Bower Studio

2022 - University of Melbourne Excellence Award

Excellence in Placed-based Initiatives – Cummeragunja Project Team - a collaboration with the Cummeragunja Community, Bower Studio at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, and the Academy of Sport, Health and Education.

2018 - Exhibited at Venice Architecture Biennale

The Wave Hill Walk-off Pavilions were selected for the ‘Repair’ exhibition at the Australian Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy.

2016 - Yali-McNamara Award for Small Project Architecture

Australian Institute of Architects prize for the Walk-off Pavilions on Gurindji Country, Northern Territory.

2015 - Innovation Award - Planning and Building

Australian Regional Development (ARDC) for HomePlus projects 2013, 2014

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.

David O’Brien

Rio Tinto Excellence and Innovation in Indigenous Higher Education 2012

"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."

Australian Government Office for Learning & Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning 2012

For innovative and collaborative approaches to engaging architecture students with Indigenous communities to realise development projects alongside local partners.

Neville Quarry Architectural Education Prize – Commendation 2012

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."

Student Awards

Gina  Dahl

2022 DesignInc Positive Legacy of Design Award

Dean’s Honours List, awarded for the best design from any discipline that shows the potential to have positive social and ecological outcomes or legacy

Victoria King and Daniel Bisetto

2018 John McIlwraith Award

Victoria and Dan consulted with Gurindji, Warlpiri and Mudburra people to co-design the arts centre renovation.

Georgia Hall and David Gerber

2017 John McIlwraith Award

This award supported Georgia and David conduct qualitative based post-occupancy studies at the 2018 Bower Studio project at Sipaia.

Matt Breen, Ilari Lehtonen and 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.

Fiona Lew

2010 BlueScope Steel Glenn Murcutt Student Prize

Fiona was awarded the prize for her Bower Studio work designing Single Men’s Community at Gudorrka - 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

Bower Studio students Allison, Charlotte and Karina received funding to continue the project into 2009, liaising with the Gudorrka community to renovate House 8.