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Making an entrance: University architecture students on show at Tasmanian Craft Fair

Monday October 24, 2016

More than 20,000 visitors to this year’s Tasmanian Craft Fair at Deloraine will be welcomed through an entrance portal designed by University of Tasmania Master of Architecture students.

Under the guidance of visiting tutor, architect Mark Bagguley, students will design, construct and install the structure, which will open on Friday, 4 November for the start of the annual craft fair.

The contemporary architectural design explores a lightweight timber structure that combines traditional construction methods with digital fabrication processes.

Mr Bagguley said the 22 fourth-year students had worked in small teams and collectively to design, detail, fabricate and assemble the portal, which would be assessed as part of their course.

“They’ve created an experiential passage, which is whimsical and has a sense of wonderment about it,” he said.

“By combining digital design and material testing, maximum spans for the portal have been achieved using varying thicknesses of plywood, creating an inherent structural elegance.

“The students have worked to a client brief and budget, and they will be assessed on a range of measures including their handcrafting skills and their ability to bring the design to life using cutting-edge digital technology and production.”

Tasmanian Craft Fair Director Tim Biggs said the event had a 35-year history of providing a launchpad for innovative new products and businesses throughout the state.

“The event organisers feel it is their duty to continue this legacy, and this year worked with the University of Tasmania’s School of Architecture and Design to develop the structure,” he said.

The students were given a budget of $7000, which was deliberately restrictive to encourage innovation, but large enough to inspire the students to be flexible, Mr Biggs said.

Organisers are looking to raise funds to offset the cost of materials required to produce the structure, in order to invest the profits generated from the event ticket sales into community projects or causes, either locally or overseas.

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