Interior Design Impact
Studiofive by PTID
Design statement —
Studiofive is a teaching, research and engagement centre, based in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE), repurposed from an existing office building.
From its early inceptions, the project took as its underpinning a need to design for a future that is not yet known. Studiofive’s core deliverable is arts teaching at the MGSE, however, through PTID’S in-depth briefing, the design team uncovered a broader aspiration that was distilled into five domains: Space, Pedagogy, Artistry, Community and Engagement. Space is innovative, flexible, and intuitive, allowing all manner of experiential encounters to take place. Pedagogy are environments in which artful and innovative approaches to teaching are practiced and reflected upon. Artistry is an environment that fosters the artful manipulation of aesthetic elements, and the practice of and reflection on skills and craft across art forms. Community invites and fosters collaboration with communities and cultures, and Engagement is a safe environment that inspires, motivates and challenges interaction with ideas and materials.
Jury comment —
This award recognizes the transformative effect that design can have on a building’s occupants and the wider community within the Australian context, and which deliver exceptional outcomes made possible by the optimism of good design thinking and thoughtful collaboration between the design practice and client groups. This year the jury unanimously agreed that the project which most completely embodied the ambitions of this award is Studiofive, a teaching, research and engagement centre in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.
The impact of Studiofive is evidenced initially in its dramatic departure from the office building repurposed to house it. The space is innovative, flexible and intuitive, rising to the challenge of providing multifunctional environments to support and facilitate the implementation of pedagogy – truly enabling students to establish new ways of learning and teaching. Every space has been designed for flexibility, allowing the users to arrange the space to suit their needs, and encouraging multi-disciplinary practices in arts teaching, learning and research. Light-filled classrooms transform into art galleries, dance studios convert to lecture halls, all the while ensuring the environment remains welcoming and accessible to its audience.
It became evident during the jury’s visit that the design outcome exceeded the brief in its ability to support and facilitate a wide variety of uses for an incredibly diverse range of users. These include theatrical and music performances, art exhibitions, specialist research activities, school excursions, corporate conferences and community forums. The space is activated throughout the day and evening – no small feat in a university – and has become a destination for students and teachers from university faculties beyond the arts faculty. Studiofive is a groundbreaking facility that is at the forefront of innovation in education, placing it on the international stage as one of seven UNESCO Arts Education Observatories. It lives its ambitions as a space which supports artistry and pedagogy while fostering community outreach and engagement. It is an exemplar of the positive impact design can have on art education and practice, and its broader impact on the community.