Yesterday I spent my Saturday at the Testing Grounds for the annual One:One event held by SONA nationwide. Being Deakin University’s SONA representative this year allowed me to help organise and run the event this year, and I must say after seeing everybody yesterday I’m pretty excited to be able to participate myself next year. In a nutshell, One:One is a day where students and architects come to a mutual location, given a range of materials [with the theme this year being reclaim, all the material was salvaged, recycled and reused] with an assigned brief [each group has a different brief], and they basically have the day to design and build something at a 1:1 scale.

Students during their studies rarely get to build something at 1:1 scale, they may put together an IKEA desk or shelving but not something they designed. In fact at Deakin, they use to do the 2A studio project at a 1:1 but it has now been reduced to 1:10 (was 1:5 when I did it last year), so students miss out on learning actual size detailing and testing ideas. It’s easy sometimes to fudge a 1:100 model to make it appear work but when you’re working with the actual material and you have the actual weight, quality and quantity, it’s harder to fudge. What I’m trying to say is, I fully agree with the One:One event!


Taking the early morning train, armed with my worker boots and a dream, and also stopping at McDonalds for a hearty breakfast, we arrived at the Testing Grounds in Southbank. For those who have never heard of the Testing Grounds, it is a public open space in the heart of Southbank where artists can come and test ideas, there are independent films screen, food growing and…. just visit their website! It was the perfect venue for what One:One was about, testing ideas using reclaimed materials.


The morning went without a hitch, no one drived nails into their hands or feet, no fingers severed (I take that back, a SONA rep cut their finger whilst slicing onions!) and the sun was shining. So what were the briefs you ask? Well…

– sculpture
– bike racks
– a bar
– seating
– lighting installation


Melbourne being ‘Classic Melbourne’ opened the heavens for us towards the end of the day, but this didn’t phase everyone as they were focused on completing their projects.


Once the sun fell and the projects were completed, an exhibition took place, with beverages and food to be had. Winding down with a speech from the national sponsor Wood Solutions, thanks given to the AIA, EmAGN, VYAG, Testing Grounds and the SONA team, the event concluded. Walking back to Southern Cross with the Deakin crew we caught a late train which sent us back to Geelong.

I took plenty of happy snaps throughout, which you can see on the SONA Deakin One:One Facebook album or if you want to see more professional photos taken by someone who uses a legit camera and doesn’t get the shakes, check out the official One:One Facebook Album which has plenty of great photos.

All-in-all, although I was rained on, got blisters from the boots and had a shocking headache (and running through the pouring streets of Melbourne to find a chemist) for part of the afternoon, it was a great day! Thanks to everyone involved, both students and architects, it wouldn’t of happened without you, thanks to sponsors, Testing Grounds and everyone who helped out!