06 December 2012
Venice beckons for student design winners
Three RMIT University students are on their way to Venice after winning the top prize in this year’s SuperStudio competition hosted by the Australian Institute of Architects.
The winning team of Ben Kazacos (fifth-year Landscape Architecture), Brock Hogan (fifth-year Landscape Architecture) and Phoebe Baker-Gabb (fourth-year Interior Design) produced a design installation intended to symbolise collaborative approaches required for architecture in the future.
The installation, cleverly titled “Mark”, features a massed array of pencils, which can be manipulated in various ways to produce a collective result from the contributions of different people making their mark on the work.
The team submitted a video of their final design, which describes Mark as being representative of a participatory approach to architecture, in which many individuals, working together, can help shape design outcomes to suit users’ own needs.
In their entry, the team said their installation “seeks to create architecture that is both personal and collective, specific and general … extend(ing) user engagement beyond physical interaction and perhaps beyond the life of the architecture itself”.
They were responding to a design brief which called for entrants to move their thinking away from monumental, singular structures and towards more inclusive and organic structures which will integrate well with the life of the cities in which they are placed.
Judges commended the RMIT students for their clarity of expression, breadth of ideas, and potential for real-life application in their thinking.
The SuperStudio competition is run each year for student designers simultaneously in all Australian states and territories, allowing only 24 hours for student teams to respond.
This year’s event was curated by Mark Raggatt and Tim Pyke of leading architecture firm Ashton Raggatt McDougall.
As well as travelling to Italy to test their installation at the leading international arts and design expo, the Venice Biennale, which runs till 25 November, the students will also develop the work to be exhibited at the 2013 Australian Architecture Conference in Melbourne.
The Venice trip has been made possible through sponsorship from Bluescope Steel.
The SuperStudio winning team, Phoebe Baker-Gabb, Ben Kazacos and Brock Hogan.
‘Mark’ – the winning design.
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