Hi my name is Vivian and I am an undergraduate civil engineering student who has been fortunate enough to be involved with this project from the beginning.
I remember the first time I heard our student leader, Clayton, speak passionately about his research into the housing conditions some elderly people, and about the way living environments can impact the quality of life for a person living with dementia, and knew this was an opportunity to be a part of something that has the power to influence positive change on the building industry. This was a chance to be part of the solution.
My primary areas of involvement have been the research, design and manufacture of the green wall system we will be using to enhance some of the outdoor living spaces. I’m particularly proud of the fact that I managed to source 100% recycled, Australian-made fabric to make the green wall systems, as most of the commercially available systems were made overseas and would have needed to use a lot of fossil fuels to get to Australia.
My other role in the team has been as a member of the Design and Construction Team, with my main focus being on helping manufacture the second-skin wall of the Desert Rose. It has been an awesome experience to help produce the main architectural feature of the house. I love the fact that everyone who helped make the wall were students with no prior experience in making formwork, or mixing concrete and yet we have managed to produce something that looks great, if I do say so myself.
And this is a sentiment that extends to almost every aspect of the house. At the beginning of the design process most of us had very little experience in the challenges we were about to undertake, and it is truly a testament to the long hours and dedication of so many people, working together, with all the separate parts coming together to create something we can all be proud of.
Being a part of this team has easily been the most valuable learning experience during all of my time at UOW, and I have been constantly in awe of the way my team mates have found solutions to the many problems we encountered on an almost daily basis. The creativity and innovation that has been displayed by the team during this project has been inspiring, and I feel lucky to have been a part of it.