Leading Swinburne design researchers have been recognised by the 2020 Good Design Awards for their outstanding contributions to design in Australia and internationally.
Marngo Design Futures, led by Swinburne senior lecturer Dr Samantha Edwards Vandenhoek, and Suspended Remnants, featuring Swinburne Lecturer in Architectural Design Canui Chen and Dean of Design Professor Jane Burry, both won awards in the Social Impact and Design Engineering categories respectively. Swinburne's Centre for Design Innovation was recognised in the Hardware and Building category for their work on the Atlite Skydoor.
Indigenous design and storytelling
Marngo Designing Futures is a national place-based and culture-centred digital storytelling program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary students that seeks to build confidence and resilience, youth entrepreneurship and leadership capacity while raising awareness of career pathways in design and media.
“Marngo Designing Futures has been a profoundly life changing experience for all involved. By returning Indigenous design knowledge, perspectives and narratives to the classroom, it is hoped that the programme’s focus on self-actualisation will mark the beginning of a transformational learning journey for the students, whatever path/s they choose to take.”, says Dr Edwards-Vandenhoek.
Marngo Designing Futures is a national place-based and culture-centred digital storytelling program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary students.
The Good Design Awards Jury praised Marngo Designing Futures, commenting: “Any well-designed program that helps elevate the contribution of our First Nation's peoples in our society is worthy of recognition. This is a fantastic approach to decolonising design education, with the potential for significant positive impact for those studying in or working with this program.”
The program was designed by Dr Edwards Vandenhoek, Wadi Wadi Walbanga filmmaker Alison Page, Karajarri designer Marcus Lee (Marcus Lee Design), Gunnai, Wiradjuri, Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta fashion designer Lyn-Al Young and Joanna Gardener. It was commissioned by the Australian Government.
Making architecture efficient
The Suspended Remnants Pavilion was designed and fabricated using a bespoke computational tool that combines the generation of structurally efficient geometry with a material inventory constraint. Through automation, an inventory of timber members of short unique lengths, typically deemed unusable in the industry, are repurposed into high value architectural components.
“With the advancement of digital fabrication tools, architects and engineers can realise virtually any ambitious and sophisticated structure. However, although we can build almost any structure, complex structures can, at times, be realised at the expense of using an excessive amount of energy and material resource, rendering some design solutions economically unviable and unsustainable,” says Canui Chen.
“Our research project seeks to explore an alternative to this paradigm. What if we are subjected to specific material constraints from the project outset? With advanced computational tools available to us, we can design high-value, sophisticated structures using waste material and low-value by-products.”
The Suspended Remnants Pavilion was designed and fabricated using a bespoke computational tool that combines the generation of structurally efficient geometry with a material inventory constraint.
The Good Design Awards Jury also praised Suspended Remnants, commenting: “The innovation applied in material optimisation and form finding optimisation using computational tools is highly commended, as is the creativity in optimising material management from source timber. The engineered connections is unique, and have applications which are both scalable, and suited to 3D printing.”
The project was designed by Kim Baber, Professor Burry, Canhui Chen, Joe Gattas and Aurimas Bukauskas. It was commissioned by the International association for shell and spatial structures.
Swinburne’s Centre for Design Innovation was also recognised by the Good Design Awards in the Hardware and Building category for their involvement with the Atlite Skydoor.
Providing both roof access and natural lighting to a home or workplace, it can enable easy access onto a roof garden without limiting roof space.
Doubling as an access hatch, this fully functional ATLITE Skydoor appeals to homeowners, architects and designers alike.
The Good Design Awards
Good Design Australia is an international design promotion organisation responsible for managing Australia’s annual Good Design Awards and other signature design events. With a proud history that dates back to 1958.
Dr Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia says: “Receiving a Good Design Award is a significant achievement given the very high calibre and record number of entries received in 2020.”
“There’s no doubt it has been a really tough year for everyone so it’s nice to be able to share some good news for a change. The projects represented in this year’s Good Design Awards shine a positive light on our creative and innovative capacity as human beings. These inspirational winning projects give me hope and optimism that our design community will continue to innovate, no matter how challenging the world around us is,” says Dr Gien.
“Australia’s Good Design Award is more than a symbol of design excellence - it represents the hard work and dedication towards an innovative outcome that will ultimately make our lives better. These projects showcase the shear brilliance of design and the potential it has to improve our world.”