Convocation of UWA Graduates

Pavilion Prize

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In 2010 the University of Western Australia's Cultural Precinct established an international design competition for an innovative temporary shelter design for Pacific Rim countries hit by disaster. The competition was open to recently graduated architectural students around the world.

The $10,000 prize was won by two Italian graduates, Elisa Mansutti and Luca Pavarin, graduates from the University of Udine, in north-east Italy. By using traditional Japanese techniques they designed a temporary shelter that is easy to construct, and displays many sustainable principles.

"We studied origami and its theory of self-supporting structures, in our architecture units," Luca said.

"It is a very simple structure to erect," Elisa said. "Just 13 aluminium poles in the ground, then the seams of the fabric will hold it up."

The honeycomb-like design provides for 12 private sleeping compartments around the outer part of the pavilion, with a big communal area in the middle. The designers were given a brief for an economical shelter (less than $12,000), easily deliverable to remote areas, and using green technologies.

They brought together the best of several tent designs, rejecting those that needed guy ropes and the traditional emergency tent that does not provide any private compartments. They adapted the idea of the nomadic tent, using layers of fabric, depending on the weather (ensuring their design could be made with different densities of fabric), and the family camping tent, which uses zips to enclose or open out areas of different sizes.

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