Students design humanitarian architectural solutions: Zane Cliff

Bachelor of Architectural Design students are designing housing solutions for neurodiversity, cultural and social differences.

2020’s challenges saw the Humanitarian Architecture Travelling Studio (HATS) led by Dr Amit Srivastava and Associate Professor Peter Scriver pivoting to continue to provide a cultural and humanitarian design experience, when faced by closed international borders and elimination of international travel opportunities.

The newly South Australian focussed course saw students designing and developing responses for South Australians at risk of homelessness, and responding to needs of different local sub-cultures and neurodiversity in collaboration with local partners like HYPA and TACSI.

Bachelor of Architectural Design student Zane Cliff said that his response in this design studio sought to increase social value by helping to break the homelessness cycle in Adelaide.

“By engaging with the landscape and working on the basis of building a home rather than a house, the project endeavours to provide a temporary residence for respite and upskilling through private education,” he said.

Check out Zane’s poster and concept below.

Let’s get to know Zane Cliff

photo of zane cliff

Why did you choose a Bachelor of Architectural Design?

Firstly, there’s the technical aspect - I’ve always been intrigued by questions regarding how and why things work. How does the door handle work? Why is my house so cold? Secondly, the creative aspect. Art and design has played a large role in my life growing up. Art has no limits. It embodies personality and culture, transcending rules and regulations. For me, architecture bridges the gap between these two elements and at the same time offers an opportunity to make a genuine difference to people and to the planet.

What was your favourite/most important learning or experience from taking part in the HATS design studio?

My most memorable moments were the guest speakers. Having a tutor who was genuinely interested in engaging the class with industry professionals was invaluable and helps you understand that you can’t learn everything from a textbook.

What are your future career goals once you are qualified?

My interests lie in sustainable humanitarian design. In my estimation we stand on the precipice of a world, which will seek to value products over people and the natural environment. I believe it is our duty to bring these elements into equilibrium – a state where all can exist symbiotically in a regenerative cycle.

What are your top tips for someone who is considering studying a Bachelor of Architectural Design?

  1. Study architecture because you care, because it genuinely interests you. The degree will demand a lot, but it rewards tenfold when you have a genuine interest in participating.
  2. Start looking up and looking in. There are so many cogs in the machines around you. From window sills to watch mechanics, start asking questions.
  3. Take risks, failure is not the end. You will be criticised and you will fail at times, just as I have and will continue to do. In my opinion if you aren’t failing then you aren’t taking risks. You’ll learn to love this process very quickly as you realise the exponential benefits compared to a sedentary approach.

Thank you to Zane and to Dr Amit Srivastava and Associate Professor Peter Scriver, HATS course coordinators.

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