Sustainability will be a key theme of QUT’s 2021 Design Festival Showcase, which will feature graduating design students’ projects on biodiversity, turtle conservation, fashion waste, reimagining suburbs to connect more with nature, and much more.
From 29 November, virtual audiences will be able to view the work of students from the Architecture, Fashion, Industrial Design, Interaction Design, Interactive & Visual Design, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Visual Communication disciplines.
Interactive and visual design honours graduate Molly Border, for example, created Goodbye Polar Bear, Goodbye Orangutan, an interactive children's book on six environmental issues – habitat destruction, invasive species, pollution, population growth, over fishing and climate change.
“My project aims to educate younger generations on the loss of biodiversity and its causes, which are often related to the actions of humans. It’s a serious message but delivered with hope for change,” said Molly, who is now looking forward to a career as a graphic designer and illustrator with a focus on fashion.
Landscape architecture honours student Daniel Warner presents his vision for the Hamilton Precinct, which focuses on creating a mixed balance between green spaces and an urban lifestyle for life during and beyond the 2032 Brisbane Summer Olympic Games.
Incorporating pop art-inspired graphics, his project brings to life an athletes’ village and public spaces to accommodate fans, competitors, and local community within the area before, during and after the games which are being billed as the first climate positive summer Olympics.
Daniel’s design aims for a zero-carbon footprint, aided by 50 per cent tree cover throughout the site. A green network would also extend across the rooftops of apartments and major attractions, providing more benefits for the local environment and wildlife, and incorporating renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.
Another is a project by industrial design honours student Khoa Tran focuses on sea turtle conservation through improved design of global tracking devices to help mitigate adverse effects of climate change on their nesting habitats.
“One of the most common methods of conducting sea turtle research is the use of turtle satellite trackers or tags, which gather environmental, behavioural, and migratory data,” said Khoa.
“However, most of the current trackers on the market are extremely expensive and often irretrievable.”
Khoa embarked on a six-month research process which included conducting interviews with experts in sea turtle conservation and online questionnaires for the public. His resulting design is Abyss, a non-intrusive, enhanced pop-up satellite archival tag (PSAT).
“The product is also retrievable and reusable, providing great economic and environmental value. Abyss can be used in telemetry, maritime surveillance, and environmental monitoring,” said Khoa.
The QUT Design Festival also includes a public industry panel webinar discussing The Opportunities and Challenges for Design in Transitioning to Sustainable Futures on Wednesday December 1 (4pm-5pm).
The Head of School of Design, Professor Lisa Scharoun, said the festival would be a fitting farewell to QUT’s last group from the interactive and visual design major and mark the graduation of the first cohort from the two new majors – interaction design and visual communication.
Professor Scharoun will host the panel event which will feature industry leaders such as Marco Eychenne, Creative Director at Romeo Digital and Jonathan Tighe, Head of Industrial Design at Intellidesign.
“Designers of all types, across a vast range of industry, have an important role to play in leading the way with sustainable practices and principles. The bold ideas expressed by our students certainly reflect that,” said Professor Scharoun.
“This is a notion that also strongly aligns with the QUT vision to tackle global challenges and achieve sustainability through our research, teaching programs, campus operations and partnerships.”
Within the School of Architecture and Built Environment, students’ work from multiple cohorts will be showcased this year, including architecture, interior architecture, and landscape architecture.
Associate Professor Karen Vella, Head of the School of Architecture and Built Environment, said that although students in these majors have always participated in the Design Festival, it was the first year they were doing so as part of the new school.
“The School of Architecture and Built Environment is also hosting an awards event at The Cube at QUT to celebrate the work of select students and recognise the generous contributions and partnerships with Industry,” Professor Vella said.
Visit the QUT Design Festival to see more outstanding QUT student work and register now for The Opportunities and Challenges for Design in Transitioning to Sustainable Futures webinar panel talk.
Main image: Illustration from Goodbye Polar Bear, Goodbye Orangutan, an interactive children's book by QUT design graduate Molly Border
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