2016. Yali-McNamara Award for Small Project Architecture
Australian Institute of Architects
2015. Innovation Award - Planning and Building
Australian Regional Development (ARDC)
Bower Studio HomesPLUS
2014. Vice-Chancellor’s Engagement Award
This award recognized the Bower Studio’s innovative HomesPLUS projects at the Beyuen and Titjikala (NT) communities. It noted the team’s capacity to positively engage with community groups and industry partners.
Matt Breen, Ilari Lehtonen & Trevor Galgal
2013. Dreamlarge Student Engagement Award
This award enabled students Matthew Breen, llari Lehtonen and Trevor Galgal to return to Papua New Guinea to research and refine the prototype composting toilet design built by the Bower Studio at the Sipaia Community in 2012.
2012. Rio Tinto Excellence and Innovation in Indigenous Higher Education
"David O'Brien is to be congratulated for developing and delivering such a program over many years, and for involving a wide range of community and corporate partners in order to help support it. The Rio Award is a well-deserved accolade for this excellent program."
2012. Australian Government Office for Learning & Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
For innovative and collaborative approaches to engaging architecture students with Indigenous communities to realise development projects alongside local partners.
2012. Neville Quarry Architectural Education Prize - Commendation
Jury Chair Brian Zulaikha noted in the commendation citation "The Jury acknowledged Dr O’Brien’s dedication to research and his integration of this into the Bower Studios program. The studios produce a student culture which is deeply interested in the indigenous architecture of many communities. Students have the unique experience of engaging with the community to deliver meaningful outcomes as well as the practical application of going on-site to construct the designs."
2011. Royal Institute of British Architects Dissertation Medal
Hannah Robertson received the prestigious Dissertation Medal for her work Bush Owner Builder, which developed culturally sensitive and appropriate housing for a remote Aboriginal community in Australia. "This thoughtful and thorough piece of work shows how architecture students are providing clever and sensitive solutions that aspire to vastly improve people's quality of life," Institute president Angela Brady said.
2010. BlueScope Steel Glenn Murcutt Student Prize
Fiona was awarded the prize for her work Single Men’s Community at Palmerston Indigenous Village - an examination of suitable self-help housing for itinerant men near Darwin. The awards jury said they “appreciated Fiona’s resolution of simple shelter housing that is sufficiently flexible to accommodate indigenous patterns of living with elements that can be added or subtracted”.
Allison Stout, Charlotte Fliegner & Karina Piper
2008. University of Melbourne Knowledge Transfer Award
After participating in the 2008 Bower Studio, students Allison Stout, Charlotte Fliegner and Karina Piper received funding to continue the project into 2009 and liaise with the Gudorrka community. Their consultation and designs informed the 2009 Bower Studio engagement and led to the renovation of House 8 at Gudorrka.