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THE MELB OU R N E R EVIEW N OVEMB ER 201 2

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UPPER HOUSE A stunning new apartment project from Piccolo on the edge of the CBD

Swinburne to THE WORLD Recent graduates in Technology and Design have gone on to outstanding careers.

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PLANNING IS FOR EXPERTS Byron George argues against too much populist input into planning decisions

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a livability conversation Jennifer Cunich encourages an open conversation around ways to develop Melbourne.

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58 the MELBOURNE REVIEW NOVEMBER 2012

FORM From Swinburne to Nike and the London Olympics

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need for a new pair of runners resulted in a Swinburne University of Technology Design graduate and former Melbourne resident landing a dream job with Nike ahead of this year’s London Olympics. Quan Payne had caught the travel bug and wasn’t planning to settle down into a regular job when the opportunity fronted in what he says was a “moment of weakness.” “I needed to buy new running shoes, so I went onto nike.com,” Quan said. “I saw the jobs button down the bottom and in a moment of weakness I clicked.” The first job that came up was for ‘Global Brand Art Director London Olympics 2012.’ Thinking it sounded interesting Quan sent through his resume and within hours got a call from Nike’s recruitment team. He flew to the United States for an interview and was offered the job. A month after searching for new runners, the 27-year-old who describes himself as “not a natural sports fan,” had a new job with one of the biggest sporting goods manufacturers in the world, and was moving from Cape Town, South Africa, to Portland, Oregon, in the USA. Being the Global Art Director for London 2012 involved developing the athlete and product direction, as well as the visual communication for the brand’s campaign and in store presence during this year’s most watched sporting event. “I would never have thought when I graduated that I would be sitting on a specially designed Mad Max style truck with a Phantom camera hanging from a boom out the back directing Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix running through the streets of Los Angeles,” he said.

“Standing outside Selfridges on Oxford Street in London, looking at a queue of young people that extended round the block waiting to get into a Nike pop-up store that contained creative that I made was something that I never experienced before.”

With a brief to build an international quality design studio and to transform the perception of the business by the consumer from archaic and elitist, to modern and accessible, the expectations were high with a design team with no prior agency experience.”

Quan was determined to make a successful career in Design even before the opportunity at Nike surfaced. After graduating in Communication Design, with Honours, from Swinburne, in 2006, Quan secured his first job at Frost Design in Sydney. “I became the youngest Design Director at Frost in 2007, where I took on at the time, Frost’s largest advertising account, the Northern Territory Tourism Commission, as well as working on numerous projects spanning branding, publication, web design, and environmental design.”

The opportunity saw Quan clock up more than 100,000 air miles, months living in hotel rooms and sets with more than 100 crew, but he said it was worth it.

In 2009 Quan was seconded as the consultant from Frost to guide Woolworths, South Africa, with the responsibility of across-business creative direction as well as overseeing and directing the construction and development of an internal design studio.

“Suddenly seeing things that you created appear across the city, including billboards and department stores, was amazing,” he said.

“With a brief to build an international quality design studio and to transform the perception of the business by the consumer from archaic and

Quan Payne

elitist, to modern and accessible, the expectations were high with a design team with no prior agency experience.” Woolworths in South Africa is a stark contrast to its namesake in Australia. The department stores are upmarket, similar to David Jones. He spent two years working with Woolworths, breaking down barriers along the way. “It is not easy for a designer to be accepted as equal in the corporate world, and it took me almost a year to build up lasting confidence in Woolworths South Africa, across all the category leadership all the way up to the CEO,” he said.

“This meant that I was able to help influence creative business decisions that changed the consumer perception of the brand dramatically over the two-year period I was there.” In the space of six years Quan has worked his way around the world but said there are still many challenges ahead. “In my career I’ve made it a point to work across as many different creative disciplines as possible. I’m hoping that my next step will be something that I never would have expected.”

Designing a dream

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ninth birthday present from her father of a domain name and mini website was what set Melbourne woman Alina Korovina on the path to a career in Design. Alina, who migrated from Russia to Melbourne when she was three years old, is currently studying for a Bachelor of Design (Digital Media Design) at Swinburne University of Technology. She says her love of drawing started at an early age and continued through her secondary school years, so it was a natural progression to study Design. “My ninth birthday present from my dad was my own domain name with a little mini website

set up on it, so he kind of pre-empted all of this,” Alina said. “The first couple of projects in year seven and eight were to build websites. I think probably about year ten or eleven it was pretty evident that it (Design) was where I was going to go. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.” Alina still has a website, alina.com.au although now it showcases her current projects and lets those visiting it get an insight into her bright, bubbly personality and love of animation. She is currently participating in an Industry Placement as part of her course and will return to university in 2013 to complete her Honours. Her industry placement is at Melbourne web


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Graduate Exhibitions 2012

design business Studio Moso, where she works as a multimedia design intern mainly working on web design. “Projects I’ve worked on include flash banners, web design and basic back end coding and some motion graphics work,” Alina said. “I have also worked on two TV commercials for car insurance company Shannons, while working here. Being employed in a studio full time this year has been an incredible experience.”

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The most invaluable aspect of the program has been gaining an insight into a specific area of the industry, and understanding precisely what Alina wants to pursue after graduation. “My skill set has been boosted and I have become more confident and a better communicator. The most invaluable aspect of the program has been gaining an insight into a specific area of the industry, and understanding precisely what I wish to pursue upon graduation. “This takes away a lot of the uncertainties I would have felt about what to do with my degree.” When she is not at her day job she partakes in her other passion, music. That involves spreading those precious few hours of her free time between strumming the guitar at home and following the local music scene. A self confessed cartoon fan, Alina has her aspirations set on a job in animation where she can let her creative juices run wild.

Alina Korovina

“At the moment I have got my sights set on working at an animation studio in New York called Buck,” she says. “I would be absolutely stoked if I ever set foot through those doors.” Buck is a design-driven production company that employs a collective of directors, producers, digital artists, graphic designers, illustrators and animators. The company specialises in animation and visual effects, and has a broad range of clients in the advertising, broadcast, film and entertainment industries. For the moment though that dream job will have to wait.

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ach year Swinburne University of Technology graduating Design, and Film and Television students, hold exhibitions and screenings of their work throughout November and December. This year a collection of work from final year, Honours and Masters students in Design and screenings of graduate films from Film and Television students, will be on display across Melbourne. The exhibitions are an opportunity for industry professionals and design lovers to be inspired by the work of emerging designers and celebrate excellence in the design field. Included in the exhibitions will be designs by eleven Swinburne Communication Design students that won awards at the recent 2012 Southern Cross Packaging Design Awards. Leah Baxter won Gold for her entry ‘Pu’erh,’ in the ‘Gourmet Coffee and Tea’ brief, which required aesthetically pleasing packaging with visual impact and which met safety requirements. The Film and Television Graduate Exhibition 2012 will feature the world-class productions of Swinburne’s Bachelor of Film and Television 2012 graduating students. This year has seen the School of Film and Television students and graduates win 31 international film awards. The best work of graduating students will be screened on December 17 at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Federation Square. Among the films being screened will be a short film produced by Film and Television student, Romilly Spiers, who took out the top award for Ten Quintillion, winning a Grand Remi for Experimental Film and Video at the 45th Annual Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival. Ten Quintillion is a nature film that uses innovative cinematography and sound techniques to explore the creatures and plants that inhabit the suburban garden. More information about the film screenings, exhibition times and locations can be found at swinburne.edu.au/design/events/graduateexhibitions-2012.html


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upper house launches on cbd doorstep

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structural masterpiece that keeps your head in the sky and your feet on the ground, Piccolo Developments is adding to the rich diversity of Carlton’s residential landscape with the launch of its stunning new boutique project Upper House. Located at 516-520 Swanston Street, where Carlton meets the CBD, Upper House sees the transformation of the former Electrical Trades Union Building into a landmark 17-level project featuring 110 high-end apartments. Upper House features two distinct offerings, The Cloud apartments which appear to levitate, floating as a cloud, above The Podium apartments. Nestled in between the two residential elements on the 11th floor is The Observatory, a unique concept where the entire level, more than 500sqm or 10% of the total project, has been dedicated to communal space. The area features an observatory, gymnasium, lounge, dining area, and a spectacular skyline garden. The green retreat showcases magnificent views of Melbourne’s CBD, north and Port Phillip Bay and will encourage a special sense of community among residents. Scheduled for completion in 2014, Upper House is leading the way in ambitious residential design. Such is the interest in Upper House, the project was

already 45% sold prior to its official launch. Two years in the planning, Upper House is the latest project from multi-award winning developer Piccolo, renowned as one of Victoria’s premier residential luxury property developers. A boutique family business, with Mima and Michael Piccolo at the helm, Piccolo Developments has completed more than 500 apartments over the past 10 years, many of them in their beloved Carlton. At the centerpiece of its portfolio is The Garden House (see The Melbourne Review, February 2012), which recently claimed accolades including the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) State and National Award for Best Medium Density Development and The President’s Award, Australia’s Most Outstanding Development. The project also received a commendation in the Property Development category, at the Australian Property Institute 2012 Excellence in Property Awards. Piccolo Developments secured award-winning architects Jackson Clements Burrows Architects ( JCB) to create Upper House. Distinguished for their exceptional architecture, interior and urban design, JCB has created an architectural point of difference with a scattering of balconies and windows that provides the Upper House façade with a three-dimensional quality – its own

topography. The sophisticated, elegant interior of the apartments showcases luxury living spaces and high quality finishes with signature items completed in black chrome. Piccolo Developments director Michael Piccolo said, “Piccolo Developments is dedicated to creating landmark properties that are timeless and inspiring, and are designed for busy 21st century lifestyles. Upper House is a boutique project that is spearheading a design revolution – it is innovative and has its own special identity. It combines location, luxury and, thanks to The Observatory level, a fresh twist on high-end urban apartment living. People who buy into Upper House will want to live here, not rent their properties out. We are very proud of Upper House.” Upper House is expected to appeal to young professionals and owner / occupiers looking for a luxury home on the lip of the CBD, as well as astute investors. The Podium (levels 1-10) features 60 one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments (with a floor area of 41-44sqm) and 30 two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments (floor area 53-57sqm). Apartments start from $380,000. The Cloud, spanning levels 12-17, features 20 two-bedroom, two bathroom apartments (floor area 64-65sqm) with prices starting from $700,000.

INFORMATION Located at 520 Swanston Street, Melbourne, the Upper House display suite is open daily from noon – 4pm. Selling Agents Colliers International can be contacted on 1300 863 520. upperhouse.com.au


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FORM modest projects. It’s fine when building a house in Ringwood, but not so good for adding a level to the back of a terrace in Fitzroy. This is why a strong and independent VCAT is so important. It removes the political aspects of the approval process, and measures each project independently by a member with years of experience in the planning system. This should be the starting point for planning reform in Victoria. Tailor the objectives of Rescode to each area so developments in Cremorne are treated differently to those in Cranbourne. Provide a balanced and objective framework for planning objections. Most of all, remove planning powers from elected local councillors. Robust debate is very important in the development of our city. Input from those who are directly affected (i.e., the local residents) is vitally important. The final say however, should be a balanced and considered approach that offers clarity and certainty for all parties – not a populist nod to the NIMBY set.

Melbourne, 1945. Courtesy of State Library of Victoria.

Somebody drew that Byron George

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his is going to sound ridiculous if quoted out of context, but hear me out. I think Italy’s current political situation should be the envy of the western world. Yes, the Italian economy is about as firm as a stale tiramisu; yes, the country was ruled by a leader more interested in pushing his own personal agenda than running the country; and yes, many Italians are frustrated and disillusioned by the political system. The difference is the country is now run not by an elected prime minister who also happens to own most of the private media, but by a technocrat and economist who is actually an expert in the field Italy most desperately needs. Fixing an economic mess. Skill 1, Populism, 0. It did take the tanking of the world financial system and the temporary shelving of democracy, but on the plus side, there is a newly blooming optimism on the streets of Rome.

I since learned that planning can work like this in parts of New South Wales. It’s about lobbying the councillors. In Victoria we have Rescode, which is supposed to provide a series of guidelines by which a project can be measured or designed. On the whole this works quite well. Local government elections can show the best and worst aspects of democracy. From a planning point of view, the level of government that offers the greatest access to the general public is also the part of our political system that is most at risk of political interference. In Stonnington, where I work and live, almost every candidate in the recent election ran on a platform that included stronger local controls on planning and campaigning to remove the power of VCAT to overturn local planning decisions. On the surface, this sounds like a good thing. It puts the power back to those directly elected. But planning is complicated. It’s about managing a multitude of often conflicting issues. On site amenity, overlooking, sun exposure to adjacent yards, urban scale, heritage, sustainability, traffic, existing fabric, flood plains, it goes on. These things should be managed by someone who is trained to do so. Particularly when you look at the level of investment required to build something. This investment is one of the biggest issues.

Byron George and partner Ryan Russell are directors of Russell & George, a design and architecture practice with offices in Melbourne and Rome. russellandgeorge.com

CHANGE YOUR SURROUNDINGS WITH A BUILT ENVIRONMENT DEGREE.

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This wasn’t the worst of it. A large waterfront development had three levels chopped off the top, despite the fact that it was the same height as buildings either side. It had a swimming pool added because one councillor decided it would be good for encouraging an active lifestyle, even though it was across the road from the beach and a public swimming pool. I have no issue with

The third item on the agenda was about a person who had illegally added a level to their house blocking several people’s view of the harbour. This was one area where you would have thought would have been relatively black and white. Surprisingly, the councillors decided to approve the development.

On top of this, the urban fabric in inner city areas means that it’s almost impossible to comply with all clauses of Rescode, even when doing

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Three years ago I was lucky enough to be part of a council planning meeting in inner Sydney for a small job I was doing at the time. My job was straightforward; we were asking for some external seating for a small (unlicenced) food premises in a busy shopping strip. This was supported by the planners in council, but objected to by local councillors, who stood up one by one showboating about how what we were doing would lead to the ruination of the neighbourhood. The reason? Young people would congregate and litter.

changes being made during the planning process if they mean that the development complies with carefully considered rules or responds to local context. I have a major problem with councillors using planning to perpetuate personal views.

Millions of dollars are often tied up in projects, and thousands of dollars in design and consultant fees, before something even comes close to getting out of the ground. Nothing kills a project like uncertainty.

Whether you’re completing an undergraduate qualification, or have been working in the industry, now’s the time to change your surroundings with an Architecture and Built Environment degree at Deakin University. Visit deakin.edu.au/scitech/arcmr or call 1300 DEGREE (1300 334 733) for more information.


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FORM Lifestyle Working Collins Street – setting the standard in sustainability

V Time for a livability conversation Jennifer Cunich

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s we head into the 21 century, Me l b o urn e cannot afford to adopt a narrow view about liveability. For the second year running, we have been named ‘The World’s Most Liveable City’ by the Economist’s Intelligence Unit (EIU) Liveability Ranking. Melbourne’s status as a world-class city has been the result of its smart and planned growth. It is something which we should be proud of. However, if we are to maintain our liveability edge, our vision for the future should comprise a clear set of priorities which continue to evolve with the times. In many ways, there is false security in being labelled the most liveable city in the world. The Economist’s ranking was intended to serve as a comparative guide for use by companies sending

their knowledge workers abroad. As such, the metrics reveal a prioritisation of certain liveability characteristics over others, and fails to account for some of the issues and shortcomings most keenly felt by long-term residents of a city. A look at other urban configurations shows us that liveability is a fluid concept with constantly changing parameters. The league table devised by architect and urban planner Filippo Lovato, for the Best City Contest in July, included in the rubrics a score for spatial features (green space, sprawl, natural assets, cultural assets, connectivity, isolation and pollution). The winner of his ‘Spatially Adjusted Livability Index’ surprisingly was Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated cities in the world. In order to plan for livability, we should be accounting for factors that demonstrate Melbourne’s capacity to manage the demands of future populations as well as current ones. Lovato’s Index provides a more rounded perspective on the idea of a livable city because it forces us to

rethink our agenda. Unlike the EIU’s listing which favoured ‘relatively low population density’, Lovato’s Index included aspects of urban planning as an important consideration for any city. As a result, it is important to remember that not all livability assessors define success the same way. Melbourne’s urban challenges are unique. Therefore, any definition of livability should be unique as well. As we plan for the future, Melbournians need to think carefully about how we can approach livability issues in the context of Melbourne’s future growth needs. The view of what makes Melbourne liveable will need to balance current realities with the necessary improvements required to meet future demand. Issues such as housing choice, transport connectivity, jobs growth, sustainability and infrastructure provision must all feature prominently. The Victorian Government’s recently released Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Strategy Discussion Paper makes a good start of beginning of this important community debate. I encourage all Victorians to read it and join the conversation about our city’s future.

INFORMATION Jennifer Cunich is Victorian Executive Director, Property Council of Australia propertyoz.com.au/vic

ictoria Harbour in Melbourne’s Docklands is setting a g lobal benchmark for urban development and environmentally sustainable design of built and open space. It is home to the highest concentration of green buildings in Australia. The innovative Lifestyle Working Collins Street project currently under construction will further contribute to the diversity of Victoria Harbour’s vibrant commercial offering by attracting small to medium business enterprises. The development is a creation by Lend Lease in collaboration with the Stable Group. The base principles guiding the design and operation of the Lifestyle Working Collins Street strata office concept are tangible and measurable value-add benefits - far more efficient space, low operating costs, leading edge technologies and ground breaking sustainable initiatives. Lifestyle Working Collins Street will be one of the few commercial strata office buildings to target NABERS 5-star Energy and Water rating and a minimum of 5 Star Green Star. The building has been designed with lower operating costs in mind. Reduced energy needs with extensive natural ventilation and supplementary solar energy are some of the initiatives that will help keep the operating costs down and contribute to stronger economic performance. Solar energy has been incorporated as a viable and established component within the design. A significant proportion of the base building energy requirements will be supported by an allocation of solar panels from the roof. The unique and groundbreaking innovation is the largest solar panel array on a building in Melbourne. Purchasers are able to buy their very own 1.5KvH solar lot, wired to their individual suite. During working hours, the suites are powered by the solar panels and when the suites aren’t in use, the solar power is fed back into the grid – a distinctive, valuable and measurable benefit. Lifestyle Working Collins Street suites start from $450,000. For further information visit lifestyleworkingcollinsstreet.com.au


Swinburne Design Graduate Exhibition. Imagination meets innovation at Swinburne University of Technology’s Design Graduate Exhibitions. Free and open to the public, our citywide series is a great opportunity to view the qualit y, breadth and creativity of work undertaken by our design students. Communication Design Wednesday 28 November – Sunday 2 December Digital Media Design Thursday 29 November – Friday 7 December Industrial Design Tuesday 27 – Wednesday 28 November Interior Design Friday 23 – Wednesday 28 November Product Design Engineering Wednesday 5 – Thursday 6 December

Visit our website for the most up-to-date information, including exhibition times and locations.

swinburne.edu.au/designexpo

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Form section The Melbourne Review November 2012