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In early 2018, police officers in St. Petersburg charged three suspects with fraud, claiming that their I.T. firm overcharged for the development of 3D models for Russia’s Project 636 “Varshavyanka” submarine. State officials say the design experts pocketed roughly 100 million rubles ($1.3 million) in a 400-million-ruble ($5.3-million) deal. A year later, one of the suspects, “Novit Pro” founder Valery Pshenichny, was found in his remand prison cell, dead, mutilated, and apparently raped. The authorities ruled it a suicide. In a special report, Mediazona correspondent Lena Vladykina spoke to family members and attorneys to learn how dubious fraud allegations led to such violent ends. Meduza summarizes the story here.
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A shopping centre in the heart of Jimboomba, which utilises clever and practical design, has scooped a double at the Logan Urban Design Awards (LUDA).
A record number of entries were received for the awards, which recognise the best in urban design that help create innovative and inclusive social environments.
Jimboomba Central, designed by Interlandi Mantesso Architects, was named the 2020 LUDA Overall Winner after also collecting the Architecture Award.
The Cusack Lane structure was described by judges as a ‘clever design’ that was likely to be a reference project for similar future retail projects across the City.
The project was commended for its spatial sophistication, choice of materials and generous landscaping.
In winning the Architecture Award, Jimboomba Central was praised for its appealing street scapes and internal court space which together created a ‘dynamic centre’.
The 2020 LUDA awards, delayed from last year because of pandemic restrictions, were presented at a ceremony at Kiwanda Café in Eagleby on Wednesday night.
Other winners were:
Master Planning Award: Everleigh
Landscape Architecture and Urban Infrastructure Award: Brookhaven – Discovery Park
Businesses and Events Award: Beenleigh Town Square Night Markets (Goodwill Projects)
The judging panel included Richard Coulson (Cox Architecture), Nicholas Marshall (The Urban Developer) and Nathalie Ward (Lat27).
Planning Chair, Deputy Mayor Jon Raven, said the high standard of entries was inspiring.
“This year’s winners have set a new benchmark for excellent urban design as we continue to see unprecedented growth in the commercial sector across the city,” Cr Raven said.
“It is great to see Jimboomba Central named as Overall Winner and shows why Council has allocated $5million in funding to continue to develop the Jimboomba City Centre into a popular and vibrant destination.
“The quality of entries across all categories demonstrates that City not only embraces practical development, we also embrace projects that are visually appealing and suited to our landscapes and environment.”
The Logan Urban Design Awards are supported by gold sponsor, EPOCA Constructions and silver sponsor, Colin Biggers & Paisley Lawyers.
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South Geelong couple and Mexican expats Fernanda Covarrubias and Noe Mondragon will embark on a Mixed Voyage beginning today for Design Week.
“In Mexico he used to do the designs for all the advertising for me.
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As an architect there is nothing like designing your own home. For some it provides an opportunity to workshop ideas and spend real time to create a masterpiece. For others there is the challenge of not having the outside force of a client budget and deadlines. Here some of the best tell their home stories.
Ever been to a plumber’s house? So many dripping taps! An electrician’s? Full of faulty power points. But how about architects?
One of Australia’s most celebrated architects, Luigi Rosselli, laughs at the anology.
“It’s like dentists having the worst teeth,” he says.
“And in my case, it’s true. I’ve got the worst house of my career and I don’t think it’s a good example of my work at all.
“It was done 30 years ago with a small budget and in dribs and drabs for a growing family. I have both Italian and Swiss heritage so it’s very Calvinist, and one of the Calvinist beliefs is that you treat everybody well but neglect yourself. And I think that’s true in my case.”
Whereas Luigi’s work is known for its clean, elegant, minimalist lines, his own home in Clovelly is overflowing with Renaissance furniture, pieces he’s designed, paintings, sculptures and precious memories.
An extra floor and bedrooms were added as his children came along.
He loves it but, naturally, would never dream of designing anything like it for a client.
“There’s not an inch of wall left uncovered from my wife’s art and my children’s pictures,” he says.
Other architects, however, treat their homes as prime projects on which they can try out innovative ideas and which – if they pan out – can ultimately help create splendid showcases of their skill and acumen.
Eva-Marie Prineas of Studio Prineas is one.
The first home of her own she designed was an apartment in an old warehouse, and in the execution, she learnt many things she’s used since, including cleverer and more cost-effective solutions to problems.
Her second home, Elia House In Stanmore, bought nine years ago, turned into a similar success.
A detached 1890s Victorian Italianate terrace, it’s undergone a complete transformation to reveal the beautiful character and features of the original house and reconfigure the layout for a contemporary lifestyle.
“We had a clear idea of what we wanted to do, but we took our time and made it a real labour of love,” says Eva-Marie. “A lot of the detail took a long time, which we could do as it was our own house.”
“We had a lot of fun moving thing around, too. The kitchen, for instance, we moved to five different locations. We knew the goal of the masterplan, but we created little pop-up restaurant scenes in different places so we could see the wonderful opportunities that came up.”
The boarded-up front facade was stripped down and restored, the iron lace was revealed, a new indoor-outdoor space was connected to the sunken walled garden, and the original kitchen ended up outside by an outdoor fireplace. Meanwhile, the tallowwood floorboards were exposed and now run the whole length of the house.
It helps too that Eva-Marie’s husband is also an architect, BVN principal Peter Titmuss.
“Working for ourselves means we can test ideas and try things without necessarily knowing how they’re going to end up,” says Eva-Marie, who’s now put up the three-level, four-bedroom house for sale, planning to move on to her next home project.
“But I still think it’s easier to work for a client. It’s always easier to solve other people’s problems, without the emotional connection to your own.”
138 Albany Road, Stanmore NSW 2048
Domenic Alvaro, design director of Woods Bagot, is another architect who makes a habit of designing his own homes in order to learn the kind of lessons that’ll stand him in good stead for fashioning his clients’ homes in the future.
His famous Small House, an urban consolidation in Surry Hills, was the winner of the 2011 World Architectural Festival’s World House of the Year.
On the site of three car spaces on an unassuming street corner, inside, it became a Tardis-like, 200-square-metre, flowing three-level house.
His next home was the Two Wall House in Lilyfield, an infill project next to a Victorian terrace as a subdivision for a family. Now he’s planning his third, a garden pavilion-style house in Haberfield, importing stone from his ancestral home, Italy.
“I find it incredibly challenging to design for yourself because you’re not limited, which is wonderful, but that’s also difficult,” Domenic says. “You can plan forever and end up doing nothing. Having a client with a real brief and deliverables is a piece of the puzzle that’s very important, and you can get in and make decisions.”
For the biggest problem of architects and their own homes is time, he believes. It’s too tempting to try fit in a project between clients’ work, so it ends up dragging on and on. And on.
“I do like to go on the journey of exploration and do the research and push boundaries really hard to get an outcome,“ he says “And showing my wife the computer-generated images of what the house might look like proved the best way of getting her agreement to do it …”
Sometimes tension with their family can be a huge problem for architects experimenting with their own houses. Andrew Benn of Benn+Penna knows that well.
He lives in Balmain in a semi-detached house he renovated to reconnect it to the semi next door – owned by his mother. The two houses are known as A Balmain Pair, an experiment in multigenerational living, with a small flat built at the front as a means of generating extra income. In 2014, it won the Australian Institute of Architects NSW architecture award for residential alterations and additions.
But the pressure on Andrew to succeed for the sake of his own family had put even more strain on him.
“A lot of people might think that when you take a client out of the equation, life is a lot simple,” he says. “But it isn’t. When you’re working for yourself, you’re often grappling with unrealistic expectations you set on yourself.
“A client in the process can often be the voice of reason, as well as providing deadlines. But if the project’s your own, you get emotionally attached to it and you become so highly invested, I found it difficult to make decisions. It was a period in my career when I was able to spend vast amounts of time on it, which just wouldn’t be a commercial possibility now.”
Another headline-grabbing architect is Clinton Cole of CplusC Architecture who’s been acclaimed for his award-winning Welcome to the Jungle House, a warehouse conversion in inner-city Darlington. The house generates its own electricity, warms and cools itself, recycles its own waste and provides water and food, including fish, vegetables, honey and eggs.
As an eloquent statement that sustainability is attainable and can work well, it was designed to attract attention. “But it’s difficult to reel yourself in and, in the end, the only thing that does that is budget and costs,” says Clinton, who admits he missed the first Christmas deadline, and the second, his birthday, and only just met the third, the birth of a child.
“That didn’t help my relationship. I was running four other contracts at the same time, so they were the priority. But I tried to push boundaries but my partner isn’t an architect so there was some push back. There were a couple of battles, but we got there in the end, and it’s been a big success.”
For when an architect’s house doesn’t turn out well, we generally don’t hear anything of it. But when it emerges as a dazzling testament to their talent, it tends to generate a huge amount of interest.
It’s likely that Eva-Marie Prineas’ house will be the same when it opens up for inspection on the way to its sale.
“It is such a beautiful house and quite unique,” she says. “It has a lovely elevation because the living area is on one level and the garden is below, so it’s like the best thing about apartment living, seeing a lot of the sky, but you can also connect to the garden.
“I’ve actually found a lot of architects’ homes are particularly well resolved as they come from an inherent understanding of site and place and what’s best for the context …”
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Are you a budding young designer? Have you got a great idea to improve our city?
Enter the Design Your City Competition this Geelong Design Week. Submit your ideas for a new urban design concept for the City:
It may be:
A public amenity (for example: bathrooms)
Service infrastructure (for example: water, power)
A public service building (for example: library, leisure centre)
A park or public space
Entries must include:
a detailed illustration
an explanation of how it would benefit the community (up to 250 words).
Entries will be judged on:
Creative response to the theme ‘Unpredictable’
The potential benefit to the community
Quality of the visual and written communication
To be eligible to enter you must be under the age of 18 and the work must be your own. There are two categories – Junior (12 years and under) and Senior (13-17 years). There will be 5 finalists and an overall winner in each category.
Winners will receive a great prize pack, including:
Their concept turned into a professional poster and displayed at the National Wool Museum
Publication and sharing of their concept online
A family membership to the National Wool Museum valid for 1 year valued at $70
A book up to the value of $28
Finalists will also receive a family pass to the National Wool Museum and publication of their concept online.
Finalists will be selected by the National Wool Museum and Urban Design Teams.
The winners will be selected from the Finalist by the City’s Design Champion and Manager of Urban Design – Jonathan Daly.
Enter online now
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Discover the hidden connection between Cunningham Pier and Geelong’s new Civic Precinct in a Geelong Design Week event exploring the fascinating past of the precinct and surrounding area.
The event is one of two that will explore the history and future plans for the site at 137 Mercer Street, which will include 2,600 square metres of new community space and the City’s new centralised offices once completed in 2022. The second event will focus on the urban design of the precinct’s new community space.
Hosted by the City of Greater Geelong and Quintessential Equity, the two free events offer participants the opportunity to hear from a panel of historians, architects and urban designers, and contribute their own ideas on future uses for two sites adjoining the Civic Precinct.
The two sites are 2 Bayley Street and the heritage-listed 151 Mercer Street, a two-storey brick building built in 1921 as a motor garage, which represents one of only three purpose-built early 20th century motor garages in Geelong.
Mayor Stephanie Asher said the events were a great way to engage with a project set to transform Central Geelong.
It’s not often we have the chance to create a new vibrant community space in Central Geelong.
We’ve listened carefully to what Geelong community members have told us they wanted from their new precinct, and this is a great chance to see how that vision is progressing.
Geelong Design Week is a vibrant and exciting festival which further consolidates Geelong’s place on the world stage alongside other creative cities.
This year’s theme is ‘unpredictable’ and provides us all a chance to reflect on the year that’s been and the possibilities for a design-driven future.
Quintessential Equity Executive Chairman Shane Quinn said the Civic Precinct was already making its mark on Central Geelong.
The Civic Precinct is already making a positive impact on Geelong through its construction, with the large majority of works being awarded to local companies.
We’re excited to have the chance to share the project’s progress with the community and hear
what they think about the precinct plans.
Participants can attend the events at the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre or join online.
Registration is free at www.geelongaustralia.com.au/civicprecinct
Running from 18-28 March, Geelong Design Week will celebrate Geelong’s global recognition as Australia’s only UNESCO Creative City of Design. More than 60 events will imagine and explore a more resilient, more sustainable and more creative future for our community. Find the full program and book tickets at www.geelongdesignweek.com.au.
Hidden rails – History and Heritage in the Civic Precinct
18 March, 9am at Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, Wurdi Youang (5th floor)
Urban design and our Civic Precinct – Creating active community spaces
19 March, 2pm at Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, Wurdi Youang (5th floor)
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Civic Precinct explores Central Geelong’s past and future for Geelong Design Week
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Over 10 days from 18–28 March, Geelong Design Week 2021 will showcase the amazing talent and expertise of our local designers, artists and innovators and celebrate Geelong’s global recognition as Australia’s only UNESCO City of Design.
Daily from 18 March 2021 to 28 March 2021
18 March 2021
19 March 2021
20 March 2021
21 March 2021
22 March 2021
23 March 2021
24 March 2021
25 March 2021
26 March 2021
27 March 2021
28 March 2021
Multiple venues Find out more at www.geelongdesignweek.com.au
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Geelong Design Week 2021
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Researchers have developed a new tool to study ‘undruggable’ proteins through the sugars they depend on. Almost 85 percent of proteins, including those associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, inflammation, and certain cancers, are beyond the reach of current drugs. Now, with a new pencil/eraser tool, researchers can start to study how sugar molecules affect these proteins, insights that could lead to new treatments for the ‘undruggable.’
Sugar has been called “evil,” “toxic,” and “poison.” But the body needs sugars, too. Sugar molecules help cells recognize and fight viruses and bacteria, shuttle proteins from cell to cell, and make sure those proteins function. Too much or too little can contribute to a range of maladies, including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, inflammation, diabetes, and even cancer.
About 85 percent of proteins, including those associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, are beyond the reach of current drugs. One critical and abundant sugar (O-GlcNAc, pronounced o-glick-nack) is found on over 5,000 proteins, often those considered “undruggable.” But now, researchers at Harvard University have designed a new highly-selective O-GlcNAc pencil and eraser — tools that can add or remove the sugar from a protein with no off-target effects — to examine exactly what these sugars are doing and, eventually, engineer them into new treatments for the “undruggable.”
“We can now start studying particular proteins and see what happens when you add or remove the sugar,” said Daniel Ramirez, a co-author on the paper published in Nature Chemical Biology and a Ph.D. candidate in biological and biomedical sciences in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. “This is turning out to be very important for a lot of chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes and Alzheimer’s.”
Ramirez designed the original O-GlcNAc pencil, which was reported in ACS Chemical Biology.
All cells carry a multitude of sugars (called glycans), but they’re notoriously hard to study. Current tools either provide a wide-lens view (turning on or off all the O-GlcNAc in a cell) or an ultra-zoomed in view (turning on or off a single sugar on one amino acid on one protein). Neither of these perspectives can show what O-GlcNAc molecules are doing to a protein as a whole, the crucial insight that would enable researchers to connect the dots from O-GlcNAc to disease.
“With the protein-level approach, we’re filling in an important piece that was missing,” said Christina Woo, an associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology, who led the study. Her lab’s tool is like Goldilocks’ lukewarm bowl of porridge: Not too broad, not too specific. Just right.
“Once you have any protein of interest,” said first-author and postdoctoral scholar Yun Ge, “you can apply this tool on that protein and look at the outcomes directly.” Ge engineered the O-GlcNAc eraser, which, like the pencil, uses a nanobody as a protein homing device. The tool is adaptable, too; as long as a nanobody exists for a protein of choice, the tool can be modified to target any protein for which a homing nanobody exists.
The nanobody is a crucial component, but it has limitations: Whether or not it remains stuck to the target protein is still in question, and the molecule could alter the function or structure of the protein once stuck. If cellular changes can’t be definitively linked to the sugar on the protein, that muddies the data.
To skirt these potential limitations, the team engineered their pencils and erasers to be “catalytically dead,” said Woo. The neutered enzymes won’t make unwanted changes along the way to their target protein. And, they can both add and remove sugars, unlike previous tools, which cause permanent changes. Of course, once they connect a specific protein function to O-GlcNAc, they can then use those tools to zoom in and locate exactly where those sugars are latching onto and modifying the protein.
Already, a few of the Woo lab’s collaborators are using the pencil/eraser combo to study O-GlcNAc in live animals. One, for example, is using fruit flies to study how the sugar impacts a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The sugar is also associated with Parkinson’s disease progression: “If you’re taking in less glucose,” said co-author Ramirez, “then you’re not able to produce this sugar inside the cells.” That means the body can’t attach the sugars to the proteins, which causes wide-reaching changes to the cells, aggravating the disease. In diabetes, excess sugars cause similar global disruption; and cancer cells tend to eat lots of sugars. Now, with the Woo lab’s pencil/eraser pair, researchers can identify exactly how these sugars impact various proteins and start to design drugs to reverse negative effects.
Next, the team plans to tweak their tool to achieve even greater control. With optogenetics, for example, they could switch sugars on or off with just a flash of light. Swapping out nanobodies for small molecules (used in traditional drug design), they could edge closer to new treatments. They’re also designing an eraser for the eraser — a tool with a kill switch — and plan to incorporate nanobodies that can target a naturally-occurring protein (for this study, they tagged proteins so the nanobody could find them). “We’re basically trying to make the system more natural and function the way the cell does,” said Ramirez.
Woo also plans to investigate how O-GlcNAc may influence traditionally “undruggable” proteins called transcription factors, which turn genes on and off. If O-GlcNAc plays a role in that process, the sugars could be engineered to study and regulate gene function, too.
“We really don’t know what people are going to find once we give them these tools,” said Ramirez. The tool may be new, but the potential is great: “We’re on the iPhone one, basically,” he continued, “but we’re already working on the next couple generations.”
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Join the Smart City Office, in collaboration with Geelong Tech School, for a practical workshop as part of Geelong Design Week.
You’ll receive a crash course in IoT as well as the opportunity to build your own sensor.
Details can be found on our Internet of things kickstarter event page.
Registrations are essential.
This event is part of Geelong Design Week 2021, an initiative of Geelong UNESCO City of Design and the City of Greater Geelong.
Explore the full Geelong Design Week program.
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