- Matt Caldar
- Lauren Garner
- Olivia Potter
- Will Muhleisen and Courtney Brown
Platform, a Victorian Design Challenge shortlisted project, a strategic insertion at Noble Park Train Station aiming to foster entrepreneurship in young people.
An intergenerational and community place in a busy hub beneath the new skyrail, Platform provides a physical platform for young people to start their own business. They are given a quality space in the public realm, alongside established social enterprises.
Platform collaborates with City of Greater Dandenong, FYA and Keysborough College to develop skills for use socially or in business. Demountable shelters house storage for small businesses allowing the flexibility required by ambitious student entrepreneurs and social enterprises.
One of the most important things society must do is support and equip young people in their professional development.
Platform does this by layering a physical space with the input of multiple stakeholders. Platform is the meshing together of the Foundation of Young Australians, VicTrack, $20 Boss, Level Crossing Removals, Office and the City of Greater Dandenong. It takes the entrepreneurial pursuits of young people seriously, enabling them to take risks as they explore career possibilities.
Platform seeks to transform the way entrepreneurial business can happen for teenagers. It provides kids with a safe, public, communal and joyful space of their own at an active node within the community, conceived through interdisciplinary thinking.
Platform was realised through thinking about youth from many angles and through the lenses of multiple stakeholders who support children and their entrepreneurial pursuits. At its core, Platform is human-centred design, focussing on the possibilities of youth in society today. We believe that using this multidisciplinary approach provides a multiplicity of richness in our proposal.
At Platform, kids are allowed to be loud in their local community. There are no strict rules or restrictions – Platform is purely a backdrop for kids to have agency over space.
VicHealth identified increasing social isolation, job-stress and the shift towards predominantly online interaction as putting young Victorians at high risk of mental health challenges. Platform considers professional interaction a booster of their interpersonal skills.
Working with the $20 Boss program, students are issued a challenge of using small amounts of capital to create social benefit in their community.
Platform allows school students to interact with an array of commuters. By engaging with Platform students gain confidence interacting and backing themselves while developing a valued place in their community.
In conjuction with engaging with students entrepreneurial ventures Platform offers leases to social enterprises in the hope to foster ethics and business practices within the Platform community.
Design innovation occurs three fold within the project:
1. The Model: Engagement & Procurement
Together with the FYA and local council, we have developed a model of engagement and delivery which engages young people with private enterprise, local businesses, and local council to produce an outcome which renders favourable circumstances for all.
2. Social Legacy and Support:
Using a phasing system which echoes the term cycle, the project is able to be geared towards students and staged. 20% of the revenue generated by rent can be pooled from which students can propose grants for their development, education & startup costs. The remaining percent will go towards income for management and maintenance of the site.
3. The Design prototype:
The design proposes the use of highly durable heavy duty, waterproof, wind resistant fibre.
We have been developing and prototyping the design for this tensile structure and believe it is both innovative and beautiful.
Conceived by students and graduates of architecture, product designers and landscape architects, Platform challenges the common rhetoric that kids are too young, shy or vulnerable to participate in larger society. The permanent and physical presence of Platform says kids want to be valued, taken seriously and that they care about their place in their environment.