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Curtin students use solar power to give the gift of light

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Curtin Interior Architecture students have applied their knowledge of lighting design and theory to create solar powered lighting solutions for people living homeless in Perth.

The students’ work will be exhibited at ‘Luminocity’ at the State Theatre on 4 November.

The exhibition, which is intended to raise awareness of Perth’s growing homeless population, is the culmination of a community project initiated by Curtin in partnership with UnitingCare West (UCW).

Ana Calic, Associate Lecturer in Curtin’s School of Built Environment, said the third-year students worked with UnitingCare West to create lighting prototypes that combine both functional and aesthetic qualities to provide the gift of light.

“The project initiates dialogue about social issues through design, ultimately raising awareness.

“Our aim was to provide innovative and conceptual lighting solutions and possibilities for people living homeless in the Perth CBD who are receiving UnitingCare West support. We thought about ways in which design could positively affect people who are living homeless. At the same time, we wanted to create a new awareness for homelessness through the conceptual design of a solar powered light.

“This allowed us to offer a new and positive way of thinking, opening the doors to endless possibilities and approaching social and physical issues in a unique way, through design,” Ms Calic said.

The students’ preparations included a tour of the Perth CBD and a visit to UCWs Tranby House, where they witnessed and met with people living homeless.

The practical component commenced with concept development and sketch design, followed by construction of the prototypes and selection of 30 designs for the exhibition.

‘Luminocity’ will take place at the State Theatre Courtyard in Northbridge on Tuesday 4 November between 6.30pm and 9.30pm.

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