Students take their indoors out
Community Resource Centre manager Julie Bucknell with Community Resource Centre committee members Lloyd Nelson and Michelle Cronin.

Interior architecture students from Curtin University made a trip out of the classroom and into Katanning last week.

More than 50 students enrolled in the unit Community Encounters, led by Broomehill-born coordinator Renee Parnell, and set up a public-run studio in the Town Hall for five days.

The students offered their take on designs for the new Community Resource Centre building.

Centre manager Julie Bucknell said the results gave her and the committee a greater sense of what could be achieved.

“It is just amazing,” she said.

“There are so many possibilities. We are very privileged for these young people to consider the needs of the different groups (using the centre) with care and thought.”

Students met with the groups that use the centre, including seniors and multicultural groups, and were given a brief by Ms Bucknell.

Students then had two days to produce ideas for the centre and present them in five-minute presentations to members of the community, Shire of Katanning representatives, Ms Bucknell and the resource centre committee.

One group designed the building in the shape of a boomerang to represent the notion that people often leave Katanning for a period and then come back again.

The concept used the design of the boomerang to capture natural light into the building during cold days and repel the heat during summer.

Another group represented the multicultural nature of Katanning through the idea of a community garden, with five different garden beds to represent five different continents that people in the town arrived from.

One of the designs aimed to engage the seniors more in the community by providing different heights of the garden beds so they could be worked on by people in a wheelchair or gopher.

Another group based their idea around the train line and its vital link to Katanning, linking all the users together in one room that could be sectioned off as necessary.

All groups incorporated a prayer room into the building as a representation of the multicultural nature of the town.

Ms Parnell said reactions from the community about the project were mostly positive.

“The students were well engaged in seeking comment from the community, which is crucial for the students to understand,” she said.

“If they are to create locally responsive design solutions they need to consult and work with every dimension of the community.”

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