Collaborating with APAC’s student designers

February 3, 2022

Populous has long celebrated the bold ideas that often come from the next generation of architects and designers. As a company founded on entrepreneurial creativity, drawing together potential future team members and fellow industry professionals is at our core.

In 2022, we’re continuing to strengthen our connections with universities and students across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.  Most recently, Populous was proud to again support Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) internationally awarded Impact Labs series, focused on place, people, planet and purpose.

QUT’s program won the Wharton-QS Reimagine Education 2021 Global Education Award, as well as taking out Gold in the Presence Learning and Teaching Award.

Populous’ APAC Human Resources Manager, Mark O’Sullivan believes that the benefits are twofold when engaging in this type of collaboration.

“The students benefit from deeper learning, exposure to industry and real-world scenarios, all while developing their very own leadership skills and confidence. For our team members, the benefits are equally as far reaching, challenging them to refine their leadership, public speaking, mentoring and coaching skills, as well as giving them opportunities to provide constructive and purposeful feedback,” O’Sullivan said.

For a second semester in 2021, we welcomed more than 35 students to our APAC headquarters in Brisbane. Through a series of projects, talks, presentations and office visits, students learnt about sustainable stadium design.

The Impact Lab brief asked them to explore, within the context of a Brisbane 2032 Olympics Games, the ways in which major stadiums can act as a catalyst to regenerate the social, environmental, cultural and economic situations within an urban area. Students were asked to pay specific attention to what requirements we might have in our society 10, 20 or 30 years from now and how our changing behaviour may influence the way we design buildings for our cities.

Populous’ Associate Principal, Andrew Noonan led the brief for the Impact Lab and was impressed with the thoughtful ideas that were presented by students, sparking questions and ideas for students and Populous team members alike.

“How we shape our built environment to have significant positive impact in the future requires careful consideration, contemplation, planning and collaboration today. Exploring these ideas with the next generation of designers is invaluable and can empower them with a sense of self-determination,” said Noonan.

You can read about Populous, the QUT Impact Labs and the meaningful outcomes for students here.

As we continue to forge relationships with universities and industry partners across the APAC region, we’re looking forward to learning from future cohorts of design students, the movers, shakers and global community shapers of tomorrow. Afterall, ideas can come from anywhere and there is always more to learn.


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