Deakin University Iconic Cube
Commendation: Category 4 Renovation/Modernisation under $1m
Deakin University, Geelong Waterfront Campus 1 Gheringhap Street, Geelong VIC 3220
The Cube collaborative planning process began with a thorough tour of the campuses, and discussion of Deakin signage requirements and approach. During this interactive session, ThomsonAdsett challenged the notion of signage as simply way-finding/identification. The Cube concept was born – beyond mere way-finding/identification to an information node, social/learning setting, community focal point and gathering spot.
Further collaborative workshop sessions with the student body and wider community established the distinctive perforation patterns, representing the 5 Deakin Worldly attributes and signifying the uniqueness of each of the 4 campuses, which were maintained in essence throughout the design refinement process.
The ThomsonAdsett process was thoroughly collaborative, firstly to establish the Cube concept, then the translation of the perforation motif to the faces. Extensive 3D modelling tested many perforation densities and lighting design. Frequent in-house critiques occurred involving a wider peer group, one exercise involving our entire 70-staff studio. The local authority was consulted regarding heritage impacts of the Cube at Geelong Waterfront.
During the evolution of the Deakin iconic signage brief it became clear early on that there was a need to go beyond signage. In terms of pedagogical function, the Cube is seen as a unique knowledge access node and a virtual, physical and digital learning asset for each campus. The opportunity to create a community enriching asset, outreaching beyond the Deakin community, was recognised from the outset. The Cube at Geelong Waterfront has become the symbol for Deakin’s local and global outreach strategies, supported by its ‘avatar’ the Deakin Cube Bus.
The Cube was designed in direct response to Deakin’s strategy to develop on all campuses a broad range of differentiated collaborative learning environments. The Cube expresses Deakin’s commitment to digital technologies and learning in a cutting-edge way, further promoting the strong Deakin brand in a competitive globalised market. In keeping with the “digital age”, the Cube offers access to digital learning via touch-screen technology, provides a setting for contemporary collaborative learning and an education focus for the local and extended community.
Deakin University has re-branded 4 times over the past 12 years, so the facility required a flexible solution. The bold black on white branding is on polycarbonate allows for easy updating of branding. The simple, clean form adopted forthe Cube was chosen to maximise its relevance over time – built-in non-obsolescence. The digital content and the programmed LED lighting allow for infinite variety of expression.
The bold and clean form of the Cube is constructed of 3mm white aluminium alloy sheet with green structural inner. LED lighting arrays within the structure are able to change colour depending on the use of the Cube and create a unique environment to learn and to communicate.
The Cube cladding is fabricated from durable aluminium alloy sheet. It consumes no water. It is lit by an array of LED projectors that are extremely long life and energy efficient compared to conventional light sources. The lighting is controlled by a programmed management system that reduces the light output levels significantly during non-peak periods.