Arts Update May 2014

Page 4

Design thinking lead s to school communit y garden Students at Pimpama State Secondary College (PSSC) are tackling big issues such as the social and environmental implications of land development, ownership and urban sprawl thanks to a project funded by Arts Queensland’s Artist in Residence (AIR) program.

The aim is to have the students grow their own fruit and vegetables as a way of understanding design thinking and how it can meet a community need. The project also allows for further development with plans to manage fish in an aquaponics system, introduce native bees to propagate the plants and perhaps even host a market stall with the produce as a way of engaging with community.

Led by passionate teacher Adam Jefford, Head of Creative Industries at PSSC, the students worked with Gold Coast-based designer Tristan Schultz through a design thinking process over the course of six months to develop a project to engage with and build local community. The outcome of this project design process was a community garden that is now becoming a reality.

Adam says the AIR program enabled the school to meet a need that they had identified in their community. “We saw a need for discussion around what a community is and how the students can engage with a space that changes and develops almost daily,” he explains.

The school’s introduction of a Design Excellence Program this year saw an opportunity for Adam to fast track his students through the process of designing, developing and eventually building an organic school garden.

“It was important to us to have an artist/designer as project lead who worked in our area to help us model and promote career pathways and this was certainly achievable with Tristan Schultz based on the Gold Coast.”

PSSC students build the AIR led community garden. Photos courtesy PSSC.