Grace focuses on architecture as a path to a sustainable future
Grace was one of the first students enrolled in the Bachelor of Design course, and is now in her final year of the degree. We caught up with her to find out how her skills have evolved and what her journey has been like so far.
Why did you choose to major in architecture?
I originally chose to do a double major in Architecture and Construction. I did this for a year and a half before deciding to transition Construction to a minor and really focus on the Architecture major.
I want to be a well-rounded designer, so I have found studying construction alongside architecture has equipped me with a greater understanding of the large-scale building industry. There is always more to be learnt.
Why did you decide to pursue the Bachelor of Design?
Both my parents work in the medical profession, and towards the end of school I was seriously considering that path for myself. However, I have always enjoying creative activities like drawing which I was able to pursue at high school through studying art.
For a long time, I never considered design as a potential future pathway. The driving factor for my final application was the launch of the new Bachelor of Design course in 2017, of which I became part of the first cohort. I was excited by the course being so recently updated and believed this new program would have more insight into the current need for future design graduates.
What was your favourite aspect of studying the Bachelor of Design?
The best thing about studying the program is the breadth of knowledge that I have gained about the built environment. Through my experiences in the many different subjects I feel I now have something to contribute and wish to share with others through my learning at university. This learning has pushed me creatively to produce work that surpasses anything I could have imagined previously. The rigor and dedication of other students has also pushed me to broaden my design thinking to not only include the taught knowledge, but to extend my designs beyond to try and produce something unique.
The exposure to the industry the program provides through guest crits, guest speakers, industry nights, internship subjects and more, provides students with greater knowledge of the wider industry and the magnitude of the roles and opportunities within.
Laser cut and 3D printed flexible pavilion model design by Grace for the Digital Design subject.
What are some of the skills you have learnt while studying the Bachelor of Design?
I think there are too many to list, but I have definitely gained technical skills like drawing, model making and digital technologies.
I have also continued to develop my communication and interpersonal skills through working collaboratively in class, and through studio culture in general, with presentations being an important part of the design process. I have learnt how to be critical of my own work to push a project harder in order to really get the most out of my time here at university.
What would be your dream project in your future career?
My dream project would be to design a self-sufficient environmentally sustainable cabin in the bush where I could personally go to connect back to nature and refresh before returning to the city.
Environmental sustainability is something that is very important to me and is a part of design that should always be considered in order to ensure a liveable future. It is an area of design that I would particularly like to pursue in my future.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to prospective students before starting the Bachelor of Design?
Be prepared to learn a lot but to also work hard. Unlike many other degrees where the content is given to you and you learn it, many design subjects require you to develop and create the content in the form of projects and a final design. This is not an easy task but an amazing challenge for those with a drive and passion to put in and have a go.
The University of Melbourne consistently ranks highly amongst Universities in Australia and the region. How important is it for you to graduate with a degree from a world standard university?
Three years may not seem like a long time to many people but as a student having entered my degree at 18, three years is a 1/6 of my life. I am proud of the time and effort I have put into my design degree and I appreciate that this will be recognised as being of world standard quality. This experience at Melbourne University has already set me on my path to have a career in architecture and design, potentially anywhere around the world, which is a thrilling thought.
Functional elevations of a speculative lattice communal space by Grace for Design Studio Gamma.
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