Over the last semester State Library of Queensland became the nucleus for design students working on a university project to hypothetically invigorate the Knowledge Walk.
APDL collaborated with course coordinators Dr Muge Belek (QUT School of Design) and Dr Fred Fialho Leandro Alves Teixeira (UQ School of Architecture) to work with students who put forth new design proposals that experimented with architecture, spatial arts and new media.
Students worked with SLQ staff (librarians, visitor service managers and administration managers) to look at how visitors engage with SLQ – engagement that is not just based on knowledge consumption but creative production.
In their work, students explored key spaces such as the void between the newer Donovan Hill-designed building and the older Robin Gibson-designed building; the entrance billboard along with its front landscape; plus the entrances and exits to the Knowledge Walk.
Students also drew upon SLQ’s collection materials and resources, seeking to synthesise these stories into multimodal design solutions that engage visitors and the general public alike.
About 25 innovative projects were created to reimagine and recreate unique and creative spaces in the library.
The projects ranged from a practical new wayfinding system for those accessing SLQ’s various levels, to an augmented reality digital sculpture that reacts to information being accessed from the library. Other projects focused on hands-on physical interaction such as a communal weaving installation which draws upon the rich marine and Australian Indigenous history of the SLQ site.
“We were impressed with the student’s highly sophisticated designs. Their understanding of the how the State Library operates as a cohesive public space shows in their work,” said Dr Muge Belek.
“It was also interesting to see how they reinterpreted the library’s data to develop ideas to enliven different areas in the building.
“One of our main objectives when we run courses such as these is to give the students a taste of working with clients on a specific design brief,” explained Muge.
Seven of the best designs were chosen for a final presentation to the State Librarian, SLQ’s Executive Manager Marketing and Communications, as well as the University of Queensland’ s School of Architecture Head Professor Sandra Kaji-O’Grady and QUT’s School of Design leads Dr Oksana Zelenko and Professor Paul Sanders.