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DESIGN COMPETITION EXHIBITION
2009 Design Challenge: Fire
Presented by the RMIT Design Research Institute
The 2009 Design Challenge: Fire has brought together a diverse range of researchers and experts to generate innovative transdisciplinary design projects in response to bushfires. This exhibition of the finalist teams' ideas is an insight into the role of design in fire prevention and planning, emergency response and the mitigation of fire impact and post-fire regeneration in our communities.
6.30-8.30pm, Tuesday 10 November 2009
11 Nov 2009 - 28 Feb 2010, 10am-5pm
Melbourne Museum, Discovery Centre, Lower Foyer
Nicholson St, Carlton, Victoria, Free Entry
Design Competition Website:
09 Design Challenge: Fire
DESIGN COMPETITION JURY:
Gavin Jennings, Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Innovation
Professor Margaret Gardner AO, RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President
Jenny Bonnin, City Director, Clinton Climate Change Initiative
Naomi Brown, CEO, Australian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council
Brandon Gien, Executive Director, Australian International Design Awards and General Manager, Corporate Services, Standards Australia
Justin Leonard, Research Scientist, CSIRO
Tim Shannon, Managing Director, Hassell
More than 75 researchers, industry and community experts collaborated in transdisciplinary teams and presented their ideas to the jury and the public as part of the 2009 State of Design Festival in July. Five teams were shortlisted and funded to develop their proposals further for the second stage, exhibited at the Melbourne Museum in November. The winning team received the RMIT Design Research Institute Challenge Award, a grant contribution to the value of $25,000 toward research and development of the proposal in 2010.
The Winners of the Design Challenge Award 09 were:
Team members: Firoz Alam, Jordi Beneyto-Ferre, Nigel Bertram (RMIT Architecture), Laura Harper (RMIT Architecture Alumni), Professor David Mainwaring (RMIT Applied Chemistry), Professor Robert Shanks, Victoria Smith and Associate Professor SueAnne Ware (RMIT Landscape Architecture)
What alternative strategies and tactics can designers employ at both domestic and infrastructural scales to reconsider fire diversion and site rehabilitation?
This project provides a strategic approach to:
* Increasing the amount of time available during fire events for evacuation
* Diverting fire components away from housing and road infrastructure
* Demarcating safe, visible passageways during fire events
* Ensuring post-fire site rehabilitation
In essence, the project re-purposes and reconsiders existing light weight polymer materials that are activated by fire-events. The polymers may be cast into screens, road barricades, and construction fencing which when heated during a fire event will transform into a protective porcelain membrane. The objects will then provide a diversion of fire components (embers, wind gusts, radiation) and augment the amount of time for evacuation as well as create way-finding devices in heavy smoke cover. After the fire, the material can be crushed to degrade into the soil where it can assist in rehabilitation by containing nutrients, wetting agents or even seeds. As such they can actively help to protect homes, communities, and infrastructure, and rehabilitate the immediate environment.
Shortlisted Exhibited projects included:
Communication and Community Shelter Networks: Smarter Stay Smarter Go
Team Members: Luke Adams, Travis Dean, Jacqueline Edge, Rory Fort, Stuart Harrison (RMIT Architecture) and Matt Tonner, Marcus White (RMIT Architecture)
How can vertically-integrated design enable the improvement of rural communities in terms of both fire protection and better connected sustainable and community-based living?
We propose a series of information networks that provide communication and shelter: connected nodes that manifest as both sensors and information ‘fire poles’, to be located at community bus and fire shelters, as well as on individual isolated rural properties. All data is networked; real-time data is shared with and interpreted by different organisations.
Design Challenge 09 Shortlisted Project Summaries
RMIT Design Research Institute
Compiled by Brent Allpress, RMIT Architecture Research Director