The Nyul Nyul Community Packing Shed in Kimberley, Western Australia, has been recognised with a prestigious Good Design Award Winner accolade in the Social Impact category in recognition for outstanding design and innovation.
The Good Design Awards are the highest honour for design and innovation in the country and reward projects across 12 design disciplines and 30 subcategories. The Nyul Nyul Community Packing Shed recognised in Australia’s International Good Design Awards for Design Excellence.
NYUL NYUL COMMUNITY PACKING SHED
To support the future growth of their native harvest business, SJB collaborated with the Traditional Elders of the Nyul Nyul Community on the Dampier Peninsula north of Broome to design a multipurpose community packing shed that is entirely pre-fabricated and can be assembled on site within 7 working days.
Grounded in traditional knowledge and practices, the harvesting of native fruits such as the vitamin C rich Gubinge — one of nature’s superfoods — by traditional custodians represents an important form of sustainable business across Western Australia’s Kimberley region.
The facility acts as a sorting shed throughout the picking season — December to March — and is designed to withstand the wet season cyclonic conditions while allowing a cool natural environment for working and meeting.
In protest of the disruptive impact of the mining industry, the use of any metals has been kept to a minimum including the connection details for beams, columns and sheets. A predominantly timber structure is achieved using native hardwood dowels in combination with termite-resistant, treated Laminated Veneer Lumber and Plywood. Where possible, the innovative CNC machined elements are preassembled for streamlined construction.
Responding to the site’s ever shifting environmental conditions, the shed is designed to leave no trace when disassembled.
TRADITIONAL OWNER CONSULTATION PROCESS
The project client is Nyul Nyul traditional owner and Elder Bruno Dann — who sought a physical structure to support the community business of wild harvesting and selling bushfoods at Twin Lakes, which he first established in 2009. In addition to supplying super foods like the Gubinge to the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry, the Nyul Nyul community share a long relationship with chef Jock Zonfrillo and his restaurant Orana; champions of the use of Indigenous gathering and cooking techniques and creators of the Indigenous Food Database.
Over ten years we have worked with and learnt from Elder Bruno Dann and his partner Marion about Country, the importance of place and what type of facility the community wanted. This discussion occurred over many trips to Country, learning a little more each trip, ensuring that the design response would be respectful and reflective of the community’s ambitions. An understanding of the existing structures on site helped to educate us about the local environment — structures that provide cover and shade, a place that protects from water and storms yet is also open enough to provide ventilation.
By staying on Country with the traditional owners, the project team were able to develop an understanding of the environmental conditions the packing shed would need to withstand; everything from monsoonal wet seasons and cyclonic winds to heat and hungry termites. As the design developed, this engagement unearthed an important aspiration for the materiality: to protest the disruptive impact of the mining industry by keeping the use of any metals to a minimum, resulting in timber dowel connections for beams, columns and sheets.
The project is located on the land of the Nyul Nyul people, who are the custodians of Winawarl, the Country that is also known as Twin Lakes Cultural Park.
THE PROJECT TEAM
- Bruno Dann & the NyulNyul Community
- The Orana Foundation
- Promena Projects
- van der MeerConsulting
The Good Design Awards Jury commented:“A wonderful collaborative design project. The shed in itself is a very powerful symbol for frugal and context appropriate design. It is a scalable and effective solution and makes the case for design supporting creative decisions for people and planet. Overall, a really impressive example of design for impact and a standout project that ticks every box for good design in this category. Congratulations.”
THE GOOD DESIGN AWARDS
The Australian Good Design Awards is the country’s oldest and most prestigious international awards for design and innovation with a proud history dating back to 1958. The Awards celebrate the best new products and services on the Australian and international market, excellence in architectural design, precinct design, engineering, fashion, digital and communication design, and reward new and emerging areas of design including design strategy, social impact design, design research and up-and-coming design talent in the Next Gen category