Landscape Architecture Australia
2021 Landscape Student Prize
The Landscape Student Prize is annually awarded to landscape architecture students who demonstrate excellence in the visual and written communication of a landscape architecture proposal. Here we present the 2021 winners.
This year, the jury was pleased to see such a wide breadth of issues being addressed across the spectrum of winners in this edition – from a design for the repatriation of Indigenous ancestral remains to a masterplan that encourages a more equal relationship between human and non-human species.
From within this pool, the jury is pleased to announce joint winners of this year’s Landscape Student Prize: Vanishing
Landscape by Jialin (Mazarine) Wu of RMIT University and Drawing landscape narrative: Interfacing between the cultural, ecological and habitation imperatives of Tallow Creek
ICOLL watershed by Nathan Galluzzo of University of Technology Sydney.
Drawing landscape narrative deserves recognition for tackling a challenging issue of major significance to landscape architecture practice. The project presents a clear and contextual project that evidences a genuine passion for the subject matter, demonstrates critical and reflective thinking and presents a strong sense of what has been learnt through the process and how this might be further continued and explored. Of particular note is the project’s restraint and focus. Precise, innovative drawings develop the designer’s own style of visual communication, foreground stories of place, and enable the dynamics of the site to be understood in new ways. The project emphasizes the value of time, understanding and care in engagement processes. This is a timely and sophisticated project that clearly articulates values through design and has significant potential to inform and shape future approaches to meaningful engagement.
The jury commends Vanishing Landscape for its immense ambition and scope in thinking through the relationships between contemporary issues – including climate change, marginalization and the COVID-19 pandemic – across oscillating scales of time and space. The project proposal pushes boundaries in terms of the way we think about these topics and opens up new avenues for discourse. Carefully assembled image panels explain the evolution of the design thinking and clearly interpret the project research to the audience. The deliberate integration of the graphic style with the project research and content creates a highly cohesive, rich and complex project that captures the zeitgeist and demonstrates the student’s impressive level of critical thinking and reflection.
Finally, the jury would also like to acknowledge that during 2022, many students at universities across Australia continued remote study under challenging conditions. We look forward to their influence and contribution to the profession, whether in Australia or overseas, as they continue to develop their practices.
National Prize – Joint Winners
01 – Jialin Wu of RMIT University
From colonialism to heteropatriarchy, many forms of antagonism are inflicted upon the vulnerable by the expansion of capital and power. The resulting social injustices are concealed by beautified cities that hide marginalized people and exclude them from prosperity. Vanishing Landscape asks, how can landscape speak for the marginalized? This question is explored in Hart Island, New York’s largest mass-burial ground for marginalised groups. The project proposes a form of stealth activism that ostensibly cooperates with the government while creating a decentralized memorial system that reinstates the human dignity of the deceased and reclaims their right to be mourned, known, and safely buried.
02 – Nathan Galluzzo of University of Technology Sydney
Tallow Creek, near Byron Bay, is part of an extensive network of ICOLLs (intermittently closed and open lakes and lagoons) on New South Wales’s east coast. ICOLLS are complex places of great beauty and enormous flux that are subject to intense development pressures. Working with Traditional Owners and the local community – often remotely because of extensive pandemic lockdowns – Drawing landscape narrative: Interfacing between the cultural, ecological and habitation imperatives
of Tallow Creek ICOLL watershed developed a unique process of communication through film and collaborative drawing. The research centred on developing trust and expressing values in novel ways in order to demonstrate the value of this complex landscape to everyone involved.
03 – Clare Mayberry of Queensland University of Technology
Between 60,000 to 70,000 Indigenous Australian ancestral remains are currently housed in English museums, and 10,000 are housed in Australian museums. Most of these remains are unidentified and cannot be repatriated to their Country of origin.
Re-turning Country proposes a culturally sensitive national keeping place to preserve remains until they can be identified and returned. It enables the practice of cultural processes and protocols in the keeping of ancestral remains off Country, and their repatriation journey home. This project spans scales of pan-Aboriginal and Nation groups and the local Kamberri (Canberra) region – Ngunnawal Women’s Country. Deep mappings revealed Kamberri, Kanberri Women’s Country sites that contrast with Burley Griffins’s “picturesque” Canberra.
This cartographic analysis generated design principles and sites for the keeping and finally the repatriation of these ancestral remains.
04 – Adam Holmstrom of Deakin University
Tasmania’s Kangaroo Bay, once an abundant intertidal habitat, has become polluted and infilled following the severance of Mumirimina cultural land management. The recent return of regular ferry service risks restraining retreating coastal habitat and impacting the local endangered spotted handfish.
A future of rising temperatures, storm surges and flash flooding necessitates the creation of refuge for humans as well. The local council and state government have partnered in this scenario to deliver a long-term multispecies masterplan, which demonstrates transitions over time to accommodate climate change and shows how landscape architects can advocate for landscape ecologies. The design of Kangaroo Bay Refugia was approached through the lens of the Living Community Challenge, a framework for regenerative, co-habitation and net-positive projects. The project proposes a network of living intertidal buffers that can assist in regenerating degraded coastlines into refugia for multispecies cohabitation.
05 – Brooke Tovey of University of Canberra
Gardening for a Nation explores how gardening can transform Canberra’s Commonwealth Park from a designed park for recreation and consumption of the space into a landscape that engages the hearts and minds of its users. The project proposes to convert annual flower show Floriade, which is held in the park, into a gardening show and competition that is based on themes, including water-wise planting and planting for food security. Entrants are allocated a site to convert into a garden relevant to the theme, with the winning entry remaining so that it can be added to the park tapestry. The study led me to reflect on how park management strategies can be used more creatively and how they can involve individuals, the community and the nation.
06 – Isabel Peng of UNSW Sydney
Fibre to Fabric explores the restitching of the landscape fabric of White Bay in Balmain, Sydney, as an entanglement of the scales and fundamental assets of the site.
The conceptual framework of the project structures the thinking of landscape as a piece of fabric – yarn, thread and a single fibre – where all components contribute to structural integrity. This analogy can be applied to fundamental assets of the site, such as the water cycle from clouds to single droplets and the different elements of the earth’s crust. The landform of the sandstone yiningmah (the First Nations term for “steep cliff”) has layers of sediment of various densities that filter water and make it a life-support system of the White Bay landscape. This project is the thread between the sandstone that stitches the different landscape systems together, creating new fabric at White Bay. First, humans are stitched into the site; then the site is unstitched by excavating the concrete apron and reusing site materials to provide habitat for non-humans; then the site is restitched to speculate on future ecosystems on the site under future sea-level rise scenarios.