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Event Description:

Have you ever wondered what you’d be doing on a project team? Or where your discipline fits in?

5 Industry panellists from ASPECT Studios, Donald Cant Watts Corke, Greenaway Architects, Lyons, and The University of Melbourne will answer your questions and discuss how the consultant team are collaborating to deliver the New Student Precinct. 

Through a Q+A panel discussion hear how unique project issues were resolved through multi-disciplinary collaboration and learn about the roles and responsibilities of different disciplines in the context of a major project.

Panellist Details:


Director, ASPECT Studios

Role on the New Student Precinct: 

ASPECT Studios, in collaboration with GLAS Landscape architects, were the lead Landscape Architects for the New Student Precinct project. Our role in the project was to work collaboratively within the broader design team and stakeholder group to create a unified “cultural terrain” reconciling indigenous and existing landscapes to link the New Student Precinct with the broader campus from Grattan and Swanston Street and beyond.

From your perspective, what value did multidisciplinary collaboration have on improving the outcomes of the project?  

We had a dynamic and collaborative environment working together with several different architects and a host of stakeholder and student groups on the NSP project. This was a challenging but valuable process and enriched the design outcome. All involved were there to offer a different perspective and bring unique ideas to the table. Sometimes this thinking shifted or views from differing groups varied so as a design team we had to wrestle with this and constantly challenge our design to find the right balance. Having open, inclusive and informative workshops at all levels of engagement allowed the design team to see through the eyes of others and bring these discussions and ideas to life.


Director in Charge, Donald Cant Watts Corke

Role on the New Student Precinct: 

The DCWC team were responsible for overall project management of the Design Stages, tendering, contract award and are currently administrating the Design and Construct contract.  Our role is to establish the framework, roles and responsibilities and program for all required inputs and deliverables.  We work in collaboration with the University project teams and Stakeholder Groups. We monitor cost, quality, timing and risks cross all the project streams to make sure everything stays on track.  A good project manager is like the conductor of an orchestra rather than a player of any single instrument.

From your perspective, what value did multidisciplinary collaboration have on improving the outcomes of the project?  

Working on the NSP has been one of the most rewarding projects to work on.  This is due to the amount of varied consultants, stakeholders and contributors involved along the journey.  A collaborative approach was established very early in the piece which allowed each discipline to add the most value and be respected for their field of expertise.  A number of design firms were brought together to ensure a diversity of ideas and outcomes.  Each practice worked differently and brought differing views and approaches.  Bringing all these together was both challenging and rewarding.  There weren’t many dull moments along the way.  The NSP project has certainly set a high bar in regards to working in collaboration towards a single end outcome.


Founding Director, Greenaway Architects

Role on the New Student Precinct: 

Greenaway Architects were engaged across two domains, namely as part of the design consortia, being architects/interior designers for Murrup Barak building, as well as collaborators (with Greenshoot Consulting) in developing the integrated Indigenous engagement strategy across the entire precinct. Additionally, we provided consortia wide integration of Indigenous design thinking within the project.

From your perspective, what value did multidisciplinary collaboration have on improving the outcomes of the project?  

An integrated collaborative model was the only logical methodology for the New Student Precinct, to ensure project success. The ability to translate the social complex contexts through meaningful design action, is best undertaken where strategic thinking and multiple skills coalesce around big ideas and a diversity of viewpoints. The value lies in the ability of large teams, with broad subject expertise, to have a unified approach while understanding that in the context of a University project that such built form outcomes can become an enabler for design leadership and transformative change while understanding that a meaningful connection too Country is key.


Director, Lyons


Project Director, Estate Planning and Development, The University of Melbourne

Role on the New Student Precinct: 

Alex Kennedy has extensive experience in the strategic setting, design and development of complex major capital projects, and brings best practice approaches to Indigenous, environmental, inclusive and user-centred design to the University. Alex has been responsible for complex national and international projects and managing relationships with diverse partners, including from corporate, tertiary, cultural and development sectors, as well as philanthropic organisations and donors.

From your perspective, what value did multidisciplinary collaboration have on improving the outcomes of the project?  

As the University’s first Precinct-scale development, multidisciplinary collaboration has been vital in ensuring that the New Student Precinct delivers excellent outcomes across the project’s many streams including sustainability, food and retail, inclusive design, and student amenity. A consortium of seven architects are engaged to respond to a highly-complex project over seven buildings and landscape, with consultants and subject-matter experts involved across the project’s multiple disciplines continuously ensuring best-practice, while co-creation with over 15,700 students engaged to date and unprecedented indigenous engagement has worked to ensure the student voice is prioritised throughuser-centred design.

Image credits: Lyons + Koning Eizenberg Architecture with NMBW Architecture Studio, Architects EAT, Greenaway Architects and Aspect Studio with GLAS, New Student Precinct Project, The University of Melbourne

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