Australian of the year trophy designed with makerspace skills

Wednesday 25 October 2017

RSPE’s ANU Makerspace has played a key role in designing and producing the newly unveiled Australian of the Year trophies. 

Design sketches from the School of Art were digitised at the Makerspace, so they could be refined and produced quickly, said Dr John Debs, Head of the ANU Makerspace.

“By using digital fabrication the prototype could be refined rapidly - a nip here, a tuck there - which allowed more flexibility and ambition in the design,” said Dr Debs.

The final design was then printed at the Makerspace and used to make the consumable moulds for each of the individual 2018 state and territory awards.

“Because there are so many awards, being able to quickly make moulds was crucial,” said Debs.

The trophies were commissioned in a special partnership between the NADC and the ANU School of Art and Design for forthcoming Australian of the Year Awards.

Students and lecturers from the School of Art and Design’s glassworks studios designed the trophies, cast into solid slabs of shaped glass diffused with a blue colour to symbolise the Australian sky. Each trophy is hand-worked and polished.

Makerspace coordinator Ella Sayers led the computer modelling and 3D printing, with support from students.

The trophies for the state and territory recipients for Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero are being awarded in ceremonies which begin in Victoria on Thursday 26 October.

“The multi-faceted form represents our multi-national population and we chose sky blue to encapsulate the open-skies nature of the award,” said Richard Whiteley, Head of the Glassworks at ANU.

”The glass has an inherent beauty and we’ve introduced a second colour to each trophy to colour code it to the four awards - red for the Australian of the Year, yellow for Young Australian and so on.”

Head of ANU School of Music and award-winning film composer Professor Ken Lampl composed the fanfare and musical theme, which will be played at the televised 2018 national announcement.

“I wanted to compose something that would capture the profound honour of the award and inspire leadership in a way that was uniquely Australian,” Professor Lampl said.

The trophies for the four Australians of the Year recipients will be unveiled in advance of the national announcement in January next year.

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