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The NEXUS//1.5 collaboration strategy is committed to progressing Curtin’s School of Design and the Built Environment (DBE) delivery of excellence in teaching scholarship and innovative research through impactful industry partnerships. The project-based engagement framework will support realworld industry applied-delivery and outcome-driven approach, and spans the domains of – teaching, traditional and non-traditional research, that support industry-facing engagements. Developing discipline scholarship through partnerships in order to increase the opportunities for long-term collaborations to build and strengthen the school’s well-established inter-disciplinary commitment for the creation of an exchange through NEXUS between knowledge and practice across teaching and research.

The NEXUS//1.5 pre-industry collaboration supports the following themes/areas/topics:

> employing & discovering the winning edge
> building a winning culture
> long-term talent strategy
> work & research integrated scholarship
> learning beyond the classroom
> local practice to global mobility
> transitioning into industry
> good design leadership
> successful people, places and organisations

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Transformational Partnerships

“Interconnecting people, place and knowledge through project-based teaching, research and industry nexus”

The NEXUS//1.5 seeks to bridge this gap through several ways:
• Early intervention by exposing students to direct interactions with the industry by way of project collaborations in a Joint Venture (JV) arrangement;

• Vertical integration which supports cross-year collaborations on project-based knowledge & skills exchange;
• Cross-disciplinary transferable common skills and blending discipline practice (breaking down traditional boundaries);
• Enhance staff, students’ and industry knowledge of the local and build reach for global impact through real-world engagements and service – practical-applied research and teaching
• Establish long-term project-based collaborations for the advancement to research and teaching & learning excellence


The NEXUS//1.5 acts as a catalysing agent that generates and to seek opportunities that offer a common ground for mutual benefit, through co-deliver project-based partnerships. Architecture graduates are under immense pressure and facing tremendous competition to gain their Part 2.0 education, and this concern is trending on an unsustainable scale. In response, to this issue, the NEXUS//1.5 provides the intersection of Part 1.0 and Part 2.0 acting as the third space which offers agency for win-win partnerships and transferable operational processes to include:

• Tendering Submission & Bidding for the project
• Stakeholder engagement
• Projected Costings
• Value propositions
• Global perspective
• Knowledge through multi-disciplinary leadership
• Industry residencies and practicums

Extracted from 2020 Nexus 1.5 Treasuring Rotto











By looking at building a bridge, a NEXUS to develop a middle-ground “Part 1.5”.


Program Introduction

The original Architecture program offered through the West Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT), before it was Curtin University had established a course focussed on graduates educated with industryled
pedagogy. These ensured graduate architects were offered a balanced learning environment where theory and practice were not mutually exclusive, and rather, there was a blending of “theory in practice”
through learning by doing.The long establishment of the two-part learning process suggests that there would be a seamless, such as transitioning from high school into university. This, unfortunately, is not the case; the fact of the matter is that there is a disproportionate percentage of graduates to that of industry capacity to support these large numbers through in-house graduate transitioning programs. In addition, graduates on completion of their degree are to be self-sufficient in seeking out their opportunities for part 2 of their learning journey. This is not a sustainable transitioning scenario between part 1, and part 2 requires a rethinking to address this growing divide. The challenge for universities and industries are economically driven, and it is imperative that collaborative programs and projects in Part 1.5 deliver win-win partnerships. Whereby a mutually beneficial common ground is created with the view to a sustainable and long-term exchange, this could be formally established through a Memorandum of Understanding which would offer a clear and coordinated passage for transitioning from part 1 to part 2.

Image: Treasuring Rotto Project Design and Methods Studio Launch Day Flyer


Joint-Venture Partners

Student project teams will be under the ‘directorship’ of an architecture firm. The firms play an essential role in this project by providing high-level industry smarts. The importance of providing students the opportunity to have firms direct them through the development of a schematic design proposal as part of a ‘simulated design tender”: background research, aspirational brief, scope (schedule of accommodation), life-cycle considerations and feasibility analysis.

Several selected Perth based architecture practices have generously agreed to collaborate on this project. The practices will perform as “design directors” to guide the student design teams. Under the directorship of the practices, students will engage in the process of producing project schematics for simulated tendering/project bidding, in which Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) will be the client. The involvement of the practices provides an authenticated “pre-industry” experience – whereby all students and participating practices develop their designs with real-world parameters, standards and insights.

Image: Treasuring Rotto Project Launch Day Panel Discussion

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Rottnest Island Authority

The island with a thousand stories...

The geographical history of Rottnest Island has been dominated by changes in sea level. These changes occurred either as sea water became trapped and released when ice sheets advanced and retreated, or as the land slowly rose and fell in response to changing stresses in the earth's crust.

"Making an effort to conserve and sustain our environment has never been more important and the small steps we take today will greatly impact the futures of generations to come." (Rottnest Island)

Image: Curtin Rottnest Design Studio and Methods Site Visit 2020


Image: FORBO Flotex Flooring System

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Image: FORBO Flooring Systems Sustainability Work & Goals

FORBO Design Competiton

Surfacing Place Narrative (Design Brief)

The challenge for new designers is to rethink the capability of flooring materials to enhance the user experience and human engagement. There are all sorts of amazing things you can do with the design of Forbo’s flooring materials using digital print and waterjet cutting capabilities. This can then be used to trigger augmented and mixed reality apps.

Consider how you to transform the experience that visitors of the Rottnest Island Visitor Centre. How would the flooring enhance this?

We will offer a prize to the student who offers the most unique, future-focused and usercentred experience using Marmoleum or/and Flotex.


• At the project launch, FORBO, as part of design competition briefing will present some new and challenging ways of thinking about flooring; we will provide the project teams with a wide range of examples and samples to familiarise teams with our product range. You will receive lots of assistance and guidance on practical industrial issues and support design teams in any way to bring the potential of each team’s design to life. FORBO will provide relevant access to the research that is being done at Western Sydney University (WSU) in relation to ioT within flooring systems, “Codified intelligent Flooring System” (With provisional patent applies).

• FORBO will assist with supporting team conceive the physical space connecting it to limitless augmented other spaces (within the space)
• And if what the design team do is extraordinary and truly innovative, FORBO will continue to work with the project team post competition to further advance the concept.

FORBO are changing the way people think of flooring, and design teams have an opportunity to be on the ground floor of this innovation and disruption. We invite all members of the design teams to share in our vision by discovering ways to rethink floors and surfaces.

most wonderful UXD $1,000.00
commendation $500.00

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