Initial Design Concepts

Site Analysis

Forefront of our thinking- ECOLOGICAL DESIGN SYSTEM

Considering weather/climatic conditions, relation to other buildings, access to/from other parts of the campus, how many people can the space accomodate, distance from others working, what will work in the space (semi-permanent/semi-permiable), sense of enclosure, requirements of the project (outdoor space/wellness), seating, change of levels (elevations/dips), plants (soft/dense), structure of buildings.

Design language

  • Grid structure
  • Circle layout
  • Organic lines
  • Geometric
  • Group areas
  • Individual study
  • Using natural energy

Designing the space

  • Where is the entry?
  • Flow through the space
  • Divisions
  • Vertical elements
  • Horizontal elements
  • Overhead structures
  • Sensory elements
  • Biodiversity

First site – between Block 1 and 2.


Second site – behind Block 5.




Group – Wellness Study Space

Research: Promote Ecosystem Visibility

Increasing inclusion of surrounding ecosystems in an urban area. Help insure the urban doesn’t exclude ecosystems. Educational and the awareness of strategies for the actual workspace.

  • examples of sheltered structures, built or planted
  • social and physical context
  • visualisation
  • promotional
  • plant descriptions/labels/plaques
  • separate/connected walkways
  • vertical walls and box planting
  • wood paneling
  • organic or geometric shapes
  • private and relaxing/stress free
  • texture and colour schemes

VCD Approaches

  • brochures
  • booklets
  • public website
  • statement about the purpose of the space (poster form)
  • ad

Education and Strategies

“Healthy campus by open space design: Approaches and guidelines” examines the architectural and landscape design strategies and intentions for green, open spaces facilities targeting stress alleviation for learning environments such as those of university campuses in a compact urban setting. The physical design of green buildings that incorporate open space are a catalyst for integrated ecosystem. “For a compact campus, high-dense surroundings may limit the size of an open space and may handicap circulation and accessibility; on the other side, a small open space may provide its users more intimate contact with natural restorative elements and also a more controllable microclimate for physical comfort.”

  • Stress from the imbalance of environment demands and human capabilities can be linked to deteriorated mental health.
  • Outdoor environment and away from formal classes
  • Design that supplies substance and comfort for users
  • landscape design, spatial design and green design
  • Idea of ‘healing gardens’ ie. viewing vegetation/water/natural elements can relieve stress
  • Moderate or appropriate stimulation to promote positive response; layout, circulation, control, flexibility, responsiveness, privacy, spatial syntax, defensible space and certain symbolic elements are key architectural factors.
  • Green buildings have micro ecosystems, natural support system
  • Design strategies that are synergistic include a selection of native, adapted, and noninvasive species; for biodiversity, the landscape architect should also research the bird species that are likely to use the space
  • Retreat, fascination, and exposure to nature
  • People perceive their surroundings using the sense of sight, touch, sound and smell.
  • A densely planted area provides much more visual interest and is a source of beauty shade and colour
  • Create a sense of order and direction
  • Private and minimum distractions

We also have to be mindful of what VCD aspect we put in the space (poster, little free library, Plant plaques) that it is made from a material that is used of suitable for the space. It also has to withstand the weather conditions, have a clear message of the spaces purpose, and make sure that it is something students will respect.

“Healthy campus by open space design: Approaches and guidelines.” Web. March 20, 2017.

“UrbanEdge / Gustafson Guhrie Nichol.” Furuto, Alison. 9 June, 2012. Web. March 20, 2017.

Zen Garden :


Box Seating

Wellbeing Poster


Identifying Manifesto

Brainstorming possible Manifestos relevant to enhancing the Massey Campus ecosystem.

  • move towards resource sustainability by increasing environmental literacy
  • reduce waste (up-cycling/ regenerative design)
  • meeting human needs but not at the expense of the environment
  • respecting natural spaces and how they are used
  • holding people ecologically accountable, eliminating natural debt.

Possible Sites

  • Seating Area outside the Pyramid and Photography Block : It is a space that is not utilised enough. It is not very inviting, but there is lots of potential. Improving the space would include designing a private , sheltered and creative space for students. Natural light and water runoff can be utilised. Design principle- Solutions Grow from Place.
  • Carpark between Massy and Wellington College : It is a large space but is very cold. It is exposed to the wind. People don’t tend to spend very long in the space, they just seem to walk past it. It is surrounded by buildings and warmth can be added with certain native plants. Also creating awareness of the effects of how manufactured spaces harm natural ecologies. Design principle- Make Nature Visible.
  • Rooftop Garden on Block 12 : It could provide students with a sunny outdoor study space, incorporating work environment and natural ecosystems. It would be beneficial and stress free to all. There could be obstacles in terms of the roofs structure and weight limits, however I think it would be utilised by many students. Design Principle- Everyone Is A Designer and Make Nature Visible.

Possible Manifesto

  • Visually communicating the impacts on Natural Environments and how meeting human needs, without the expense of natural ecosystems, can become sustainable.
  • Making people and communities aware of how eco-design can help make people accountable for their roles in keeping natural ecosystems integrity.

Ecological Design and Principles


Massimo Roj of Progetto CMR. ‘Eco-Tower’. Web. ELUX Magazine. March 2nd, 2017.

Two principles used in the Eco-Tower ecological design.

Design with Nature. 

The eco-tower works with the natural processes that are made by the plants and trees on the outside of the villas. The shape of the tower is influenced by the natural/organic patterns of a flower. By having gardens on every floor it reduces the negative impacts by using a more sustainable and functional alternative. The solar roof, triangular core for support and air ventilation, rain water system to water the gardens, and natural light all create synergy within the environment. The entire roof design for the production of electricity and geothermal system all contribute it becoming a self-sustaining ecosystem.  ecotower.villa

Ecological Accounting Informs Design/ Everyone is a Designer

It is a residential tower, meaning the inhabitants are apart of a community with the shared values. Because the tower incorporates natural processes and cycles, it not only provides health benefits and comfort for the residents but also sustains the integrity of the structure and function of the design to be low in resource depletion and ecological impacts. By incorporating man made, controlled ecosystems within a natural environment reinforces the idea of the eco-tower being a symbol of ecological friendliness.



Ecological Design Examples


Melbourne City Council design for laneway. Web. Herald Sun. March 2nd, 2017.

Melbourne City Council in 2016 have created a program that turns laneways into a ‘leafy refuge’. “Melbourne City Council has used world-first mapping technology assessing sunlight, wind and ‘physical and functional characteristics’ to determine which laneways should go green” (Herald Sun). This is done to improve air quality, cool the city, create visual features, and a more social space.



Almeida, Alyssa. Greener Cities Poster Series. February 20, 2014. Web. Behance. March 2nd, 2017.

This poster series is to influence the incorporation of plants and trees in an urban environment. ‘There needs to be balance between hardscapes and softscapes in cities, not to mention the numerous beneficial factors to having more plants and trees’ (Almeida).





Massimo Roj of Progetto CMR. ‘Eco-Tower’. Web. ELUX Magazine. March 2nd, 2017.

This tower will be a residential tower in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is designed to be a symbol of ecological friendliness, which will be rich with lush tropical plants. ‘The design concept conceived by architect Massimo Roj  is based on the geometric form of a flower that grows upward’ (ELUX Magazine). This green building employs innovative solutions to allow a strong relationship with the environment. It will provide health benefits and comfort to residents.





Looking at Visual communication Design principle and connecting them with spatial design can create a cohesive and ecological awareness. The posters are less specific but relates to the innovative design in urban environments. This can incorporate the ideas of alternative energy use/production, inhabitant decisions and sustainable opportunities.






Herald Sun. Melbourne City Council. Article. Web. March 2nd, 2017.

Almeida, Alyssa. Greener Cities Poster Series. Behance. Web. March 2nd, 2017.

Massimo Roj. Eco-Tower. Web. ELUX Magazine. March 2nd, 2017.