15 November 2022

UniSA’s Design Construct team, led by UniSA architecture lecturer Joti Weijers-Coghlan, has been awarded a prestigious Australian Good Design Award for its work on the Fish River Ranger Accommodation project.

The project saw the Design Construct team upgrade the Aboriginal Ranger accommodation at the remote Fish River Station, Northern Territory, with both staff and students working together to create a new facility to meet the rangers' needs.

The team received the Good Design Award Gold Winner Accolade in the Architectural Design category for outstanding design and innovation, and the honour follows on from a number of other professional peer-reviewed awards.  

“This award further demonstrates that practice-based learning can integrate research and pedagogical aspirations to produce outcomes that are highly regarded by industry peers,” Weijers-Coghlan says.

“We offer students of architecture and design a unique experience to undertake the consultation, design and construction of projects, which have repeatedly received industry recognition for excellence.”

The Good Design Awards are the highest honour for design and innovation in the country and reward projects across 11 design disciplines covering more than 30 categories and sub-categories. The awards are the country’s oldest and most prestigious international awards for design and innovation, with a history dating back to 1958.

The Good Design Awards Jury said the Fish River Ranger Accommodation project was “an important piece of design resulting from a valuable process”.

“The partnership between staff and students from the University of South Australia for the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) has resulted in a beautiful, sustainable, and functional accommodation building at Fish River Station,” the jury’s statement read.

“The living conditions have been greatly improved with safer, cooler, more secure and more comfortable lodgements that were created with limited time and materials.

“The most notable part of the project is its scalable model that is repeatable in many locations across Australia. It has commendable potential to support Aboriginal rangers returning to country to re-establish important environmental and cultural practices.”

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