Freefall Experience

As part of the celebration of Canberra’s Centenary, Engineers Australia, Canberra Division hosted a national design ideas competition to design a feature installation in the Engineers Australia Freefall Forest at the National Arboretum Canberra.

In 2009 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Engineers Australia as a National Organisation, Engineers Australia became the first organisation to sponsor a forest in the Arboretum with a commemorative planting of 600 ‘Freefall’ Pin Oaks (Quercus Palustris) - a particular cultivar which defoliates after a spectacular autumn display.

The Freefall Experience design ideas competition invited engineers to be part of the future of that forest and to make a significant contribution to the legacy of Australian engineering achievement. Featuring a $30,000 first prize, the competition attracted over thirty entries from across all states of Australia.

On 1 August 2014, Mr Rolfe Hartley, past national President of Engineers Australia and Chairman of the Honorary Competition Jury announced the winner at an event at the National Arboretum Canberra. ‘The aspiration and design parameters for the competition resulted in a wide range of exceptional entries, which was a demonstration of the talent and innovative spirit and capability of the engineering profession.’  The winning entry ‘Freefall’ stood out. ‘The work was superbly elegant in its engineering, immersive and contextual and above all intriguing for visitors to the forest.’ Mr Hartley said.

Prizes were presented by ACT Minister for the Environment, Mr Simon Corbell, MLA and Prof Alex Baitch, National President, Engineers Australia.

The winning entry was submitted by Bligh Tanner of Queensland and the winning entry can be seen here.

Commendations were also presented to Woolacotts Consulting Engineers for their Kinetic Canopy Lookout and ARUP (Queensland) for the Falling Leaf design.

Photos of the announcement of the winners can be found here.

Freefall PinOak Forest

The jury also selected 10 entries to be exhibited at the National Arboretum, Canberra during the month of August. A copy of the exhibition guide with details of which entries were displayed in this exhibition can be found here.

The Canberra Division hosted an exhibition of selected entries at Convention 2014 in Melbourne, 24-16 November 2014.

An exhibition of all 33 entries is being held at the Gallery of Australian Design in Canberra from 24 February to 20 March 2014. Information on the exhibition can be found here.