‘Dirtybuoys’ cleans up in design contest
02 Aug 2011
By Bethany Williams
“Dirtybuoys” won the Urban Realities design challenge at Docklands last month.
The team won $20,000 for its design in the area in front of the Waterfront City Piazza.
The team created two walls, one of stacked clear plastic tubs and one of small sandwich bags pegged to a wire fence, filled with water from the harbour.
Melbourne Fringe CEO and member of the judging panel, Esther Anatolitis said the design was “sculptural, welcoming and curious”.
She said that the design responded to every aspect of the site brief, was striking in form and also presented an analysis of the surrounding area, which attracted and engaged people.
The challenge involved 10 teams, made-up of 100 participants from around the world, designing and creating a public space in Docklands over 72 hours.
Over the three days of the competition, the teams could be seen running around Docklands in white space-like suits.
The event was the project of the Office of Urban Transformations research (OUTr), which exists within RMIT University.
The Urban Realities design challenge was run in conjunction with the State of Design festival. Participants were required to respond to the festival theme “design that moves”.
Teams comprised students and professionals aged between 20 and 50, from disciplines including architecture, landscape architecture, art and design.
Competitors travelled from France, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Greece, Denmark, Singapore, America, New Zealand and around Australia to take part in the event.
According to OUTr research fellow Kathryn English, this is the first time a competition like this has been held in Melbourne.
The event shares similarities with the range of renovation, construction and design reality shows currently airing on television.
Like these reality shows, the teams were given a budget of $3000 to bring their ideas to life.
However, unlike television, the public was able to view the progress of each of the 10 sites in real-time.
Guided tours were provided for the public throughout the three days of construction. The tours visited each of the sites, allowing the public to see the development of the projects as they were realised.
According to Ms English, Docklands was chosen as it was an area of Melbourne that needed “activation”.
“There needs to be a project in Docklands that can really relate to the public and get people down there,” Ms English said.
“The design challenge offers alternate design solutions in a temporary manner, which might offer ideas for the future development of Docklands,” she said.
Ms English said that OUTr was hoping to get post-event permits to allow some of the Urban Realities sites to remain in Docklands.
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