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UWA Students excel in State Government housing design competition

Thursday October 15, 2015

Twelve students from The University of Western Australia (UWA) are part of teams that came first, second and third in the State Government’s inaugural [design] ability Affordable Housing Design Competition, announced last week.

The competition called on university students across Western Australia to put their design skills to the test, working in small groups to create innovative, affordable housing concept proposals for a study site in Fremantle.

Through the competition, students had the opportunity to collaborate with students from other tertiary institutions and gain real-life experience working in an interdisciplinary team.

Melissa Soh, 22, of Inglewood, who is studying a Master of Architecture in UWA’s Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts, was part of the winning team that also comprised three other UWA students and two students from Curtin University.

She said the project was rewarding and had enabled her to gain experience working with students from different disciplines.

“For our submission, we focused on building a design concept to convert an existing social housing complex in Fremantle into affordable, diverse housing to target a wide range of people,” Ms Soh said.

“We designed a unique development which respected the suburban aspects of Fremantle, but also acknowledged the site conditions on High Street to make the complex a landmark for Fremantle.”

Ms Soh said her team was excited to have achieved first place in the competition. “We worked collaboratively together and it was great to work with people from different faculties and disciplines,” she said. “It has provided us with realistic practical knowledge that can be applied in our chosen fields after we finish university.”

State Housing Minister Colin Holt said the competition provided tertiary students with the opportunity to practise their talents and work as teams on real-world projects.

“Students did well to focus on innovative designs that would maximise sustainability, reduce building and living costs, and provide a healthy and attractive place to live,” Mr Holt said.

“There was so much diversity in their chosen materials – from shipping containers and modular construction, to concrete tilt-up panels – and the reuse of materials from the buildings currently on site.”

The winners will also be acknowledged at the 2015 National Housing Conference in Perth on October 28-30, 2015.

Competition placement

First place – Genius Loci Team

Melissa Soh (UWA), Anika Kalotay (UWA), Serena Pangestu (UWA) Aung Kyaw Thein (UWA), Tuan Anh Ngo (Curtin) and Kavi Lasrado (Curtin).

Second place – Sonder Studios Team

Amber Martin (UWA), Bradley Millis (UWA), Charlie Boman (UWA) and Georgina Martin (Notre Dame).

Equal third place – The Meld Collective Team and Team 23

The Meld Collective team – Louise Johnston (UWA), Emily Arnolda (UWA), Cassandra Smith(UWA) Shona Medhi (Curtin) and Hilary Nambiar (UWA). Team 23- Sam Paul Chapman(Curtin), Gustavo Martinez (Curtin), Benjamin James Leavy (Curtin) (Absent: Amanda Lee (UWA), Lou-Ayy Lesley (Curtin) and Jadan Todoro (Curtin)

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