Big Plans & Tiny Homes

CABN - photo by Murray Fredericks

CABN – photo by Murray Fredericks

By Shane Laidlaw

In 2017 I was fortunate enough to become a recipient of the AVCAT TPI South Australia scholarship. This gave me the ability to afford the expenses associated with studying. I was studying for a Bachelor of Architectural Design, and this degree requires copious amounts of materials and accessories.

I am two years into a three-year degree and I have deferred this year to pursue a job offer I received. Around the start of my second year, I started working at the factory of a company called CABN, they build off-grid tiny homes. I quickly realized the skills I was developing through my studies could be applied to the company, so I spent countless hours of my own time juggling both university study and working on new designs to show my boss.

Most nights I was figuring out how to improve my 3D modeling, rendering, drafting and design skills in the hope that I could begin to work in a field that’s orientated with my studies. After presenting many different designs I was able to design the first interior layout for a CABN. This was great as I was seeing my designs come to fruition.

I’d spend days at university, and evenings with homework and with the little time I had left I spent it developing designs. Thanks to AVCAT this was a possibility for me, that financial aid meant I was able to dedicate more time to myself and my studies.

CABN - Interior designed by Shane

CABN – Interior designed by Shane

I first started working a couple of hours a week but now I’ve been offered a full-time job at CABN, working on design and media. This is great as it also allows me to start planning my own small business; managing social media marketing and content creation for small businesses, and custom 3D design renders so clients can visualize their homes or renovations prior to construction. I have built up experience and networked heavily in these two fields over the past year whilst working for CABN.

Pursuing this has meant I have deferred my final year studies and may return at a later date. I am continuously thankful for the help I have received from the great team at AVCAT, their assistance with my studies has been fantastic and I am incredibly lucky to have them help me. Shane was awarded an AVCAT TPI SA Scholarship in 2017. He has deferred his studies in Architectural Design at the University of Adelaide.

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Photos courtesy of CABN –

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