11 July 2012

For people displaced by natural disasters, there really is no place like home - even if it is just a temporary one.

A documentary by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) design students and staff focusing on the role of design in meeting the needs of people displaced by natural disasters will be showcased at this year's national Emergency Shelter Exhibition (ESE).

The documentary, which was overseen by architecture lecturers Glenda Caldwell and Lindy Osborne from QUT's School of Design, will be aired in the Modulo Shelter, designed by BeCollective.

Ms Caldwell said a number of mock design projects, which form the basis of Bouncing Back: Recovery Through Design and Making, were spawned in the wake of last year's Brisbane floods.

"It was certainly something that none of us will forget in a hurry," she said.

"And going through that helped many of us realise the challenges in dealing with the need for emergency shelters - there were more issues than we could ever have imagined."

The documentary, containing footage from last year's ESE, is accompanied by a musical score written by a handful of QUT design staff, including the Head of School, Paul Sanders.

"It was really nice to see how multiple academics and students were able to come together to make this project happen," Ms Caldwell said.

"Hopefully one of the things that will come out of these projects will be a raised awareness which will get people talking about alternatives."

The ESE, which is a charitable exhibition showcasing the work of architects and designers throughout Australia will travel to Brisbane for the first time this month, setting up shop at King George Square between July 17 and 20.

Bouncing Back: Recovery Through Design and Making can be found on YouTube.

Students wanting to take part in this year's ESE exhibition with QUT sessional academic and managing director of BeCollective John Tuxworth, can contact the student representative Alex Dickinson at

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Media contact: Alita Pashley, QUT media officer, 07 3138 1841 or

QUT architecture lecturer Glenda Caldwell with students (from left to right) Brendan Woodley, Louise Barbour, Amos Shirreff and Jessica Ellis