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Outpost : Distill

Distill was a design studio that embarked on a journey of transformation, embracing the concept of distillation as its guiding philosophy. Over the course of the semester, students delved into various dimensions of this process, exploring it not just as a chemical procedure but as a broader metaphor for design, agriculture, and materials.

At the heart of this architectural exploration was the creation of a distillery, an educational space as well as farm all nestled on the picturesque Mornington Peninsula. Students carefully selected and scrutinized the raw ingredient destined for distillation and the need for thoughtful consideration was emphasized through every step of the design process.

Led by two Wardle senior staff members, Ariani Anwar and Tom Proctor this design studio with Master of Architecture Students from Melbourne School of Design at The University of Melbourne. The Outpost teaching studios serve as a prime environment for experimentation with novel concepts. We selected its name intentionally to conjure the sensation of venturing into uncharted realms —a departure from established foundations to exploring fresh horizons.

This studio encouraged an appreciation for the sensory experience of distillation. Students were encouraged to research and select a raw ingredient to be distilled. The proposed architectural design response was to use a rich palette of mediums to convey the the visitor's journey – from the tactility of materials to the visual aesthetics, from the tantalizing taste of the final product to the scents that permeate the space.


Beyond the aesthetics, the studio extended its scope to the distillation of materials for construction. A keen focus on circular economic principles and sustainable local production processes underpinned the designs. The objective was not just to create structures but to craft them with a profound understanding of materials and their life cycles.

This studio's inception stems from a fascination with the local agricultural industry and a desire to unravel the mysteries of craftsmanship. By amalgamating local production with immersive sensory experiences, it presented a unique opportunity to celebrate the journey from farm to table.

At its core, Distill champions the art of questioning. It nurtures a culture where questions are the building blocks of design and research. The Return Brief, a constant companion in the studio, represents a testament to the power of inquiry. It challenged conventional wisdom, inviting students to actively shape their design narratives.

The Distill studio was a crucible where material, craft, production, process, research, and development converge, shaping architects who question, distill, and ultimately create transformative spaces that resonate on many levels.

  • Wardle Studio Leaders Ariani Anwar and Tom Proctor
  • Wardle Studio Contributors Stefan Mee, Allan Burrows, Michelle Gan, Barry Hayes, Di Hu, Diego Bekinschtein, Mauro Zanabre
  • External Studio Contributors Richard Stokes
  • Architecture Students Antonius Suherman, Gulneet Kaur, Sen Xu, Jianing Hu, Tin Yau Chau, Cassandra SavAntonius Suherman, Gulneet Kaur, Sen Xu, Jianing Hu, Tin Yau Chau, Cassandra Savvas, Zonglei Mao, Eunju Kim, Tianyu Liu, Yan He, Yiqian Li, Hoi Yau Lo
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