USC & Sunshine Coast Council Co-lab Studio


Multidisciplinary Design Process

In early 2019 the Sunshine Coast Council funded a cutting edge experimental design studio which was run as a capstone industry based subject for students at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Students were given the chance to work collaboratively with industry professionals to design something that would be built in a public place.

The subject was “Creativity, Design and Communication” and was a cross-disciplinary collaborative workshop that attracted students from courses as diverse as psychology, creative writing, media and screen production, urban planning, communication design and game design. The students came together to learn how to use design to help deliver a real world urban design project. The co-lab was inspired by the City Studio run from Vancouver Canada.

The urban design project was part of councils streetscape upgrade of Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs being the area in which the university is located. The students were given the task of designing a gateway entrance to the Sippy Downs suburb.

POMO was engaged to help guide the students through a process that would deliver place-driven urban design concepts. The students also gained access to two artist consultants, an indigenous consultant, a landscape architect from council and were supervised in the subject by two university staff, one from communication design and one from urban design and planning. Together this team worked closely with the students across an intense eight week period and together undertook:

>a cultural immersion tour to understand local indigenous history
>a lecture and input from artistic consultants to understand the role of creative practice and art in public places
>a formal lecture and mentorship from POMO to outline a design and research methodology that would help students to create realistic place-driven urban design concepts

Students were required to keep a creative journal, write a return brief which responded to the design challenges and prepare and present their final refined design concepts.

The outcomes from the students proved the value of cross-disciplinary thinking, contextualised to a local place and driven through POMO’s placemaking methodology.

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