As an activist, I use my skills as an empathetic designer to delve into society's hardest topics. Through my design career thus far, I’ve created projects addressing a wide range of social issues that continuously encourage users to question society’s imposed beliefs. This has manifested in creating spaces that are ability-inclusive and promote gender equality and environmental conservation. I have developed a niche ability to step into confronting and uncomfortable spaces that others would shy away from. I believe we as designers have the responsibility to elicit a sense of agency in users to step beyond the designed space, into their daily lives, and make changes for a better future.

Your Choice - view of indigenous kitchen for restaurant

This project explores the necessary link between environmental action and social needs. The proposed space aims to create the demand for native ingredients to promote three key outcomes: (1) the rehabilitation of native ecosystems; (2) economic inroads for Indigenous producers, and (3) to advance community respect and recognition of indigenous culture and its integration into the modern Melbourne culture. In addition to creating an ecosystem in which all species thrive, these aims collectively work towards indigenous reparations, defined in this case as lending what you have and your ability to help give agency back to Indigenous peoples.

Media component - Walkthrough and soundscape

This walkthrough highlighting the two different entries and exits, as well as focal points for creating intimacy with the habitat and native food. The soundscape is used to create an immersive experience for the viewer.
To enter the space you are hit with an instant choice, to take the direct path or the long spiral path around. The short path is specifically direct, but when someone walks on this path red bolts of light flash as their feet hit the ground drawing their attention to their steps crushing the plants. This is a reflection of how living a non-sustainable lifestyle is easy but diminishes ecosystems.

Spiral path

Representative of the effort a sustainable life takes but shows the benefits to humans and plant life.
The spiral path uses a raised tensile netting that allows the plants to grow below and over, while coexisting with humans that walk above. The spiral path takes the user high above, where they can reach up and pick some fresh pigface to take home and cook in their next meal. It allows them to see views beyond the space into the gum trees providing a habitat for the cookatoos that have taken up residence in the tops and the kangaroo reeds that poke through the river edge hearing the frogs who nest in between.

Seating zones: used for restaurant seating and hosts workshops/talks

When entering this space one immediately notices the glass floor. This allows users to see the fish inhabiting the structures below, forming niche habitats for endangered fish.The materiality of the glass is also a metaphor for the self-reflection this space embodies. When seated, the users can see through the transparent table and continue observing the fish engaged in their beautiful act of swimming and hiding. Through the opening above each seated area, the users can see the birds flying above and hear their sounds that travel through to where the users sit.

Engage with environment - a point of intimacy based on relationship research

The extruded platforms and floor plan shape are based on Philip Beasley’s living architecture theory of “divisive forms”. This non-traditional boundary increases vulnerability and interaction with the environment. This space allows the user to view the rejuvenating ecosystem in an intimate environment generous enough to allow plenty of room between people but still encouraging a collective feel.

Rendered plan

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