26 April 2012

Students have designs on Castlemaine co-op

Designs by RMIT University students for a community co-operative larder and farmers' market in Castlemaine have been unveiled at an exhibition in the Castlemaine Market Building.

The Castlemaine Larder Design Project involved 80 RMIT Advanced Diploma in Building Design (Architectural) students designing concepts for a small community larder where hobby famers and local producers could distribute and sell their goods directly to the public.

As part of their commercial design studies, the second-year students worked in groups to explore Castlemaine's rich history as well as examine recent developments such as the population increase from tree-change and weekend commuters, and the growth of hobby farmers.

Andrew Rodda and Nick Peraic, senior teachers in Building Design, initiated the project, in which students were briefed with an initial concept and design position.

"Working to a deliberately short seven-week time frame, the students immersed themselves in the local community, talking to residents, researching businesses and community organisations to come up with a design solution," Mr Rodda said.

Mr Peraic said the project and subsequent exhibition was a great opportunity for students, staff and the local community.

"This project was more than an insulated classroom experiment; the exhibition makes their work more accountable," he said.

"It will be on display for their peers for potential clients or employers as well as Castlemaine locals who have a chance to see where our students' imaginations have taken them.

"It reinforces the notion that their efforts are not just about grades but about establishing links and building relationships with the local community, businesses and potential clients."

The Castlemaine Larder Design Project is at the Castlemaine Market Building, 44 Mostyn Street, Castlemaine until 30 April. The building is open every day, 9am to 5pm.

Students developed innovative design solutions as part of the project.

Eduardo Donatti’s design solution for the community larder.

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RMIT students visited Castlemaine to explore the history and current developments in the town.