The two-week ARKNAT festival combines architecture with nature, inviting selected students to take part in interactive workshops and work with industry leaders as they design and build unique creations in a Swedish national park.

Burnett, who has been working at an architecture firm in Denmark, is one of 15 Architecture students from the Scandinavian region selected to take part in this year’s ARKNAT program.

ARKNAT 2017 festival in High Coast, Sweden

Burnett will be involved in project work designing and building a series of timber pavilions in Sweden’s national park on the High Coast.

“Don’t ask how an Australian student got selected but I’m looking forward to providing some unique insights from my experiences,” he said.

“Much of my recent interest lies in further understanding and exploring the relationship between Scandinavian and Australian architecture, particularly through the lens of timber construction.”

Burnett has spent a year travelling and completing a number of internships and elective subjects abroad. Last November, he took part in the Seidler International Design Studio in Venice and the Seidler International Study Tour in Vienna as an elective run by UNSW Built Environment.

He is now working in Copenhagen as an intern at Lendager Group, which he describes as a one-of-a-kind architectural firm that pioneers within sustainability, circular economies and resource efficiency.

 “They are doing some really interesting things, particularly in regard to circular economies and sustainable building,” he said.

Burnett said he had been inspired by the experience of working alongside architects, engineers, urban planners and consultants in a multidisciplinary team, and planned to share this collaborative approach when he returns to Australia.

He added that BE’s Architecture program had helped connect him to opportunities abroad.

Burnett began his Danish journey last semester following his selection to take part in the MADE by the Opera House program.

MADE (Multidisciplinary Australian Danish Exchange) is offered to Australian and Danish students of architecture, engineering and design (in the Built Environment faculty/division) in their second year of study or above. 

Each year, five students from a NSW university and five students from a Danish tertiary institution take part in the program in Denmark and Australia, continuing the international and interdisciplinary links first forged by Jørn Utzon’s masterpiece.

As part of the program, Burnett has engaged with all aspects of a multidisciplinary design process inspired by Utzon, by working alongside engineering firms and consultants such as Arup and Steensen Varming, and he urged students to apply for the MADE program.

“Many architects emphasise the importance of travelling and seeing the world, and UNSW Built Environment and MADE by the Sydney Opera House has given me a platform to do just that,” he said.

“It was an incredible experience, particularly spending a week living in and documenting Jørn Utzon’s summer house, Can Lis, on the Mallorca coast, meeting Jan Utzon, and visiting Utzon's projects in Denmark.”

Utzon Centre

Utzon Centre Roof

“I really look forward to taking my learnings and applying them to the Murcutt studio back at UNSW with a whole different perspective.”

Applications to take part in next year’s MADE by the Opera House program are open until 10 am on Monday 7 May. For more information, visit the MADE website.

The Bachelor of Architectural Studies at UNSW Built Environment will equip you with the skills to create inspiring architecture of social and environmental value.

Find out more about the course here.