Upscale 2021 winners & commendations

Upscale is a student design challenge open to all SONA members.

Responding to a national brief, students in each state and territory came together for one day on Saturday 14 August to design and present their idea to a panel of judges. Upscale 2021 presented students with the opportunity to reimagine built outcomes into something that could shift the banality of our daily routines.

Due to restrictions on face to face events NSW, VIC, SA & TAS participants connected to Upscale virtually. Students in QLD, WA & NT were able to come together face to face in their states. 


Winning team: Hailey Hanney and Vivian Su, Curtin, USYD
Proposal: Passage of Portals
Project description: 
For this event we chose to replace the canopy/roof and waiting place at the train station. We have used materials and colours that are borrowed from Turner’s painting and the Firefly class train of the era, and portrayed the passing of time through a timber canopy that moves and changes as you walk along the platform.

We envisage the canopy over the seating area to change in colour as more green growth consumes it, which can be seen not only from the platform but also from the passing trains. We aim to bring a softness to the landscape and a shelter that will change with the passing of time.

2nd Place: Angela Xu and Thomas Li, University of Sydney.
Proposal: Tram Station.
Read the submission here.

3rd Place: Carson Kwong and Jenny Chan, University of NSW.
Proposal: REFUGE.
Read the submission here.


Winning team: Shuo (Kim) Ma and Anne-Marie Refalo, Monashh University and RMIT
Proposal: Waiting for a bus
Project description:
“Waiting for a bus” describes a moment that is typically mundane. This project aims to establish this moment in time as one which is inclusive for all members of a community; encouraging interaction with one another.
The bus stop allows one to have their own space while waiting, and at the same time also provides the opportunity to interact with others. The canopy takes up the entire width of the footpath. On the right-hand side, it transforms to seating whereas, on the left one is able to rest by standing up against it. Meanwhile, the designated path provides unobstructed access for people from all walks of life as they transition through the bus stop.
The curvaceous nature of the form is composed of aluminium hexagon panels, due to it being lightweight, durable and sustainable. The hexagon panels can fit into a prefabricated aluminium frame. Certain panels are transparent in materiality, to not only allow natural light to penetrate through but also to establish a greater connection to its surroundings. For nighttime, led lights have been inserted in-between the frame and panels to provide safe haven.

2nd Place: (Duke) Wang, Shirley Guo and Mason Mo, University of Melbourne.
Proposal: HIGHLIGHT.
Read the submission here.

3rd Place Quy (Quincy) Nguyen,  Nicholas Marchesan and (Brandan) Minh Tri Nguyen, University of Adelaide.
Proposal: Ignite Station.
Read the submission here.


Winning team: Rosalie Ward and Lachlan Larney-Dawson, University of Canberra
Proposal: Analogue : Digital stillness : Movement

Project description:

The project Analogue : Digital Stillness : Movement is a play on the act of waiting for a train. it embodies this sense of movement and illusion derived from Turners ‘Rain, steam and speed’ in a way that encompasses the nature of the wait but aos the endless flow of daily life. The project digression from digital to analogue, a moving and all-encompassing clock, within which a constantly changing expereince of light and perspective, begs for us to question both the intensity of our everyday lives and the need for stillness with those monotoneous moments.

2nd Place: Alexis Bocking, University of Canberra.
Proposal: Waiting Place.
Read the submission here.

3rd Place: Violet Minifie and Vatanhou Veng, University of Canberra.
Proposal: Reflection of Speed.
Read the submission here.


Winning team: Maddi Whish-Wilson, Josh Goddard and Lucy Stefanovic, Queensland University of Technology and University of Queensland
Proposal: FLOW
Project description:
One can assume that daily life can sometimes be a consistent banality. However, using the means of the present to result in a future, where the unknown lies, it is demonstrated by forgetting about the past and resolving the common standstill that people endure. What is meant by this is the human experience of the present, is compromised by excessive phone use or distractions that place users at a halt in time. Hence, to allow this sense of time to motion, MJL Architecture propose a roof/canopy design with interactive flaps going with the wind to promote a sense of continuum. In this exploration through the artwork of Turner’s ‘Rain, Steam and Speed’, we observe that to move onto the possibilities grasped by the future, one must forget about the past and demonstrate a strong present proposal. We introduce FLOW, an enhanced human experience to capture “the passing of time” and the joy of movement.

2nd Place: Sionnan Gresham, Kefan Ren and Melanie Lay, University of Queensland.
Proposal by IGNIS Design Group.
Read the submission here.

3rd Place: Maitri Gohel, Chi Nguyen and Tim Young, Queensland University of Technology.
Proposal: Paint Your Commute.
Read the submission here.


Winning team: Tylah Goldwyer Christian Gelavis, Curtin University and University of Western Australia
Proposal: Wind Wave

2nd Place: O’Neil Chon and Glen Amudo, Notre Dame University.
Proposal: Serpent Waypoint.
Read the submission here.

3rd Place: Marco Pansini, Curtin University.
Read the submission here.


Winning team: Gary Villar and Pio Gillamac, Charles Darwin University
Proposal: Ground, Wind & Wall

Project description:

EXPOSED; FAMILIAR BUT ANONYMOUS Being in the middle of a busy thoroughfare, the site is exposed to the rushing breezes of passing cars, the pedestrian all but naked and vulnerable. As a liminal space, it silently screams of its banality. OUR PROVOCATION What made the most sense was to create shelter from this pedestrian aggressive site. WALL BECOMES GROUND AND GROUND BECOMES WALL: Conceptually, this new shelter ought to have a face, to greet the transient; beckoning them forward and waving them farewell. Kinetic flaps that reveal the wind provides a tactile texture to the structure.

2nd Place: Jenny Jan and Rebecca McDonald, Curtin University and Charles Darwin University.
Proposal: Bus stop.
Read the submission here.

3rd Place:  Swetha Bhupathi and Mandy Kovarksis, Charles Darwin University.
Proposal: Gola Pagola.
Read the submission here.