industrial landscape into a valuable component of the urban landscape. Instead of the passive design approach to reclaim post-industrial landscape into an ecological precinct, these proposed reclaim site should make greater use of its perimeter and become a metropolitan attraction that brings users deep into the space.

Moreover, Glebe Island will be the frontier to compensate for the urban development that is disturbing the equilibrium between the Sydney’s market gardens and its green spaces that support the urban context.  Hence, Permaculture design principle was present to resolve this disruption of the human support system.

The Newly established human support system, will focus on a complex design process looking at water, topography, vegetation and anthropology at different stages that result in a fusion design which highlight the contrast between the industrial and natural landscape.

Permaculture garden at Glebe Island

Green wall at Glebe Island Silo

As a result the outcome will be successful to create a lively connection between the Park & City by relating Glebe Island as a catalyst to meet its goal for Sydney to become a sustainable city by 2030.

3D Perspective


UNSW Built Environment Landscape Architecture: Urban Biophilia by Mark Santangelo (Landscape Arch 09)

4 02 2010

Project: Urban Biophilia: Restorative environments within the constraints of the city

Mark Santangelo, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture


As the modern city continues to manifest complex physical density along with the psychological order it demands, the need to satisfy our innate human desire to connect with the living world (biophilia), has become increasingly apparent. Urban Biophilia stands as a model to meet this human need through the lens of Landscape.

Ultimately this project creates restorative environments for people, both residents of Inner West Sydney and the student population of the new UTS campus at this site. These environments are unique from each other, offering variety of mood and function. The primary objective is to give the user of this park system an experience of pure contemplation and personal disconnection from urban pressures, and connection with a seemingly ‘natural’ environment.

Open vast grassland environment & community

Conceptual sketches of space & order

By re-creating a ‘naturalistic’ environment, the potential has emerged to manage & treat stormwater that has been collected to form the scenic pond, riparian & wetland areas, and simultaneously ecology, by incorporating habitat areas and indigenous plant communities.

By taking a psychological perspective on the effect the natural environment has on people, landscape has been moulded and manipulated in search of what really is an environment that can restore the negative syndromes that city life presents to its people.

Detail site plan

Reinstated mangroves at Rozelle Bay

Wetland/Floodzone Environment & Community

UNSW Built Environment Landscape Architecture Formula for Stillness: Applying Hockney to White Bay

13 01 2010

Peter Morris – Landscape Architecture 09

Seeking key principles from Hockney's California Dreaming series

By understanding the specific experience of David Hockney’s illusion of stillness within particular paintings, a set of techniques and principles have been discovered and applied to the site at White Bay.

Master plan of proposed civic space

After investigating modern artists and their independent and focused explorations of space on the pictorial plane, I found Hockney offered new methods in approach to the design process.

The site is in part an extension of the previous semester’s reconstruction of the Wattle Bay studios and outdoor art gallery at the north-east peninsular of Glebe Island and so lends itself to a more art inspired space. It is a 100m pedestrian access-only civic space primarily created for the workers in the surrounding buildings and contains cafes, small bars and a multi-functional outdoor area.

Calmed and seperated elements

The ultimate experience for the user addresses the human need for order and discovery by extracting key principles used in a Hockney painting and systematically re-applying them to the site. In the short term, the user can enjoy uncovering the site’s narratives, the artful display of elements and their spatial order while in the long term a more holistic appreciation of the site would see the calming effect of Hockney’s stillness emerge in the design.

Narrative discovered over time

Addressing the built form

Elements as part of the whole

Summation of movement not seen

UNSW Built Environment Event: berth – Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Graduation Exhibition

30 11 2009

The Berth exhibition showcased the work produced for the Graduating Studio by the 2009 Bachelor of Landscape Architecture graduating class. It was held on the 6th of November, 2009, and included industry professionals, BE staff, students and their family and friends. The exhibition also included the End of Year Review Night in which students from all years display their work from the current semester.

The exhibition displayed the range of skills taught to the students, and the way in which these can be applied to achieve new and innovative design outcomes. The site of White Bay was examined by the 4th year students, and a range of conceptual and theoretical approaches were developed and then applied to the site. The result was a series of design outcomes that addressed site issues, tested pre-conceived design resolutions and developed the existing theoretical body of knowledge to both urban design and local site design.

This exhibition provided an opportunity for viewing the work of the next generation of Landscape Architects that will guide the design of our cities and open spaces.

The night was a huge success due to the Berth Organising Committee, with many thanks to Ben Morrecroft and Jason Packenham for their efforts in organising the night.

Good luck and best wishes to the graduating class of 2009!