Live Design 2017

After submitting the cut file, we took a short break to focus on uni and our #worklifebalance. We reconvened the week of the competition night to go over our plan. We built a 1:3 Scale model together to figure out where the challenges would lie and how we would allocate tasks.

Once we’d figured out our plan, we 3D printed our fastening parts and tested them to make sure they’d work. Finally, we printed a big batch of them and gathered the tools, beer and ice we’d need for the build.


The event was held at the Tonsley Innovation District – a former car manufacturing plant that’s been converted into a high-tech industrial facility for uni, tafe, business and events. It was much bigger than last year, with multiple food vendors, exhibits and many more competitors.

When we arrived, we helped setup the Uni SA exhibit, enjoyed a couple of drinks, met some of the other competitors, and went over our game-plan. We were informed that the material reacted differently than expected when cut and that some of the cuts hadn’t come out as we’d specified. We’d have to correct some of the slots to make them fit.

We worked well together as a team. The boys put the main structure together, while I built the smaller parts – all of us correcting cuts as we went, which was the main time-suck. The miss-cuts effected many teams, especially those with slot-heavy designs.

It wasn’t until we finished building that we were able to test whether it was going to work. It was so exciting that it actually did. We invited spectators to come and have a play and the atmosphere we generated in our little bubble was really fun.

We took it in turns to demonstrate the design while others were able to get some dinner and walk around. Finally seeing the other teams designs was astounding. There was a bar table with a built-in wine-bucket that looked so professional and functional that it blended into the space. I can’t fathom how they came up with their plan using off-axis planes. Our lecturer, Andrew Whittaker really pushed the material, managing to bend a large sheet of it to create a bike rack. There were so many incredible designs – once again, it was going to be some very stiff competition.

Our interactive beer-recycling game was well received enough for us to be awarded the people’s choice award. We were so elated that people enjoyed our design enough to vote for us, and Workspace presented us with some of their designer stools as a prize.

Much to our and our adorably-proud lecturer, Anna’s, delight, we were also awarded the main prize of first place with $1000 from HomeStart.

After last year’s event, I learned what is needed in order to win this competition; use the material efficiently, take advantage of its unique properties, communicate your design well and build it in a timely manner. More importantly, the event is about having fun, experimenting and collaborating. We tried to incorporate these qualities into our design, so that, win-or-lose, we could extend the qualities of collaboration, experimentation and fun to the spectators. We were elated with the win, but genuinely really pleased that people enjoyed interacting with our design.

Can’t wait for next year’s event! 😀


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