Five Australian students headed to Copenhagen last week to participate in the inaugural MADE by the Opera House (Multidisciplinary Australian Danish Exchange) tertiary exchange program between Australia and Denmark.

Held in collaboration with the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts – Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, the five Australian winners are:

  • Laura Craft – Combined Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Design in Architecture, 5th year, University of Sydney
  • Robert Martin – Bachelor of Design in Architecture, 3rd year, University of Sydney
  • Jennifer McMaster – Master of Architecture, 4th year, University of Sydney
  • Olivia Savio-Matev – Bachelor of Design in Interior and Spatial Design, 3rd year, University of Technology Sydney
  • Matthew Wells – Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce, 4th year, University of Sydney

All five winners get the opportunity to travel to Denmark. In return, five Danish students will make their way Down Under in July.

The participants in the six-week exchange were drawn from the disciplines involved in the iconic Opera House’s construction – architecture, engineering and design – and will work on a multidisciplinary project with various engineering and architecture firms during the program.

International architecture firm Henning Larsen Architects will host the first cohort of Australian students at their Copenhagen  headquarters from today, 13 January to 21 February 2014.

Image: Prudence Upton. Source:

Originally a student of Sydney University’s Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, MADE winner Laura Craft said her fascination with the possibilities of form through integrated structural knowledge led her to transfer to the combined degree with Civil Engineering in 2010.

“Utzon’s Sydney Opera House exemplifies the innovative potentials of integrated design in its endeavour for ‘total architecture’, which is now prevalent in more recent ground-breaking projects such as Beijing’s Watercube,” said Craft.

“It will not only be amazing to see so many of Jorn Utzon’s built projects in Denmark, but to stay in one of his buildings for a week in Majorca will be quite surreal.”

The first stop for the Australian students is Utzon’s World Heritage-listed house, ‘Can Lis’ in Majorca, Spain. Utzon visited the island in 1966 during his return trip to Denmark, after working on the Sydney Opera House’s project.

The house was then built and completed in 1971 as a summer residence for Utzon and his wife.

Can Lis by Jorn Utzon. Image:

MADE by the Opera House is supported by MADE partners Arup and Steensen Varming, the NSW Architects Registration Board and three Danish foundations – The Bikuben Foundation, The Dryer Foundation and The Obel Family Foundation.

The program aims promote international and cross-disciplinary interaction between students of engineering, architecture and design in the built environment, strengthening the cultural and professional links between Australia and Denmark – a connection first forged with the creation of the Sydney Opera House.

The program will run over the next ten years, with five Australian students travelling to Denmark each year and vice versa.