At a special exhibition of architecture students’ work in Launceston tonight, (Friday 29 October) David Parsons was awarded the prestigious Australian Institute of Architects Graduate Prize in Architecture at the UTAS School of Architecture & Design. The prize, based on a combination of academic performance, a portfolio of work and an interview, also recognises the recipient’s preparedness for entry into the architectural profession and development potential.

When awarding the prize, which includes $1000 in cash and two years graduate membership of the Institute, jury panel member Mr Neal Mackintosh from Hobart firm JAWSARCHITECTS, said that David’s work “shows an astute sensitivity and awareness of social, cultural and environmental issues through a site responsive design approach in diverse settings”.

The jury panel, which included Associate Professor Leigh Woolley, and Todd Henderson from Launceston firm Birrelli, noted that ‘David’s ability to analyse and make strategic design decisions is made more poignant through a well developed ability to express ideas through drawing. This commitment to a rigorous design process and a competent ability to work across scales, allows him to explore different ideas without it seems, being too precious about the scheme, showing a confidence to change direction when one approach has been exhausted’.

Mr Mackintosh told the audience of academic staff, students and parents that “David is a very worthy recipient of this prize, his maturity holding him in good stead to make a positive contribution to any practice”.

Five students completing their Masters of Architecture were short-listed for the prize. “The jury was extremely encouraged by the standard of the candidates, which made selection of a winner more difficult”, Mr Mackintosh said. He added: “With the range of skills and commitments shown, all should look forward to fulfilling careers. Indeed if this is the quality of students graduating, the profession will be well served.”

The short-listed students were:
• David Parsons (winner)
• Clare Dunlop
• Martin Green
• Emma Robinson
• Chloe Comino

Tasmanian Manager of the Institute, Janine Holt, when introducing the Prize, said the Institute aims to influence and contribute to the development of architectural education so that the future of the profession can be secured.
“It is very important for the Institute to develop a connection with architectural students and graduates early in their careers and the Graduate Prize is one mechanism to achieve this” she stated. She also thanked JAWSARCHITECTS for their generous sponsorship of the prize and added that it was befitting to present the prize during National Architecture Week.

Australian Institute of Architects