UNSW Industrial Design students have taken the humble barbeque to a new level, designing multicultural cooking facilities for Sydney’s local parks.

“The barbeques in our local parks look outdated and institutional and don’t reflect the needs of Sydney’s population,” says Industrial Design senior lecturer Dr Christian Tietz.

“We challenged students by briefing them to design public barbeques that encourage social interaction, sustainability and different styles of cooking, like Asian, kosher, vegetarian and halal.”

The students were also encouraged to include smart technologies, apps, induction heating and recycled materials in their designs.

Third-year Industrial Design student, Marc Abbott worked with fellow students, Yijia Zhang, James Perry, Will Andrews and Rong Pan to design a ‘complete outdoor cooking experience’ for the proposed nature walk in Kogarah’s Carss Park.

Their Insel design, meaning ‘island’ in German, is an elevated barbeque facility that juts out over the parks marshlands. The wooden panelled structure is solar powered and houses a galvanised steel barbeque and wooden tables and benches, while an LED display around the roof of the structure allows personalised messages to be displayed for birthdays and celebrations, and lights up to let park-users know when barbeques are free.


Cosea is a modern, powder-coated steel structure with a barbeque, sink, tables, benches and a surfboard rack.

“Our aim was to create a unique enclave, where families and friends can gather with all the required facilities in reach but still be embedded in nature,” says Abbott.

“We also focused on an inclusive design by making sure the barbeque was wheelchair-friendly and that we provided segmented cooktops to cater to different dietary needs and cooking styles.”

Industrial Design student Ibrahim Diaz and his team; Jeremy Hizkia, Josephine Wilandouw, Li Chenming and Faye Chen designed an outdoor cooking facility for Arthur Byrne Reserve at Maroubra beach.

Cosea is a modern, powder-coated steel structure with a barbeque, sink, tables, benches and a surfboard rack. Cosea also incorporates power outlets for electrical cooking, USB charging ports and LED lights that automatically turn on for night time cooking.

“Our team vision was to provide the best social outdoor experience at Maroubra Beach,” Diaz says of the multifunctional facility.

“Cooking, washing and disposing of waste properly is what every barbeque in Sydney should do and is what Cosea is all about.”

The students presented their final designs to a panel including Georges River Council staff and the managing director of Emerdyn, a park and street furniture manufacturer.

“The panel were extremely impressed with the students' thoughtful design responses and their grasp of the changing social and cultural demands on parks and recreation spaces,” said Tietz.

Georges River Council and Emerdyn have expressed interest in taking part in further projects with UNSW Industrial Design to encourage local councils to create public spaces that incorporate the diverse needs of their communities.