Art and Design at Engineering Finals 

Our Global Village students impressed with their artwork and sustainable designs at the recent Engineering for People Design Challenge Grand Finals.

Tianle Shao with his artwork outside the PEARL venue.

A team of our students qualified for the Grand Finals of the Engineers Without Borders Engineering for People Design Challenge competition and two more of our students were individually chosen to exhibit their art. 

This year the Engineering for People Design Challenge was focused on Cape York in Australia.  Students investigated the lives of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the environment in which they lived. Our Global Village: Innovation Challenge students proposed designs to further sustainable development in the area, while our Global Village: Visual Arts Challenge students created artwork inspired by the communities.  

Innovation through Circular Design

Anjali Devadasan, Sheung Sheung Chen and Yui Harayama presented a proposal for Reusable Bin Bags. Following principles of circular design, the bin bags could be cleaned at a processing site and then reused without creating more plastic waste. The bin bags would be strategically placed at popular tourist destinations and sensors within the bags would notify the collection service when they were full and ready to be replaced. The judges were impressed.

Yui, Sheung Sheung and Anjali preparing their pitch for their Reusable Bin Bags design.

Reflexive Art

Visual Arts Challenge students took inspiration from the communities of Cape York’s approach to the environment, whilst recognising the different threats they faced. 

‘You reap what you sow’ by Alexander Popa Florea.

Alexander Popa Florea’s art was titled ‘You reap what you sow’. He scoured his own local community in Croydon for litter to use as the materials for his piece. With his four stages he explored the potential for humanity’s interaction with its environment to produce positive or negative outcomes.

I wanted to explore these ideas, but from my own perspective, trying to better understand and convey how my culture and people treat the environment we live in, with a focus on the connection between people and nature and the effects that pollution has on it.  

Tianle Shao’s work focused on the environment of Cape York and was entitled ‘Threats to Diversity’. He drew the endangered species that inhabit the Peninsula and the challenges they are facing. 

‘Threats to Diversity’ by Tianle Shao

Species are drawn almost like a collage, overlapping each other, which aims to emphasize the sheer diversity of species that this piece can’t possibly capture…

Tianle Shao

In the picture, Tianle also highlights the dangers facing the species, by encircling them with a contrasting white-on-black acrylic print. The threats are represented by the depiction of forest fires, floods, power plants and mining machinery. I think it also reminds us of the risks posed by external and global factors that any viewer of the work could, and possibly should, feel responsible for.

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