M.Arch student Melanie Kaviani has won the 2013/14 Nicholas Durbridge Award for Collaboration with her Thesis Project ‘From Ink to Aviary to Simorgh Art Festival’.

The project features a number of collaborations with a professional dancer, an alumnus and third-year students from a number of courses. It was selected for the Nicholas Durbridge Award for Collaboration, which recognises, “a truly collaborative team effort” and, “outcomes which could only have been achieved through such a collaboration between disciplines.”

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Ed Frith, M.Arch Course Leader, said: “The context of AUB has a terrific potential to work and make across the arts, Melanie used her remarkable creative energy to really exploit this opportunity – congratulations to her.

Our external examiners, Neil Gillespie from award-winning Reich & Hall in Edinburgh and Harriet Harriss from Oxford Brookes, were really impressed by all the M.Arch students works this year and in particular Melanie’s  and Nathan Ball’s which won an RIBA South West prize.”

Melanie’s project started from her passion for Persian calligraphy, “using ink as a metaphor to resemble and to recreate the soft, curvy movement of this script writing.”, with the first collaboration taking form of a dance by classically trained ballet dancer and choreographer Kataneh Karimian.

The second collaboration in the project was inspired by a hat with Persian calligraphy script found in the Russell-Cotes Gallery: “This was an inspiration to make a hat with Lyndsey Pook, a final year Costume and Performance Design Student at AUB. This hat represents moveable, transportable pods for art as workshop and performance venue to share art and culture across boundaries.”

A further two collaborations for the project were produced with final-year Modelmaking students Fedinand Wehr and Oliver Knights. With Melanie, they produced a 3D object resin printed model for Melanie’s proposed Persian Peace Pavilion and designs for three permanent Art-based structures, respectively.

Finally, the fifth collaboration project was with Alastair Hyde-Tetley, AUB alumnus and former Digital Media Production Student. With Hyde-Tetley, Melanie produced a three-minute movie documenting the whole thesis project.

On the project, Melanie said: “In order to develop my project, I was fortunate to be able to draw on the expertise of other students at AUB.

Collaboration with other students meant we could brainstorm and exchange ideas. Although it was challenging at times, the whole experience was both enjoyable and enlightening and gave me an insight into other disciplines.

I am very grateful to Ed Frith, MArch’s course leader, to encourage me throughout this journey.”