Skip to content

Our Teaching

Learning by making

Learning by making has been a special feature of the School’s learning experience for more than 25 years. It is integrated throughout the Bachelor of Architecture & Built Environment and develops critical participatory skills and learning methods.

Students optimise their learning experience by exploring the relationships between design and making, between material and structural performance, and between scales and modes of production. We take an integrated approach that combines advanced digital design software, Computer Numerically Controlled fabrication tools and traditional making processes.

The School places an emphasis on prototyping activities that involve students constructing physical models, built from representative materials in three dimensions and often at full scale, to explore design alternatives, test theories and confirm performance.

View our Learning-by-Making Projects

Community projects

Our live projects for community clients are structured to give students an authentic experience of working in multidisciplinary teams and collaborating with clients, consultants, and local authorities in the design and fabrication of small public buildings and structures, furniture and spatial interventions.

Projects ranging from mobile houses to bus shelters, stage sets and wilderness seating, provide a design focus for applying principles of social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

The Castle

One of our most well-known community projects is The Castle series of micro-dwellings that assist Tasmanian youth at risk of homelessness. This is a long-term collaboration between the School of Architecture & Design and a local youth-service organisation, Youth Futures Inc. Each Castle prototype is a mobile, autonomous, and spatially clever design that provides a home for a single occupant. The Castle projects explore sustainability from multiple perspectives, including ‘lean’ construction in timber and the potential of digital design and mass customisation to balance the efficiencies of mass production with the unique needs of individual occupants.

Find out about this project


A recent project of national and international significance was the Hothouse, a temporary bamboo pavilion designed and constructed to house Dark Mofo events in Hobart. The project was part of the Advanced Design Research unit in the final year of the Master of Architecture program.

Students collaborated with Cave Urban to create an innovative structure made by the community for the community.

You can view the 'Building the Hothouse' video below.

Visit the Hothouse website

Building the Hothouse

Our Architecture and Design students and staff worked alongside Sydney-based design collective Cave Urban to construct an amazing nest-like building on Salamanca lawns at the heart of Dark Mofo. It was called The Hothouse. The remarkable space provided the location for local thought-leaders to discuss and debate issues around education in Tasmania.