As part of Powerhouse Museums recent ‘2013 Sydney Design’, UNSW Built Environment students received the great honour to collaborate with Healthabitat on the design, assembly  and installation of a specially commissioned exhibition. One of only three groups invited to exhibit to demonstrate socially responsible design, the exhibition with its theme of ‘Housing for Health – the luxury of a wash’ engaged visitors in how design and its practice can improve the health of people living in poverty.

Led by BE staff, Ann Quinlan and Linda Corkery, with Paul Pholeros, Heleana Genaus and Greg Norman of Healthabitat, twenty three Architecture, Architectural Computing, Interior Architecture and Construction Management undergraduate students worked collaboratively in six teams in an intensive studio to meet the Powerhouse Museum’s 3 x 3 x 3 curatorial brief.  Students were required to both demonstrate how the built environment impacts upon health and to engage visitors with the installation, to understand the link between a specific illness and design solution. They also needed to send visitors home with a ‘message’ they can apply in their own environments and importantly to install elements to be effectively designed for reuse, recyclability and easy transportation, locally, nationally and internationally.

Combining their key concepts into one design proposal, students worked with the advice of structural engineer John Carrick to develop, experiment and test an installation composed of portable and easily assembled Atlantis modules.

Students’ involvement in the project was as part of the UNSW BE interdisciplinary initiative BEOutThere!, in which students collaborate with community partners on projects that address social challenges. The initiative exposes students to opportunities that can empower design for social impact, capacity and inclusion. It also increases their awareness of their future roles as thoughtful global citizens and professionals of design collaboration in an interdisciplinary context. 

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UNSW BE Students involved:

Agnes Carissa | Nadia Hendryani | Jennifer Yung Chun Su | Erino Sugisaki | Mariani Suwardi | Grace Eun Hae Kim | Yvonne Xueying Li | Julie Lien | Lisa Cohen | Simone Daly-Sorokowski | Nidia MartinsJerome Saad | Ashleigh Broady | Tiana Giacomazzi | Nathan Woellner | Shanny Lam | Tracey Lau | Shaun Taylor | Ricky Wei Xi Zhao | Sonia Bloch | Lauren Burke | Yijun Li | Ranmalie Mataraarachchi