The First Year Foundation Semester experience is focused through Design Studio & Communications and supported by Technology and History. Design Studio & Communications is delivered through three curated studio streams: ATLAS, ALGORIST & CODEX. The students are directed into studio groups which they remain in as they successively experience each design stream. Students experience each design stream for a duration of 4-6 weeks, cycling through all three design streams as they progress across the semester. Each cycle ends in a presentation of the student’s ideas and projects, and the semester culminates in the whole school End of Semester Exhibition.
From 2015-2018, the Lyon Housemusem was a project which provided the common ground for the collective experience of the design streams.
In 2010 the Melbourne architectural practice of Lyons completed the commission of the Lyon Housemuseum in the eastern Melbourne suburb of Kew. The Housemuseum was designed to accommodate the family of Corbett and Yueji Lyon and their substantial collection of Australian art.
The Housemuseum is described by the contraction of a domestic residence and art-museum. House and museum are not realised as two buildings or two distinct areas of the one building but are instead merged together as one experience. Corbett and Yueji intended, and have subsequently made, the Housemuseum available to be experienced by the public, enabling the art to be mediated by the presence of the domestic realm (kitchen sink and all) and the house to be interrogated by the presence of the collection of art.
The Housemuseum problematizes the relationship between perceived public and private realms of architecture; raises questions about the economy of the civic in the face of larger art institutions; examines the contribution that architecture may make to the shaping of social, cultural and political ideas; and offers enviable opportunity to conceive of the experience of architecture differently.