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UTAS Architecture students illuminate Launceston

Thursday March 24, 2016

Architecture students in Launceston rekindled a tradition that dates back to the 1860s when they lit 16 large lanterns on the North Esk River on Wednesday night.

Architecture students in Launceston rekindled a tradition that dates back to the 1860s when they lit 16 large lanterns on the North Esk River on Wednesday night.

The event – Illuminations –showcased the results of the first design project for the first year students studying architecture, interior design and furniture design at the University of Tasmania.

Lecturer at the School of Architecture and Design Louise Wallis said the event harkened back to the first Chinese lanterns event, where 500 lanterns lined the first basin at the Gorge.

“There were many of these events lighting up the Gorge from the 1860s to the 1890s and we’d like to recapture a small part of that spirit,” Ms Wallis said.

“It was a brief but beautiful spectacle – lanterns accompanied by a solo Chinese flute played by Yyan Ng – and about 200 people lined the banks of the river on both sides to watch.

“We last ran a lantern project in 2003 and it has been wonderful to see the students embrace the idea once again.”

The 16 lanterns are built on a one metre by one metre base and stand up to two metres tall. They are made from sustainable harvested bamboo, recycled timber offcuts and everyday items such as milk cartons, luncheon wrap and candles.

Ms Wallis said the students had consulted with colleagues at the University’s Australian Maritime College (Dr Roberto Ojeda) to ensure the lanterns were river-worthy.

Illuminations took place last night with a procession of the lanterns from the School via the Levee bank down to the North Esk rowing club.

“We certainly provided unexpected entertainment to those driving pass.”

The procession included 90 first year students, some friends and family, children in prams and even a dog. The lanterns were then lit and floated down the river in front of Seaport viewing deck. Later the lanterns were displayed in front of the School of Architecture and Design where close to 150 students, staff, family and friends celebrated the event.

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