Hear from our students and graduates from the School of Design and the Built Environment and view examples of student work.
A marvel-ous journey
With audiences praising franchise game-changer Captain America: Civil War and gory smash hit Deadpool, it seems the superhero genre is only becoming more popular. To work on one film would be any fan’s dream, but for Curtin alumnus and visual effects sequence supervisor Brendan Seals, it’s part and parcel of his daily job.
Curtin students design new home for ‘bush’ university
Curtin University architecture students will design a new base for Nowanup Bush University, an important meeting place for Nyungar people located 50 kilometres west of Bremer Bay.
Deanne Neilson, BAppSc (Architecture)
“I’ve always had an interest in architecture, but coming home from three months in Europe with hundreds of photographs of buildings and very few of my friends was an epiphany about just how important it is to me.
As a mature age student with young children, the ability to change my course loads to suit my availability was fantastic. I’ve met many talented architects, both staff and fellow students, which has provided me with invaluable contacts and opened my mind to new ways of thinking and doing.
Completing this degree has been a challenging but rewarding and enjoyable journey. My advice for a prospective student considering this course is to be brave and don’t give up. Success is sweet but we learn so much from our failures. I look forward to continuing my journey in the Masters of Architecture program.”
Sarah Rosa Warren, BAppSc (Architecture)
“I feel passionately about cities that are well-designed, not just at a functional level but at socially and environmentally sustainable levels as well. Studying architecture enables me to develop a skill set with which I can contribute to the built environment and the development of cities in a meaningful way.
I’ve loved the opportunity to study with a broad range of interesting and talented lecturers and tutors. The diversity amongst the teaching staff has challenged me to understand architecture and the built environment in a rich and varied way.
My proudest moment at Curtin was working with a team of students and architectural practices in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with the architecture school’s Global Design Studio. Stepping into a new environment and collaborating with other talented students to solve a set of issues far removed from my own urban context was both humbling and gratifying.
The field of architecture is so diverse and interesting. It’s clichéd to say but I really feel that it’s the sort of degree where the more you put into it, the more you take away from it.”
Jessica Baller, BAppSc (Construction Management)
“The opportunity to study Construction Management at Curtin has been an amazing experience for me so far. In just 2 years, the course has given me an abundance of theoretical and relevant industry knowledge. I chose this course knowing that it would equip me with a range of skills, suited to a wide selection of job opportunities. I am thankful for all the extra training the university has provided, alongside the course in various softwares that will boost my employability in the industry.
One of my best experiences so far in the course, has been attending the international study trip to Singapore, where I gained knowledge of real world innovations in prefabrication and modular construction. Experiencing just some of the possibilities I have with Construction Management, especially internationally, has given me added motivation to aim for the honours stream in 4th year.”
Jordan Correia, BAppSc (Construction Management)
“Undertaking the Construction Management degree has enabled a greater sense of theoretical understanding towards everything that encompasses construction management and economics. Everything learnt at the university enables students to effectively apply themselves within a practical workplace on-site and within team environments. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone who wants to start a career within the building and construction sector because you’re provided with all the required tools and knowledge necessary to perform within a very challenging yet very rewarding industry.
It’s a competitive industry out there, why would an organisation hire you over someone else? Make the most of your opportunities, give everything you have towards what you do and being the best at it. Become a leader within the industry, be involved and change it for the better. Rewards/achievements will naturally follow.”
Meeting the mushroom girl: Q&A with Deanne Cheuk
Deanne Cheuk had no idea what graphic design was until she enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts at Curtin in 1992 and was told by her teacher that it could lead to a career in designing toothpaste cartons. She has since made a career that is outside any box as a New York-based art director, illustrator and artist, and has been commissioned by global companies including American Express, Levi’s, Lane Crawford, Microsoft, Dell, Nike, Target and Olay.
Sustaining an artful life
In a culture that encourages consumerism and conformity, it can be difficult to buck the trend and find threads that are ethically and well made, and aesthetically pleasing. Kate Hannah is a Perth-based designer whose textiles tick all the boxes. Her label, P’JUNK, is rebellious and sustainable fashion sourced predominantly from recycled and pre-loved materials.
Aussie designers a sheer success in Beijing
Curtin graduates have torn up the runway with their red-hot designs at China Graduate Fashion Week 2017.
Fashion mix sets students on path to success
Months of hard work and long hours came to a successful climax recently with Curtin University’s student fashion designers presenting their distinctive designs at an end of year showcase.
Sheridan Joyce, BA (Fashion)
Curtin University Fashion honours student Sheridan Joyce has recently been named as a finalist in the 2015 Frankfurt Style Award, the only representative from Australia in this year’s fashion contest. Her entry piece, entitled Alchemy, consists of a dress and jacket.
An impulse for discovery
Interior Architect Hami James is one of those fortunate professionals who followed a childhood passion towards a fulfilling career.
“At school I was particularly drawn to the creative arts and humanities based subjects,” says James. “So from a young age I always knew I wanted to do something creative and that led me to the interior architecture course at Curtin University.”
View work by our Interior Architecture students:
Taylor Clark, BAppSc (Interior Architecture) (Hons)
“Design has always been something I’ve been interested in, and the interior architecture course has given me the opportunity to combine that love for design and my drive to help others.”
If there are two things the course has taught me it’s that there’s not just one path for an interior architect/designer to take once graduating, and that we can use design to make a difference and improve the lives of people we interact with. There is so much more to the degree than meets the eye.
Studying at Curtin University has given me both the practical and research experience needed to be successful in my ﬁeld, along with great networking opportunities.
The degree has taken me on a journey not just as a student but as a designer, and I can happily say since graduating I feel prepared and comfortable to enter the design ﬁeld.”
Alex Frankcombe, BA (Urban and Regional Planning)
Following its success in cities around world, in 2015, SOUP finally arrived in Perth – brought and co-founded by Curtin alumnus Alex Frankcombe.
Digitisation is transforming built environment. Curtin’s School of Design and the Built Environment established the Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Cooperative to prepare students to meet the changing demands of the industry by providing mentoring opportunities from industry leaders through collaboration on high profile projects.
Luke Amplett, Civil Engineering
“The VDC Cooperative has helped me develop skills that have prepared me for work in a multidisciplinary design team in the industry. Both the collaborative working experience and the development of Building Information Modelling (BIM) skills are aspects that are highly relevant and applicable to current industry practises.
VDC gave me exposure to industry representatives and the students from other disciplines, which allowed me to better understand the thought processes and the needs of the disciplines which I will be working closely with once I qualify.
I feel that my involvement in this project has helped increase my employability as a graduate and as it helps develop skills and understanding that will be highly desirable by the industry.
A wide spanning and flexible subject, Mass Communication prepares you for a career across more than one area in the rapidly expanding field of media and corporate communication. This course provides you with key technological skills and knowledge, as well as an understanding of the issues and debates that concern media, communication and information in the world today.”
Roman Hohlbein, Master of Urban and Regional Planning
“Working with VDC is challenging and enjoyable at the same time and provides the opportunity to think outside the box. The interdisciplinary environment boosts rethinking of established ways of doing things and the different ways of thinking and approaching problem within our team has led to great working synergies.
As a Planning student, I have never been exposed to BIM. Taking part in VDC gave me a strong insight into this revolutionary technology that will eventually impact the planning profession.
My interdisciplinary team looked at the opportunities for saving resources through the reuse of often-used detail components in architectural drawings. I started the project with no expertise of detailing or the software but with help of our industry partner it did not take long to understand the issues.
I would recommend that everyone takes up the challenge and learn something new while making contact with partners in the industry.”
Thomas Metcalf, Construction Management and Economics
“I enjoyed working on a project that didn’t have defined outcomes. It challenged me to see how far I could progress and succeed at addressing the project scope; this style of learning has been so useful in developing my personal and professional skills.
VDC provides you with industry relevant skills, exposure to the most current technology, collaboration with students from other disciplines, and confidence to transition into the workplace.
It provides insight into:
- the operation of BIM driven projects
- the impact on how BIM projects are managed
- exposure to cross-disciplinary relationships and collaboration
- current issues produced as a result of new technologies
- the future direction of the industry and necessary career skills.
I learnt the importance of making BIM understandable and accessible to the project team, the importance of data integrity when dealing with BIM, and the benefits and shortfalls of working with other disciplines.”
Michael Montgomery, Civil and Construction Engineering
“VDC differs from your usual work experience roles and helps you develop communication and presentational skills and professional liaison skills.
The project has introduced me to working in a multidisciplinary, collaborative team. I have seen how these different disciplines such as architects and construction managers operate, what they are capable of, which has made the experience more beneficial.
I have been lucky to receive a project which uses BIM applications on site at the New Perth Stadium. The access to other young professional’s opinions which we would not otherwise receive has been a highlight.”
Aaron Woo, Construction Management and Economics
“I loved the opportunity to work with companies in the industry to solve a real problem they may be facing. You gain valuable experience in using and solving problems with virtual design and construction processes.
I have learnt a lot about the different softwares available for use in the construction industry to improve processes and now have a greater understanding of how BIM is used in construction projects, for example:
- How BIM can be utilised to take on site for subcontractor use.
- How to use BIM 360 Glue and Field.
- Using iPads for on-site model management, including the benefits and limitations of the software.
In determining the limitations of the software I learnt ways of working around the limitations in order to achieve desired functions. VDC Cooperative is an opportunity that is not provided anywhere else.”
Architectural entrepreneur builds watch brand
After being unable to find a style of watch that he liked, David Tomić decided to take matters into his own hands, launching his company, WHY Watches, to great success.
Through the Whiteman Park Redevelopment Project, Claire and other Curtin postgraduate architecture students were given the opportunity to take part in a design competition engineered by Jorge Ortega, Curtin co-tutor and senior design associate at Hassell, in collaboration with dual Olympian and President of Archery WA Deonne Bridger. It involved undertaking individual design projects based on a brief provided by real-world client, Whiteman Park, one of the largest metropolitan recreation and tourism reserves in the world*.
*Whiteman Park Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020
Stephen Arthur Genat, Master (Architecture)
“I wanted to work in a creative field that practically contributed to the lives of people and the city in which I live.
The best thing about this degree was acquiring a greater knowledge of the diverse forces that shape the built environment and developing a capacity to creatively and sensitively respond to those conditions.
I’d advise prospective students who are considering the Master of Architecture to have an informed opinion. Don’t take criticism personally and persevere, always.”
Callum Spurge, Master (Architecture)
“Studying architecture presented the perfect combination of creativity and pragmatism. I always had a keen interest in exploring creative concepts (through drawing and making) but also practical sciences. Architecture allowed me to engage both!
The best part about studying architecture was the community. Through this intensive experience we developed a close circle of like-minded peers who shared challenges.
My greatest achievement at Curtin was completing my fifth year dissertation. It allowed me to intensively explore a specific area of interest and was an incredibly unique opportunity for self-discovery.
My advice for prospective students? Learn with passion! Studying architecture is extremely rewarding, but you must give to it before it gives back to you.”