With her freshly minted Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) in one hand and the Building Design Awards Victoria award for excellence in the other, Lindsay Fischer's all set.
Lindsay designed a two-unit development in Preston to beat a group of fellow TAFE students from all over Victoria, win over the panel of industry expert judges and take out the prestigious Brian Morrison award and the $4000 cheque to be used for further education.
It will be spent on studies in passive building design, a passion of hers.
“It’s about creating a house that stays cool in summer and warm in winter; insulation, ventilation, orientation of building, how to get natural light in when you want it and not when you don’t want it - all the things you can do without paying to heat or cool your house,’ Lindsay said.
It’s a concept she’s also building on for her dream project, the future home she would like to create in the Macedon Ranges, one day.
‘I would like to do a rural property of my own from scratch. If you work on a rural property you have much more say over the orientation and siting of the building.
‘I’d apply different types of construction I’ve learnt, incorporating all the different types of cladding and how you would insulate it, getting the northern sun in winter and learning how to screen it out, how to create cross-flow ventilation.
Building on Knowledge
‘I’d build upon that stuff we learned, there are tonnes of things we learned that I’d incorporate.’
Lindsay, who grew up on a farm, also has extensive gardens and areas for her animals in this dream scenario.
For now, she’s working two days a week with an architect and doing some contract work as an interior designer.
Her path to building design started with studying industrial design when she was in her 20s, then moving inside into interiors.
‘This is a bit of a step to the side, I had the interior skills, didn’t have building construction, I just wanted to round out my skills, instead of specialising I’ve done lots of different things.’
Lindsay said she’d recommend the course as ‘it’s a good practical award, with scope to keep going into architecture if you are that way inclined’.
Teacher Frank Di Giorgio was rapt with Lindsay’s win: ‘For us, it’s a great result, just shows that what we’re doing here is to a very high standard, not only comparing to other courses in the education sector but also for the industry.’
So why do this course?
‘You can end up being part of the building design industry, specifically in the residential or commercial industry.
‘And students are not only involved in building industry, they’re also involved in the community.
‘Once they finish the buildings they work on they are able to see with their own eyes, as they are getting built and the finished product.
‘It can lead to other areas as well, sales, management, other areas. It’s very practical, they get to go out on site, meet with material suppliers, other designers, consultants, engineers, and town planners.’
Strong industry connections sees offices call Melbourne Polytechnic and say they need a graduate or student to work with them and Frank said more than half the students get jobs like that.
‘Most of our students in second-year already have part-time work, there’s no waiting around trying to find a job,’ he said.
‘Our course is very project-based so we don’t just look at materials on a Monday morning every morning for the year.
‘We are trying to simulate what happens in industry so the students are very productive very early on.’
He praised Lindsay’s hunger to learn. ‘It didn’t matter what obstacle there was, she would always find a way and find the positive’ and her positive attitude spread through the class, working out what needed to be done.
If you want to find out more about the Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural), read more here.
Image: Brian Morrison with Lindsay Fischer - by Dean Gordon and Associates