Reflections from student Brooke Mills

Professional Placement: Designing Our New Campus

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September 27, 2017

by Brooke Mills

I’m in my second year of studies at the Academy of Design Australia, majoring in Interior Design and sub-majoring in Graphic & Digital Design. I am doing a professional placement at Gray Puksand Architects, who have designed the new campus for Academy of Design Australia in the Foy and Gibson warehouse in Collingwood.

On my first day at Gray Puksand I sat in on the site meeting alongside the architect, engineer, project manager, client and building site manager. It was an interesting experience to hear all the issues that arise during construction, and the solutions. After the site meeting we walked through the building and catalogued issues that needed addressing back at the firm with the head architect. This was my first time on an active building site and it felt like home!

The building and site are incredible and quite complex given the rich history of the company, Foy & Gibson, that it was home to before. Although it is still under construction, you can see it starting to take shape and the elements they have kept and restored from the original building, like the bricks and the floorboards, which adds an amazing aesthetic and historic element to the design. The design has been well thought out and caters to our specific design needs. It will encourage and inspire brilliance in students.

After the site visit I spent the afternoon with the Gray Puksand Graphic Design Department and the grad students. I was shown through the design team’s usual projects and briefed on the specifications for their InDesign documents. I worked on ‘project pages’ for the new Academy campus, which showcase the firm’s past and current projects. These are posted online and put into project books. We chose professional photos from the files and created double page spreads and single page versions. We then inserted the typed copy from the marketing department and aligned it to the regulated layout.

As a current student of the LCI Education network [parent company of the Academy], it feels incredible to work alongside those responsible for the construction and design on this project. I have the ability to gain an inside view and perspective that most students do not have the luxury to obtain. Seeing the process of the construction and the amount of effort going into the design is a truly eye opening experience.

Practicing and working on small projects at Gray Puksand Architects has also been a good chance for me to better my skills. I wanted to challenge myself during my placement and hope to come out the other side stronger than going in.

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