Creating a collection of site specific commissions by Alumni for Curtin University’s new city hub.


Curtin University selected Design Theory, with Art Theory’s director Lisa Reeves as art consultant, to create a new state-of-the-art interior within the heritage listed Old Perth Technical College (also known as Perth Technical School), 137 St Georges Terrace, Perth. The distinctive venue houses masterclasses, seminars, bespoke training programs and postgraduate courses, further enhancing Curtin’s engagement with city-based professionals, industry and government. 


To champion Curtin’s excellence, we wanted to tell a story centred around the university’s vast community of accomplished Alumni. We identified opportunities within the site and curated a collection of site specific pieces designed by Alumni. The pieces needed to be creative while also being suitable for the facility’s wide-ranging purposes, from Vice Chancellor events to large lectures and group workshops. With challenges including the integration of art and artisanal concepts with the demanding operational and maintenance requirements of a university. 

Fortunately we also had the pleasure of sourcing works from Curtin’s own significant art collection.  In collaboration with the John Curtin Gallery team, we selected, hung and designed lighting to showcase an impressive series of two and three dimensional works by high profile Alumni artists.


The result is a stunning and highly varied collection of works, commissioned specifically for the space.  From bespoke sideboards, lighting installation through to an impressive hand-crafted boardroom table, and the process of commissioning alumni artisans has further strengthened connections and seen the space become the Vice Chancellor’s venue of choice.

The collection was incredibly well received, recognised at the Design Institute of Australia WA Awards, and has helped create a space that has been in-demand since opening, delivering on the brief to lift Curtin’s profile and connections in the CBD.  

\  Client  Curtin University
\  Artworks  Curtin University Art Collection
\  Alumni  Michelle Chow, Adam Cruikshank, Paul Morris, Kate Stokes, Emily Wills
\  Art Consultant  Art Theory
\  Project Manager   Turner & Townsend
\  Photographer  Dion Robeson
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