Students are providing tough competition for design industry professionals, with a Victorian student design trio taking home top honours at the Australian Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 24-hour SuperStudio design competition.
Fifth-year landscape architecture students, Ben Kazacos and Brock Hogan, and fourth-yearyear interior design student Phoebe Baker-Gabb, all from RMIT University made up the winning team.
The competition design brief challenged designers to create a manifesto ‘describing the future of architecture as an artistic and professional pursuit.’
In response, the RMIT-based trio developed the concept of Mark, an installation that “aims to extend user engagement beyond physical interaction and perhaps beyond the life of the architecture itself.”
“Our final design, aptly named Mark, seeks to create architecture that is both personal and collective, specific and general,” the team members say.
The students’ submission shows their creative interpretation of the brief, with the jury lauding its ‘breadth of ideas, clarity of expression and potential for real-life application.’ This includes a near-physical embodiemnt of the brief through what the jury called a ‘sculptural drawing device and online image uploading system.’
While the SuperStudio competition lends itself to student designs, this is not the first time in recent times that design students have wowed the national industry.
Steven Vidovic and Kristina Taranto’s innovative concept allowed them to win the tender for Melbourne’s flagship People’s Market and Flea pop-up retail strip planned for Collingwood.
Vidovic, who recently completed his Masters studies and Taranto, who is in the final stages of completing hers, have taken a fresh approach to an up-and-coming sector of design, with their first entry into the design competition world demonstrating the duo’s winning combination of idealism and realism.
“We’re pretty excited – it’s the first competition we entered and won together,” says Taranto. “We were interested in it for the sustainability aspects of the brief and the chance to design for a young market. And the impermanence of the structures is an interesting design/build challenge.”
It is a credit to the Australian industry that leaders are able to look beyond experience levels in their search for true talent. With so-called ‘rookie’ designers producing quality work such as Mark and the People’s Market and Flea, the longevity of this industry is surely in safe hands.