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UWA Architecture Showcase: Designing the future of energy

Last week we recognised 23 University of Western Australia (UWA) architecture students for their bold and thought-provoking green energy concepts.

The 23 students were challenged to create practical design solutions that had minimal environmental impact, could be delivered in two sea containers and constructed with minimal expertise.

UWA School of Design lecturers Mark Jecks and Craig McCormack designed the 2019 Summer Studio challenge on the Albany region; a community in an ecologically sensitive region, poised to undergo significant population growth and keen to embrace green energy technologies.

“The exhibition showcased seven design concepts that offer self-sustainable energy solutions for the Albany community, offering the region the opportunity to be a future climate refuge,” said Tracy Deveugle-Frink, Head of Change & Innovation.

“We brought the students in to present their work to our planning engineers, and they were impressed with the vision and creativity on show.”

At the showcase awards night Team 3 — Sarah Brooke, Misty Allan, Grace Kocsis and Shamillia Rosario — were clear winners with Western Power staff voting them as People’s Choice Winners and the Team Award.

The team’s design created a self-sustainable community with the existing Worsten & Wollen Mills building as the hub. The community included pre-fabricated homes, a public area, the Mount Clarence seedbank and a port facility to enable transport and construction of the community.

The winning green energy solution

Team 3 member Sarah Brooke took out the Individual Award for the stunning presentation of a complex and detailed design of a ‘system of community’ adjacent to the Worsten & Wollen Mills building.

“It’s really exciting to see the way the students approached this opportunity for the region – it’s something the local community in Albany feel very strongly about,” said Tracy.

“This also a great opportunity to begin to change the perspective of electricity from being a utility to an integral part of the community that facilitates growth and development.

“We can all work together to apply new ways of thinking to craft the future of our communities, with energy being a key input.”

As our community has changed, adapted and evolved, so have we — constantly reinventing ourselves to power the next generation of growth. Most importantly, we need bold, new ideas to continue this growth. The students at UWA School of Design have presented us with a fresh perspective on the potential of our network in the future.

We will partner with UWA School of Design over the next few years to explore other opportunities to inject new ways of thinking into the way we design our future network.

Find out more about Western Power's innovative trials and projects. 

Team 3 were the overall winners

Team 3 were the overall winners. Sarah Brooke (left) took out the Individual Award.