I had a fabulous morning on Monday, teaming up with Peter Maddison, Emily Power, and Ben and Andy from The Block to judge Kids’ Under Cover’s Cubby House Challenge at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
The tenth annual cubby House Challenge sees some of Australia’s best building and architectural teams competing to build Australia’s best cubby. The cubbies are then auctioned off with the funds raised going to Kids Under Cover, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to preventing youth homelessness.
I was so impressed by how true the built cubbies were to the entrants’ original vision sketches. Some focused on imagination, some on physical interaction, and some combined both. All the entrants took very different approaches, which I liked, and all steered away from the ‘traditional’ cubby house and did their bit to redefine this childhood favourite hide-away.
A couple of the entries had a truly playground feel to them an were all about childhood interaction. One was all about imagination and invited kids to disappear into the space and interpret it however they wanted. One transported kids back to their own home library while another, constructed from shiny metals and plastics was pure Sci Fi while still retaining that cubby feel.
As judges, our job was to judge the cubbies on two criteria: technical merit and how kids interact with the space.
It was great fun seeing what each of the different judges brought to the mix. Ben and Andy are just big kids themselves so they looked at the cubbies from a kid’s perspective, Emily looked at the cubbies from a real estate point of view and how she thought they’d perform on the market which was an interesting take, while Peter examined them from an architectural point of view.
We all had different approaches to the judging, but we all reached consensus in the end. Then they brought in the experts – the kids – to play test the cubbies.
What was the consensus? You’ll have to keep an eye on Kids Under Cover’s social media channels to find out on Thursday night.