UTS DAB students? They’ve got it MADE
Summering on the Mallorcan coast in winter. Designing human-centred spaces using engineered timber. Engaging with truly multidisciplinary design in the footsteps of Jørn Utzon. Welcome to MADE by the Sydney Opera House, a cultural exchange between Australia and Denmark that’s calling on the best and brightest UTS design, architecture and engineering students.
In January this year, UTS DAB students Rose Montgomery and Jeffrey Tighe found themselves part of the 2018 MADE cohort, travelling to Denmark for a six-week immersive design program hosted by architecture firm CF Møller.
MADE is focused on maintaining the links between Australia and Denmark that were forged by Jørn Utzon’s design of the Sydney Opera House. Each cohort is comprised of five students from architecture, design and engineering backgrounds who work together on a multidisciplinary design project as part of the scholarship program.
“When I first heard about it, it piqued my interest in terms of performative design and looking at Jørn Utzon’s design principles, and because it involved working with a broad range of people across different disciplines,” says Montgomery, now a graduate of the UTS Bachelor of Interior and Spatial Design*.
Putting together my portfolio for the application, everything just hit me how many varied skills I’ve actually learnt through spatial design at UTS, from digital and analogue modelling and atmospheric analysis, to the experiences I’ve had overseas.
In the week before MADE began, the five students spent a week at Utzon’s famed family holiday home, Can Lis, on the Mallorcan coast. As well as getting to know one another before the program formally commenced, the students also completed a video project on the relationship between Can Lis and the surrounding landscape.
Next, they travelled to Denmark for a six-week placement at Danish architectural firm CF Møller. The core of the placement was a multidisciplinary project brief that the students worked on throughout their placement, delivering a presentation to the CF Møller team on the last day of the program.
“The project brief was to develop some student housing that incorporated timber into the design. The expectation was that we kind of took the reins from there and developed the project as we saw fit,” says Tighe, who is currently finishing a Master of Architecture at UTS.
To supplement the project experience, the students also attended a range of study tours, masterclasses and workshops with a range of leading built environment professionals and organisations, including Arup and Steensen Varming, and got a firsthand taste of life in a major architecture firm.
Now back in Australia, Montgomery has had a bit of time to reflect on what it means to be part of MADE, and how UTS prepared her to make the most of her experience.
“Putting together my portfolio for the application, everything just hit me how many varied skills I’ve actually learnt through spatial design at UTS, from digital and analogue modelling and atmospheric analysis to the experiences I’ve had overseas,” she says.
“The breadth of skill I came out of that degree with definitely got me a place in the team, but it really showed when I got there that I could stand up against the kind of tough design approaches we went through.”
But it’s not ever yet: the Danish cohort of the 2018 MADE program is set to arrive in Sydney soon, and Tighe intends to repay the hospitality he was shown during his time in Denmark.
“One of the really big things about MADE is that it’s not just the six-week program. It’s actually a 10-year exercise, so the journey doesn’t really stop when you finish the six weeks. There’s another five years at least for me involving myself with the program in various ways,” he says.
Tighe is now completing his final semester of the Master of Architecture. Montgomery completed her Bachelor of Interior and Spatial Design*, Bachelor of International Studies in 2017 and is now studying a Master of Set Design at NIDA.
* Now Bachelor of Design in Interior Architecture.