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Industry seminar and networking: Perth FRP Architectural Sculptures, Perth

Start Date 29 August 2017 Add to my calendar
End Date 29 August 2017
Time 2.00pm - 6.15pm
Member $65 each
Non member $95 each
Student (full time) $40 each

Event overview
The city of Perth is leading Australia in the commissioning and installation of FRP architectural sculptures, examples of which include Spanda, Ascalon, Elevacion and Covergence. All are engineered structures that are aesthetically pleasing and enrich the surrounding urban landscape within which they are installed. The event will feature speakers who have worked on these projects and who will outline design and decision making challenges experienced throughout the life of these projects. Join us  in hearing from key participants involved in these projects.

Networking function: Join us after the event for refreshments and finger food over some networking time among the delegates.

Presentations by…

Mr Brian Nelson, Director, Capital House Australasia – After working for government, and consulting practices both in Western Australia and London, Brian commenced private practice as a consulting engineer in 1980. In 1990, he became a founding director of Capital House Australasia, a consulting practice that has expanded to take on major and eclectic projects for corporate clients, contractors and government agencies throughout Australia and SE Asia. In addition to his experience with conventional building materials, Brian’s professional involvement with specialised and exotic materials includes; titanium, glass, cast metals, stressed skin structures and recently, bamboo. Over the past decade his work has largely focused on the implementation of both synthetic and natural fibre reinforced composite materials in art, architecture and infrastructure, resulting in several notable successes.

Brian will outline how composites are often the only solution that will meet both the performance specification, as well as the creative brief, for a broad range of structures. From procurement process to project delivery, he will discuss how the challenges are variously addressed to effectively exploit the attributes of FRP and extend the scale of composite manufacture to satisfy size, finish and structural demands. This will include areas such as mold making, wind tunnel investigations and environmental assessments. Brian will outline how FRP attributes were used to advantage on recent major sculptures in Western Australia. He will also describe how fibre reinforced polymers have recently achieved complex forms and high-quality surface finishes.

Glenn Swarbrick, CEO, Swarbrick Technologies – The highly respected Swarbrick family has an impressive history spanning more than 40 years in yacht building and design. Swarbrick boats have been tried and tested in some of the harshest environments and amongst the toughest racing fleets in world. Through a blend of modern technology and traditional boat building skills, Swarbrick Yachts have gained the enviable reputation of building and delivering innovative yachts of distinction. Utilising their wealth of knowledge gained in the marine composites industry they have diversified into civil structures such as bridges, facades and large art works. Glenn Swarbrick, company CEO has carried on the family tradition of building yachts and has grown the business into these diversified areas. Glenn has shared the vision and dreams of countless clients, creating products to the highest quality standards, designed and custom made to the clients brief.

Topic: The manufacturing process of Perth’s composite sculptures – Glenn will present about the manufacture of Ascalon, Cumulus, The Hand of God and WAIS Façade. He will share how the benefits of composites being used allows the making of complex self-supporting structures that have an extremely long life expectancy. These composite structures are also light weight, built offsite, easily transported and erected.

Marcus Canning, CEO, Artrage – Winner of the 2017 Western Australian of the Year Award in the Arts and Culture category, Marcus Canning is best known as the founder and CEO of the Fringe World Festival, the largest annual event in Western Australia and the third largest Fringe in the world. As an artist Marcus has created two of Perth’s most popular and critically recognised monumental public sculptures – Fremantle’s ‘Rainbow’ sea container sculpture entry statement in 2016 and ‘Ascalon’ at St. George’s Cathedral in collaboration with Christian De Vietri in 2011. Further insights into Marcus’ 25 years working across a wide array of creative industries can be found at

Topic: From Fantasy to Reality – the Ascalon Journey – ‘Ascalon’ was a sculpture conceived as a flight of fancy, designed and pitched largely for fun and an opportunity for two old friends and artists to have a creative jam in response to an international competition brief with no expectation that they’d have to actually build it. When the winner of the competition was announced, the structural engineer attached to the pitch was heard to mutter, ‘uh oh’. An impossible idea became the largest and most iconic public artwork ever built in Perth through the skills, expertise and daring of the participating companies developing and applying new methodologies of composite fabrication. Marcus will share the journey of the Ascalon project and working with both the engineers and the fabricators towards the finished public artwork.

David Thompson is a Composites Engineer at ShapeShift Design Technologies. He graduated from the University of Queensland in 2014 with a Bachelor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. During his final years of study, he developed a keen interest in composite materials and has been able to pursue this interest at ShapeShift. 

Topic: From inception to creation of Spanda – David will outline the journey from project inception through to erection of the SPANDA artwork, a series of large composite tubular rings with the largest standing 30m high. He will focus on the engineering challenges that had to be overcome in the design of such a structure and how this was possible through utilising the intrinsic properties of composite materials.

To download the brochure click here