Hydronaut

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  • 2015

  • Architectural
    Commercial and Residential

Designed By:

  • Mark Richardson and Studiobird

Commissioned By:

Monash University

Designed In:

Australia

Hydronaut surfaces as an investigation into interdisciplinary practice with a vigilant and playful built result. A security kiosk that occupies a small floor area of fifty square meters, it houses two offices, lunchroom/ kitchenette and an open plan monitoring space/counter at its apex. It draws reference from Bentham’s panopticon, the voyeurs peephole, marine binoculars, the telescopic camera lens, Checkpoint Charlie and submersible vehicles. The collaboration between designer/maker Mark Richardson and Studiobird explores shared principles of experimental materials and processes, design-by-making and an artisanal approach to using adhoc waste materials.


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  • CHALLENGE
  • Hydronaut is a semi-permanent, demountable structure housing security staff at Monash University's Caulfield campus. It parasitically occupies five parking bays on the ground level of an existing car-park, providing a panopticonic point-of-presence in a location known for security challenges. True to semi-permanence and reuse imperatives, nine tent-like tensegrity modules are handcrafted from waste PVC truck side curtains stretched over frames made from exercise trampolines, discarded storage racks and reused stud framing. The interior is lined by reject acoustic panels that are punctuated by black rimmed waste-ply portholes. The joinery and furniture are bespoke and handcrafted from upcycled materials.