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Last night as part of Perth Design Week, Engineers Australia hosted a showcase celebrating the outcome of the first ‘Design Engineer Construct’ program piloted in Australia.

The program links practitioners and students who may be considering a career in Architectural Design, Engineering or Construction. It gives them a taste of what everyday life is like working in these fields and learn about the collaborative process that helps take their ideas from the page to reality.

Hames Sharley was among the industry practices that hosted students from Cecil Andrews College as they completed a holistic design brief for a recording studio and performing arts centre located in the recently redeveloped Subi-East precinct.

The students’ work commenced with a site visit to Subi-East, to understand the context of the site and the surrounding community. Each day they received a brief from different stakeholders and consultants with a deadline to meet each afternoon. At the end of the placement the students presented their models and concepts to a design review panel.

Hames Sharley Director Shannon O’Shea was among the industry hosts who shared their experiences, reflecting on the program’s role in engaging future STEM students and fostering their creativity.

“Design is a collaborative process with many players; by enabling students to walk in the shoes of the designer they gained the opportunity to listen, learn and enrich future communities,” she said.

“It’s an opportunity to ignite a spark in young designers and encourage them to ‘remain curious’; enabling the freedom to explore the unknown, complex and the uncertain, and to trust in the design process and take delight in surprising outcomes.”

The two-week placements with Cecil Andrews College were organised by Cohen Connect – a WA-based not-for-profit group of architects and urban planners who focus on connecting school students with professional organisations, and develop free training tools for teachers.

Cohen Connect aims to improve built environment design literacy in the broader community through secondary school-based education programs, including ‘Design Engineer Construct’.

You can find more information on their free school programs here.