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
Highly commended: Jurse Salandanan & Mandy Kovarskis, CDU
Highly commended: Pio Gillamac III & Nicole Ng, CDU
Proposal: Agency in studio
Winning team: Anish MIstry, UniSA & Keneil Jiwan, UniSA Proposal: Social Juxtapose
Highly commended: Anwi Widjanarko – Torrens
Winning team: Nina Annand & Haki George, University of Tasmania
Highly commended: Elissa Stapleton
Proposal: A&D Falls
Highly commended: Hazma Iqbal
Proposal: Interactive Spaces
Highly commended: Ivan Haynes
Proposal: Growing Beach
SEE-SAW is a direct response to the immediate effects of COVID-19 in a social context, from distancing habits, greetings, and small interactions of everyday occurrences.
Focussing on short or long interactions, this response encourages potential play between two people without awkward exchanges or one-liners. Situated between the paths of both master and graduate students, this timber built see-saw allows users to interact together by attempting to balance the ball in the middle of the beam. The game also encourages a single person to interact, as isolation anxiety may have social impacts on many for the foreseeable future.
Winning team: Eric Nguyen, UQ; Michelle Chuong, QUT; Samantha Lei, UQ
Proposal: See • Saw
Highly commended: Jake Almeida, QUT & Emerson Roqica, QUT
Highly commended: Emilie Hildebrant, Lara Rann & Siubhan Rudge UQ
See • Saw— the middle ground for balancing work life • private life as well as social distancing • human interaction.
In these challenging times of recent COVID-19 pandemic, humans are ever-more alienated from their peers and surroundings; basic human interaction and communication is interrupted by the need to distance and isolate.
See•Saw seeks opportunity in balancing the polarizing nature of distance and human contact through mediation of social distancing restrictions and engagement of much-needed human interaction with others.
By respecting the distancing requirements for social interaction, See • Saw embraces the notion of ‘renewal’ by challenging the linearity of the traditional seesaw whilst introducing the themes of inclusivity and playfulness in seeking to reminisce on the simpler and sweeter childhood memories of the user’s past.
Through a series of iterations, See • Saw takes on a circular waffle slab allowing for 4 and more users seated at once. With the diameter spanning 1.8 m, the form of See • Saw takes on the responsibility to generate a bond from the users to the design.
Winning team: Benjamin Chatfield & Jessica Hordern, Monash University
Proposal: Together Apart
Highly commended: Wendy Lin & Maria Camacho, University of Melbourne
Together apart is a project designed to reintegrate medical workers into society post-COVID19. Medical workers have been praised and feared for their work during the pandemic. The project features two parallel pathways separated by vertical slats with gaps between to partially but not completely separate people. As people move through the paths, they rotate horizontal members. These horizontal members pivot to against the walls, further breaking up and obscuring some elements from view. As people move through, these glimpses allow for gradual reintroduction into society through an interactive process.
Highly commended: Anwi Widjanarko – Torrens
Our proposal gives fresh life to the working from home environment, by offering an elevated working from home platform with rotatable side panels. We considered the traditional divide between home and work and explored ways to create a boundary within the home. The step is almost symbolic, entering the workspace, and provides much needed storage space for students and teachers. Rotating panels provide the user with the ability to refine the amount of light, air, views and sound, while also allowing the pod to be closed off when not in use.