Other Experiences of Design and Development, Applying Engineering and Management Skills to Different Problems
Though ultimately Carbonix became entirely focused on aerospace, during the early growth stages we also subsidised the aerospace work by exploring the automotive world – applying our design and manufacturing skills to a single-seater monocoque chassis and aero-optimised body surfaces for a number of track oriented sports cars…
This served as another proof-point of the versatility of advanced composites and aeroelastic modelling as well as testament to the value of crosspollination! A not insignificant side-benefit is keeping engineers stimulated with new diverse challenges.
Stage Zero - Designing Spaces Where to do Amazing Things
Design problem solving is the tip of an iceberg. It is only possible to do it beautifully when underlying elements such as organisation, funding, and space are in place.
This is a lesson I learned early on. It drove me to pursue architecture as my formal education and always put a high premium on creating beautiful spaces to do beautiful work.
Thinking through an architectural scheme on a practical level is essential – how to lay out and partition a space, how workflow will be organised, and what plant and equipment must be installed…
But the less tangible aspects of cleanliness, visual consistency, order, texture and even smells, are just as critical.
Starting with a rented garage, I practiced realising beautiful productive spaces at home as well as in the various locations of Carbonix, including Cockatoo Island and our current HQ in Artarmon.
Considering architectural design in terms of both practical technical specifications and aesthetic qualities is key to generating spaces that are conducive to great work and inspire others to create passionately.
One interesting customer project was creating a flight of carbon stairs for in a very beautiful high-end waterfront house in Sydney.
The steps were designed, tooled, and built by Carbonix, with Ellis Engineered completing the structural certification.
Our customer wanted the steps to be a feature. The final curved tapered shape recalls a hull or wing. The mechanical properties of carbon allowed each step, cantilevered off the marble-clad wall, to be visually thin yet structurally very stiff.