New Architects Medallion design announced

The Board is pleased to announce the winner of the Architects Medallion design competition is a team led by HY William Chan (Medallion design), Ramin Jahromi (Nominated Architect) and Rob Asher (Computational Design) from Cox Architecture; supported by Kristie Fitch, Bunda Jewellery and Palloys, NSW.

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The new design retains the medallion’s existing geometry and size in a collaboration between designers, programmers, jewellery makers and manufacturers in the design development and production of the 3D-printed brass medallion.

For almost a century, the Architects Medallion has recognised excellence in those graduating from a course in architecture. This new design allows the NSW Architects Registration Board to refresh the relevance of the Medallion by combining its long tradition, with the latest in computational design and fabrication. This ensures legibility and printability of the medallion, each individualised for the recipients. The outcome is a richly complex, beautiful medallion”, said Dr Deborah Dearing, President of the Board.

The design challenges traditional methods of personalisation through digital automation by transforming the recipient’s identity as an integral part of the form, structure and materiality. As a result, every Architects Medallion is di­fferent and as unique as its recipient, reflecting their own future aspirations as an architect.

“Architects devote their lives perfecting their craft through education and applying research to innovate the future of our environment. We design architecture that is sensitively unique and contextually complex, yet responds to competing challenges through creative problem solving. So why not have an Architects Medallion that is crafted to be equally bespoke in its design and embraces the ever-changing need to generate creative solutions?”, said HY William Chan

More about the Medallion design

To customise the medallion’s text (year, recipient and university name), the design is automated as a three-dimensional model through a custom-built computational workflow. Using Rhinoceros and Grasshopper software, a script has been coded that allows a computer to design the medallion model just by inputting the recipient name, selecting the university and year. The medallion design treats words and each letter as geometric elements that need to parametrically relate to each other to form a coherent and structurally integral design. It achieves a structural net that calculates the geometric overlaps in between each letter (x-axis) and line (y-axis). Because the personalised texts are at varied lengths, each arrangement is di­fferent. The script converts an arbitrary string of text into a geometry and then adjusts the typographic kerning and leading through the scale and distribution of the letters in relation to the whole medallion. This ensures legibility and printability of the medallion, each individualised for the recipients.

More about the Architects Medallion

The Board has awarded the Architects Medallion since 1924 to a graduate of the Master of Architecture course from a school in New South Wales, who has achieved distinction both in a particular subject area at final level and generally throughout the last two years of the course. Past recipient's include Richard Johnson (1969), Ric LePlastrier (1973), Dr Deborah Dearing (1979), Prof Helen Lochhead (1984), Richard Francis-Jones (1985), Rachel Neeson (1994) and more.

The winner of the 2018 Architects Medallion will be announced in late March 2018.

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