UNSW Built Environment Architectural Studies: Patrick Griffen

10 05 2010

Over the summer break I participated in an elective design studio called ‘Project X3‘, which was basically a multidisciplinary design workshop. It was an intensive 2 week course where I was working in a team of students from various degrees, from UNSW Built Environment, COFA, and Engineering. We worked together to design an accommodation facility for a rock climbing company in China; ‘China Climb’ in groups of 5 or 6. I found the experience of working with interior architects, engineers and industrial designers interesting, challenging and a great way to get some experience in collaborative design. Out of the 7 designs presented to the client, ours was chosen to be carried to the next stage of design fabrication and construction. Hopefully the project will be built sometime in the next year or two.

Project X3

With a little break between my summer courses and Semester 1, I began the 3rd year of my degree. This session my subjects include a design studio, an environment course and modelling visualisation course. The design studio this session involves designing an apartment/restaurant complex on a site in North Bondi beach. I’ve spent the first few weeks analysing the site and considering the factors that will influence the outcome of the design process such as views, solar access etc. The work load is quite demanding and there is also a much higher expectation of quality in our work.  At this stage I’ve made a series of design models outlining my current progress.

Another subject I’ve been working hard at is ‘Design Modelling and Visualisation‘  which focuses on of communicating designs through mediums such as computer rendered images. I’ve been learning how to use the software ‘3Ds Max’ to render photo-realistic scenes, which includes modelling objects or buildings then calibrating colour, texture, materials and lighting. The result is a visually impressive looking image which can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from a photograph (if it is a good render). I plan to use the skills I’ve gained in this course in my design courses to present my ideas.

Between huge assignments, I’ve been going surfing and continuing to enjoy the lifestyle of living on campus. There’s a lot more work to come, 3rd year is really interesting so far, but also really intense.

UNSW Built Environment: Project X3 – Real design, real contruction, real clients

27 05 2009

Project X3 is currently underway in the Tramsheds at the UNSW Randwick campus.  Enthusiastic design students from COFA, Built Environment and Engineering are in the process of constructing the Artist’s Studio.

Design for construction is intensely multi-disciplinary.  Project X3 provides students from the University of New South Wales’ College of Fine Arts (better known as COFA), Engineering and Built Environment with a rare opportunity to contemplate and realise a design for an accommodation building in a difficult remote landscape, working across discipline boundaries.

The Summer Session gave a group of students the opportunity to compete for the winning design of an artist’s studio which is now being built.  This semester, a new group of new students are working tirelessly to have the project up and ready.  We will be trucking the built studio over to Fowler’s Gap, a remote, hot arid zone in north western NSW, 112km north of Broken Hill.  The site selected is on the eastern side of the Freislich Dam and 4.3km from the UNSW Arid Zone Research Station.

A thorough study of the site of any design project is essential. Working on a predominantly granite ground, the project aims to reconcile itself with the lowlands of the west, the barrier ranges that run north-south centrally through the research station and the plains that are found to the east.

Critical to this course is the fabrication and construction of the building to be transported to Fowler’s Gap. This process of fabrication and construction will be completed to ‘lock-up’ stage at the University of New South Wales Randwick Campus’ Tramsheds. Used as an exhibition space, as well as ground for construction, The Tramsheds is a large working space students from UNSW may use for projects such as this.

As a completely student organised and led project, team work has been essential for the success of the project.  During the initial design development process, we have been familiarising ourselves not only with the project, but we have been cooperating and collaborating with students from engineering and fine arts to complete the project.  This project has been a unique opportunity to not only learn about the construction and fabrication process, but also the chance to explore project organisation and management.
A few weeks ago, we were given the real experience of communicating and “wowing” our client where our presentation was critical to ensure that we’d be given the $100,000 budget for the construction of our artist’s studio. In an informative and supportive environment, we all thought the experience was very educational, not to mention exciting.

The team is now preparing for construction once our timber supplies are delivered. In the meantime, we’re progressing on our joint design exercises in order to understand our project further, as well as getting a grip on using power tools.  We’ll post more updates on our progress, so check back in soon!

Now you can get involved in Project X3 too!

Enrolment for semester two is now underway.

Join in this exciting, student organised project, and work in a multi-disciplinary project. Directed at dealing with the challenges and opportunities provided by sustainability concerns, the Artist’s Studio emphasises functionality and flexibility.

Enrol into BENV2724 or BEVN7802 – Fabrication and Construction Workshop