Award winners poised to architect bright futures


Bendigo TAFE’s building design students Bin He and Mitchell Pianto are armed with skills to architect great futures for themselves, with the duo recently awarded at the annual Building Design Association Victoria (BDAV) Building Design Awards.

The 2016 Brian Morison Award for Most Promising Student was awarded to Bin He for demonstrating tremendous effort and passion in pursuing a future in building design after moving from China to Australia.

“I did some drafting in China and had basic skills, but was unable to find a design job here in Australia without a formal qualification. I worked as a chef for a while, before deciding that I needed a new challenge. To prepare, I spent half a year teaching myself to use the design software, and then enrolled in the Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) at Bendigo TAFE,” said Bin.

The father of two said that the supportive, flexible nature of the course provided him with a smooth transition back into studies.

“My return to full-time study was a big thing for my family. But I knew I had to act quickly to follow my dreams before it was too late. My teachers – Brian, Sonia and Paul – have been very helpful and supportive. Classes are also very flexible with a lot of content available online – this is great for people like me who are juggling study and family commitments,” he said.

Bin hopes to work in an architecture company after he graduates and has already secured casual work opportunities with architecture studios in Bendigo and Kyneton to build up contacts and experience in the industry. To Bin, his latest BDAV achievement will take him one step closer to his career dreams.

“It’s a great thing to have on my resumé when I look for work in this industry. On the night itself I was approached by several companies who were interested in my future plans. It was a great opportunity to meet and network with industry.”

The Best Digital Presentation by a Student Award went to Mitchell Pianto who expressed his delight at the recognition.

“I was really surprised about winning the award. I had seen other students’ award-winning work from previous years and was amazed by the outstanding work they had produced. I felt flattered just to be an entrant and to attend the BDAV awards night, as I was sure all entrants for this year would have been as equally talented and that the awarded student would have been a difficult choice for the judges,” said Mitchell.

The 22-year-old’s presentation, which revolved around a proposed Active Learning Centre at Bendigo TAFE, stood out for its detail to lighting, shading, textures and music. Mitchell’s presentation reflected both his passion in the field and his skills derived from training.

“I always had a fascination about architecture and wanted to learn the process and skills behind designing them,” he said.

“What I’ve loved most about studying at Bendigo TAFE was the hands-on approach. Through our creative project-based developments, we could receive a better understanding of applying the skills we learn in a practical sense. These would range from smaller residential buildings in first year to more complex commercial ones later on, which I personally found was an enjoyable way to learn.”

Mitchell, who has recently assisted the Greater Bendigo City Council to design a series of potential developments, aims to progress into university and become a registered architect.

“I’d like to join a small firm of similar likeminded designers and architects to begin designing unique and challenging buildings for the future, as well as to potentially design my own home one day,” he said.

The aspiring architects are studying the Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) at Bendigo TAFE’s Charleston Road campus. Their teacher Brian Stratford highlights the importance of participating in industryawards during the educational process.

“At Bendigo TAFE we regularly facilitate students’ entry into industry awards to expose them to a greater network of industry contacts, one that is often hard to break into,” said Brian, who nominated the duo for their awards.

“Winning prestigious state-wide awards like these give our building design students a real edge in a competitive environment.”

Since 1996 the annual Building Design Awards competition has showcased the talents and expertise of building designers and encouraged higher standards of excellence in design. Entries for the student categories are accepted from advanced diploma applicants from across the state.


(Photo credit: Dean Gordon Photography)