UNSW Built Environment: Win an Apple IPAD!

2 11 2010

We are giving all BE students the chance to win an Apple IPad simply by taking part in an online CATEI survey! All you have to do is log into CATEI via your myUNSW portal and tell us your opinion about things. All those who complete the survey will go into a draw to win an Apple IPad.

We want to hear what you think! If positive, please take the time to say so,  affirm what is happening and provide this feedback to the  lecturers. If you would like to see change let us know so things can change.

It is understandable that this is a hectic time of the year and your time to provide this very important feedback  is really appreciated. It will only take about 15 – 20 minutes! 

Did you know because you complete CATEI;

  • Lecturers have changed course content and teaching  as a result  of your feedback.
  • If you complete the survey you can view lecturer feedback on comments and course data after the results are finalised.
  • If you complete the survey you are then given access to see the completed results for  Form A evaluation and so find out what your peers thought.
  • By completing the survey you boost the overall response rate for FBE compared to other Faculties at UNSW which is very important. You also boost your own  program’s response rate compared to other programs within FBE too! Yes, they are all measured which indicates the importance of this survey.

So log in to myUNSW portal today today for your chance to win!

UNSW Built Environment: Pip Marston (MAarch) – CH4 Competition

1 10 2010

Hi all!

Construction in well under way for our CH4 pavilion!

We have made great use of our induction into the design labs as we continue to construct the timber frame. Meanwhile a team in the UNSW Tramsheds have been busy constructing the ‘modules’ which will be transported separately to site for the final installation.

At this point it looks as though it will be installed in the customs House Forecourt for a duration of 1-3 weeks (weather permitting!) during October – After which it will hopefully take centre stage in The Red Centre!

Today we had the pleasure of showing our progress to Richard Johnson and Ken Mahr who provided some helpful feedback! Hopefully you will able to judge for yourselves very soon!!

Stay tuned for more pics!

CH4 team

UNSW Built Environment: Queenie Tran (MAarch) – Sydney Architecture Festival CH4 Competition

30 09 2010

After months of design and testing, students are going into construction for CH4.

The CH4 competition is a design workshop co-ordinated by the Faculty of the Built Environment. The purpose of the design workshop is to design and construct of re-useable pavilion for Sydney Architecture Week 2010.

Held at the historic Customs House, Circular Quay, the Sydney Architecture Week is a joint venture between the Australian Architecture Association, Australian Institute of Architects, and the NSW Architects Registration Board. Last year, 4,500 people attended this prominent event.

The design of the pavilion is constructed of cardboard tubes framed by plywood sheets. This interactive structure explores ideas of views and perspective as it is splayed within its plywood frame so that as you walk through the pavilion, an awareness of the interior and exterior is experienced.

Over the past week, students have been inducted into the DesignLab workshop and Tramsheds for construction. We have been fortunate to have been sponsored by Royal Plywood who has provided us sheets of plywood and discounted cardboards from Cardboard Tubes Pty Ltd. In addition, Kirrawee Kitchens have been assisting us in the cutting of plywood sheets to hasten our construction process.

We’ve now completed one test module. For the next fortnight, CH4 will be constructing the modules in the Randwick Tramsheds. Stay tuned to see our progress! Only 2000 more cardboard tubes to go!

Watch our progress first hand in this fantastic time lapse video.

UNSW Built Environment Construction Management & Property: Susie Irvine

27 07 2010

Hey ya,

The holidays have just slipped away and now it’s time to knuckle down and start semester 2. Over my holidays I did a 4 week work experience program with a company called Knight Frank working in their project management department. I learnt so much over the month and it gave me an insight to working in the industry. I worked on wide range of projects, which varied from the tendering process to completion. Activities I completed included providing a tender review and recommendation for the client, liaising with subcontractors, site visits, cost plans and handover manuals. Also I learnt about and assisted in conducting NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) ratings for buildings around Australia. This is a national initiative which is a performance-based rating system for existing buildings. NABERS rates a building on the basis of its measured operational impacts on the environment, and provides a simple indication of how well you are managing these environmental impacts compared with your peers and neighbours. Overall I found the work experience program very rewarding and have gained invaluable experience.

This week I started working with RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors). I will be working in the dispute resolution services in the construction industry, which I am really looking forward to. It is a great opportunity, which will provide me further insight into the industry and improve my knowledge of law in the construction industry.

Once again this semester I have 2 core and 2 elective subjects. For my core subject I am doing Construction Contract Administration and Tall Building Construction, while my electives are Surveying & GIS and Construction Business Practice & Marketing.

I am looking forward to getting further into Construction Contract Administration. as I believe it will compliment my role in RICS extremely well. However, I do find this more of a challenging subject because of the terminology and concepts that have to be understood.

Tall Building Construction is another stepping stone, by learning to construct a slightly more complex and larger building, which should be exciting.

Surveying & GIS should be interesting, as we will learn how to use all of the surveying equipment. I am also mixed in with engineering students, providing an opportunity to meet students in a similar field.

Lastly Construction Business Practice & Marketing will go through all aspects of a business such as marketing but it will be tailored to the construction industry. From studying and enjoying business studies in year 12 I believe I will really like this subject.
Overall it has been a busy last couple of months and I am looking forward to the onset of summer.

Talk soon,

UNSW Built Environment Architectural Studies: Angus Hardwick

20 07 2010

By the end of last semester, we had already progressed through two design projects and into our third in Design Studio 2. It’s incredible how much effort I put into a single project so by the end of the third I think I will be spent!

Our first project focused on an in depth case study of an allocated house.  In my case I focused on Jørn Utzon’s second house of Majorca Can Feliz. Through a close analysis and study of the building I produced parti and poche drawings.

From this we went straight into project two analysing either a 17th Century Dutch interior painting or a 20th Century Edward Hopper painting. This project presented some problems for me and my tutor – we seemed to never see quite eye-to-eye as how best to interpret the painting. Ultimately different opinions is what its all about … right?

Andrew Macklin’s Architectural Model Making class was also very time consuming and has a massive workload. This course is definitely not for the faint of heart given we started out with over 30 people and ended with less than 20! What was nice about this course were the distinct difference between the two projects we worked on. Whist it wasn’t what I was expecting (a more material technique based modelling course), the first project introduced Eisenman’s House of Cards and saw us progress through a series of planar, volumetric and circulation based model moves to develop a ‘building without a purpose’ and develop our understanding of space.

We then progressed onto scale construction and techniques of modeling rammed earth walls etc. This turned out to be an exciting project. It was great to get away from the balsa and box board and actually use our hands. For me, these models seemed to be more dynamic than a plain balsa model.

History and Theory 2 run by Peter Kohane proved to be the hidden gem of the semester. History in itself is a pretty safe bet for producing a solid course however Peter’s funny and intense lectures were a great way to end the week. The in depth journey from initial Greek architecture through to the moderns has been an exciting journey, and the links to current architectural trends and practices gave the course a good balance between reflection and active participation.

UNSW Built Environment Architectural Studies: Derek Georgeson

22 06 2010

So the semester is almost over, and it’s been a fairly busy one. I’ve been doing some work experience with an architectural firm two days a week. It has been great to get some feel of what the field will actually feel like. The positives I’ve found are that the work is busy – I never have nothing to do, and that it can be as slow or as fast as you please (unless there is a deadline due) at which point the office ramps up a bit for the week. The lead designer has become my mentor and encourages me to try different things, but he has a design sensibility which kerbs my works to always look good. This is some of the rendering work I’ve done for them… This particular work isn’t aiming for photo realism but more to convey a sense of lifestyle and place, particularly for the cold Sydney mornings we are currently feeling.

Within the design studio we are having a bit more of an abstract semester. The first projects led us to look at a series of Villa’s from the Modernists and Post-Modernists. The aim was to analyse what made those designers tick and work out the driving force behind these inspirational works. Following that exercise was a design segment where we used famous paintings to create narratives, and then form a series of internal spaces based around those narratives. My own work revolved around madness, reality and journey. Shown here is an axonometric of my work and then a view of one of the rooms contained within the spiralling staircase:

On the side I have a series of General Education courses which have me learning about science, religion, science fiction and everything in between. They are interesting and fairly engaging so I can’t complain too much about them. And finally, I am taking a history course, which is exceptional in its range of learning and helping me understand and value works of architecture, particularly renewing my view of Sydney and Melbourne, using a historical pretext to look at various Classical styled buildings. Part of the course involves going to places around Sydney and sketching them so I thought I’d throw in a sketch I did of the NSW Lands Department building, design by James Barnet:

Outside of uni my Taido grading is coming up soon, I just had my 21st birthday so that was a pretty memorable night, and I’ve been going to various exhibitions including the first ever Sydney Readers Festival, and if the weather clears up I plan to spend this weekend looking at the 17th Sydney Biennale. These are great fun to go to with architecture friends as we can talk about the work from what we know, or just trash the work for fun.

UNSW Built Environmnet Construction Management & Property: Jess Pascoe

25 05 2010

It’s nearly the end of term and everything is coming to the pointy end. I didn’t have too much work before; now however, I have one or two things due consistently at the moment until the end of semester, as well as exams. It has been a great semester so far, I have found a great balance between being social and keeping on top of my work. All of my subjects have been really interesting this year. Those that are more real estate based seem to be a bit harder, however there is a lot of information to know with the construction based ones. ICT apps is also very interesting and I get the feeling that I am learning a lot of things that will be very helpful when I enter the construction and development world.

Working as a cadet at Laing O’Rourke has been very successful and helpful towards my course, giving me a greater understanding of what I’m doing as well as a better feel for it. I am looking forward to the mid semester break but at the same time have really enjoyed this semester and don’t want it to end! Subject selection is open for the next half so I need to have a look and decide whether or not I would like to continue my specialisation in Property Development or not.

UNSW Built Environment Architectural Computing: Nikolina Borak

18 05 2010

Half way through this semester and ready to pull my hair out but there is only another half and another five assignments to go. The second half is always easier because you have become comfortable with your subjects and you now know what is expected from you. My Digital Collaboration Studio class is the most stressful but also the most insightful. The image below is just from one of the assignments that needed to be completed, we had to remodel the UNSW campus and then place our models in a gaming engine to be able to walk through our buildings in real time.

New College Village (Postgrad Housing) UNSW

My other classes are going steady, my Textiles in Interior Architecture class is all about how textiles can be used in design and the importance of textiles in interiors. Multimedia in Design Presentation’s final assignment is group work but it is interesting to work with people that are not in my course because I am able to learn things about other courses.

Looking forward to enrolling  for my graduation project next semester but before going too far ahead of myself I am looking forward to going on an Europe trip for end of semester break to calm my nerves ad prepare myself for the most important semester in my course.

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 Construction Management & Property: Susie Irvine

15 04 2010

Hey guys,
After a couple of months of working, hanging out friends, spending time at the beach and going overseas, it’s now back to reality. Going to my first lecture the other week was a bit of a shock to the system. Having to sit still and concentrate for over an hour, I found a bit of a struggle. But now I have started to get back into the groove of uni life, I realised just how much I have missed it.  I have really enjoyed catching up with everyone and hearing about their adventures over the summer and also starting my new subjects for the semester.

This year is the first time we have been able to choose 2 electives, which allows me to concentrate more on the building/construction side of the degree. I have selected Building Services and Estimating and Bidding for Construction Projects. Building Services, goes through all the plumbing, sewerage, air-conditioning, electrical, ventilation, lifts and fire fighting aspects of buildings, which so far I have found really interesting and useful. Estimating and Bidding is maths orientated and it goes through all the different aspects you need to cost, before you can price a project, which ranges from labour, material and plant. An advantage of having electives is that you are mixed in with students from 2nd-4th year, which allows you to meet new people, but also gain knowledge and skills from the more advanced students.

For my core subjects this semester I have Construction Law and Industrial Building Construction. It’s great for these subjects to be back with my fellow students from last year. I believe Construction Law, will be a challenging subject, as I have never done anything like it. But Industrial Building Construction is just another building block, to the knowledge I gained last year. I like it that this course is structured so each semester you learn to build a slightly larger structure, from a house, to low rise residential and now an industrial building. I am really looking forward to in the future years learning how to build the high rise buildings, which will be extremely complex and eye opening.

So far the work load has not been too bad. However this year my subjects are more exams orientated than assignments, which is a bit of a change from last year. It will be great to get further into the semester to see what challenges and experiences it holds.