NT SONA Upscale Winners 2020

Over the weekend, nearly 100 design students from across the country participated in phase 1 of the SONA build and design challenge, Upscale. Upscale aims to provide students with the opportunity to engage and collaborate with their peers, technical advisors and professionals from within the built environment.

This year the event was delivered virtually. While this presented some challenges, the refreshed program proved to have many rewarding benefits. With distance no longer a barrier, students were able to connect with mentors from all over Australia. The chapters combined their briefs and the judging panels were diverse, with representation from multiple states and territories on the panels.

The top team in each chapter will now see their design come to life through the build phase, where they will be involved in building their design. More details on this phase will come later in the year.

It was a fantastic program and we’d like to thank everyone for taking part. The event could not have gone ahead without the mentors and jury members who volunteered their time over the weekend to encourage students to think critically about design and innovation. Thank you to the SONA executive team and the network of SONA representatives across the country who worked tirelessly on the brief, and to chapter staff who helped to support the SONA teams to deliver a rewarding event.

Winning teams and commendations


View the local brief

Winning team: Stefano Verdi & Emmanuel Clarke
Proposal: Water Way 

2nd / Highly commended: Pio Gillamac III & Nicole Ng

Proposal: Agency in studio 


3rd / Highly commended: Jurse Salandanan & Mandy Kovarskis

Proposal: Honeycombe 


The winners, over and above, the national prizes also received the following donated by Rossi Architects

1st $150 Jackson Drawing Supplies + $200 towards build from Rossi Architects and Allison Stout

2nd $100 Jackson Drawing Supplies

3rd $50 Jackson Drawing Supplies

The NT would like to acknowledge and thank all of the Mentors and Jurys’ time, effort and support provided throughout the full weekend – we couldn’t have done it without you!


Rossi Kourounis – Rossi Architects

Rebecca Adams – Mode Design

Andrew Svenson – in4D

Vaughan Cockburn – Mode Design & EmAGN NT Chair

Allison Stout – GHDWoodhead NZ


Rossi Kourounis – Rossi Architects

Rebecca Adams – Mode Design


Read on to see the full list of 2020 SONA Upscale Chapter Winners.