Tag Archives: Creativity

Creative Cubby Project at Ballarat Heritage Weekend 2015

Talina Edwards Architecture Elemental Design Ballarat Renovations Green Homes BuildingHere’s some images from our Creative Cubby Project event at the 2015 Ballarat Heritage Weekend. This year’s theme was “A Century of Service”, and we were commissioned by The City of Ballarat for the “In Their Boots” children’s’ activities.

Talina Edwards Architecture Elemental Design Ballarat Renovations Green Homes Building

Flyer for our Facebook Page leading up to the event

We designed and constructed an interactive maze-like installation that replicated World War 1 trenches for the”Kids Trail”, that was fun, educational and relevant. My architect skills certainly came in handy during the “design” phase and initial discussions with the Heritage Weekend’s curator and organisers. This was a different event than we have run before, and we had to very well-planned with our cardboard-box design (instead of the kids building their own.) Continue reading

How much fun is a cardboard box?!

Talina Edwards Architecture Eco Cubby Creative Kids Ballarat


 Here’s a few pix from our Creative Cubby Project at the Ballarat Begonia Festival Weekend to show you just how much fun a cardboard box (or dozens of them!) can be!

Ballarat Begonia Festival Sustainable Design Eco Green Cubby House Home

Visitors found our posters really helpful to know what we were all about.

Continue reading

The Creative Cubby Project is back!

Our fabulous Creative Cubby Project which teaches kids more about sustainability and design while making eco-cubbies out of recycled materials, is back! We will be at the Ballarat Begonia Festival THIS Weekend (Sat 7th – Mon 9th March)!

ballarat eco architect cubby house sustainable kids activities

For those who don’t know, Ballarat Begonia Festival was the 2014 winner of “Australia’s favourite event”! It is FREE with loads to see and do for all ages! On for three days over the Labour Day Long Weekend from 10am – 5pm each day.  For more details and full program of events, see here. You’ll find us in the Botanical Gardens on the main thoroughfare (the Prime Ministers Walk) diagonally opposite the main stage and adjacent to the food court. The Moroccan tea tent is across the way, and the enormous sandpit next to us….there’s SO much to see and do! Just a keep a look out for all the huge cardboard boxes on the lawn under the oak trees! Continue reading

Creative Cubby Project – Ballarat Show 2014

You probably know by now that I’m not “just an architect” (nor just a mother), but that I also love sharing my passion with others about sustainable design, often by writing and speaking about it, and being involved with the local community.

I’ve been involved with a fabulous project with a great team that brings a lot of my interests together – it’s a Creative Cubby Project – to teach and inspire (and be inspired by!) our future generations about sustainable living. How much fun?!

Creative Cubby Project Ballarat Show Flyer

Our flyer… it’s all about FREE, fun and family-friendly!

Our first event was at the Ballarat Show, this past weekend. Three full days of creativity, fun, play, innovation, inspiration and learning a bit about sustainability, whilst building a giant cubby house out of recycled materials! We were very fortunate to receive a “Community Impact Grant” from the City of Ballarat to help fund the project. Most of our materials were donated – including some very large boxes, or purchased from the fabulous recycled collection at Reverse Art Truck (formerly known as Reverse Garbage). These included boxes, egg cartons, cardboard tubes, cereal boxes, card, bottle tops, synthetic grass, timber dowells, ribbons, magazines, straws, cork, pipe-cleaners, fabric and more!


Just some of our materials… we had LOADS!

We were a spin-off from an “Eco-Cubby House” event at last year’s show, and were also very inspired by “Caine’s Arcade” – a 9yo boy who built an entire games-arcade from cardboard! Check out the heartwarming video about him, and the “Imagination Foundation” that resulted… We even joined our project in their Global Cardboard Challenge (which is all about engaging kids all over the world in creative play – over 46 countries are currently involved)!


Our little makers (and some big ones too!) were so busy creating!

I loved the imagination and creativity that the kids displayed – and their parents too! We had a rule of “no glue and no paint” so everything could be dismantled and disassembled at the end of the project and then reused or recycled. This meant more innovation and creativity was involved with the building and making! Instead of glue, our fixings included: masking tape, pegs, string, rubber-bands, twist-ties, paper-clips, bulldog-clips,  pipe-cleaners, pins and staples.


Our eco-cubby house and garden!

Our main cubby house was built over the three days and included tunnels, towers, secret rooms, openable windows and doors, skylights, peepholes, curtains, flyscreens, wind turbines, solar panels, ceiling fan, roof garden, green wall (with flowers), letter box, chimney, welcome mat and more! Our main garden area included a large tree (complete with leaves, birds, insects, swing, lantern, nest and more), a sky (including sun, clouds, rainbow and plane), our rooftop garden (full of trees, plants, flowers, scarecrow, caterpillars, rabbits, pig, birds and butterflies),  stepping-stones, a fish pond, and a patchwork shade sail!


Look at some these fabulous creations!

The kids had free reign over what they wanted to contribute to the project.  Some of their ideas were fabulous! Check out the welcome-sign for the door, the barbecue complete with kebabs(!), the upholstered armchair, the stick insect and spider, and the fish pond complete with water-feature! We had a radio, a tv, a clock, all made out of cardboard! There was also a garage – as we had some truly inventive tractors, trolleys, cars and trains… all run on fuel from renewable resources of course!


How much fun is a big box with a hole cut in it?!

I think our favourite thing was seeing the joy on the kids’ faces as they explored and discovered the ins and outs of the cubby, and then felt some ownership as they contributed. It was so gorgeous to see! We had such lovely feedback from both the kids and adults – many visited more than once, or stayed for quite a long time, and many said it was their favourite thing at the show! We especially loved hearing that our zone was a calm haven amongst the crazy, busy, noisy, expensive and instant-gratification of the rides/carnival-games/junk- food/showbags outside our pavilion. We had repeat comments about the value of ‘quality family time’, free-family-friendly, space to recalibrate, calm haven for kids, creative craft time, easy to replicate at home, held their kids attention, learning more about sustainability and reduce/re-use/recycle… and the words “slow cubby movement” were heard a number of times….


Our Creative Cubby Project team!

I feel very fortunate to have been invited to be part of this fabulous community art engagement initiative!
A big thanks to the fabulous project co-ordinator, Pauline O’Shannessy-Dowling, (POD Design) who is a local Visual Artist, who creates intricate, whimsical drawings often with bright, bold colours. She regularly runs art-workshops with school children, encouraging creativity and artistic expression of imimaginative thinking.  And a big thanks to the lovely Liz Cummins, Ballarat Landscape Architect of ‘Bricolage Design‘ who specialises in play spaces and children’s landscapes. Liz also has a background in early childhood education – how lucky were we to have her wisdom and experience! Liz also wrote a great wrap-up of the weekend here. And for those who don’t know me, I’m Talina Edwards, of Ballarat-based sustainable design studio ‘Talina Edwards Architecture: elemental design‘, and also a mum to two creative young lads. I think together we made a great team, and please stay tuned for further news about where our Creative Cubby Project might pop up next!

Find out more:
Like us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CreativeCubbyProject
Follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/creative_cubby
Email us at: creativecubbyproject@gmail.com

And as always, if I can assist in any way with your very own “eco – cubby”, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! ;o)





Do you value creativity in kids? What’s your creative outlet? What do you do to “slow” down? (Please reply in the comments box below).


Talina Edwards Architecture is a Ballarat-based studio, specialising in sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes. We like to help answer your questions about environmental design. Don’t forget you can click here to sign up to receive our monthly newsletter  (or over there on the top right-hand side of this webpage) so you won’t miss out on our news!


5 Architecture Gift Ideas for Kids

Do you know a little creative person who loves architecture? They might love building cubbies and forts, constructing sand-castles or making dolls-houses for their toys out of cardboard boxes! However if you need a few MORE ideas for what else they might like for Christmas, here are my top five gift ideas for encourage your budding little Architect! (Or for ALL children really!)

1. Kids Architecture Books

There are some fabulous books about Architetcure for kids! Some of my faves (and the ones my kids love too!) are “Iggy Peck, Architect” where young Iggy is passionate with architecture and manages to save the day, or “Roberto: The Insect Architect” which is a very humorous tale about a termite that loves building with wood (instead of eating it!) with clever references to world-famous architects, or “See Inside Famous Buildings” a flip-the-flap book by Usbourne.

2. Wooden Blocks

Every kid should have a set of wooden blocks! I love the texture of the wood, I love the open-ended play (meaning kids use their imagination and creativity to use the blocks in any way possible through exploration and discovery) and I love that kids are sub-consciously learning about science while they play (physics when constructing a tower, and then the law of gravity when the blocks come tumbling down!). Whether they are home-made or shop-bought, blocks are a great toy for all ages. And world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright  said his inspiration for Falling Water came from his love of playing with blocks as a child!

3. Lego

Lego was always my favourite toy as a child! I’d spend hours designing and building houses, and then keep them for months – not wanting my masterpieces destroyed! I kept my big box of lego, and my sons now love it too! Yes its a plastic toy, but it is so durable and lasts for YEARS, and still always fetches a high price if you’re willing to part with it! They even have Architectural lego sets for the grown-ups now too… I might put that on MY wishlist for Santa this year!

4. Architecture 3D Puzzles / Models

My son was given some of these great sets as gifts, and he loved constructing these world-famous buildings, and then being able to look up images online of the real deal! They’re made of cardboard/foam-core so are lightweight and the pieces just punch out and slot together with no scissors or glue required. They look very impressive once built, and were a big hit at school for “show and tell”!

5. Sketchbook and Pencils

Every little Architect loves drawing! So provide the materials they need to maintain their passion! The gift of a special sketchbook that can be used as a “Visual Diary” to be creative daily with their drawings is sure to be gratefully received. Stay away from colouring-books where the pictures are already drawn, and provide a blank canvas instead with no preconceptions about what ‘should’ be on the page. As a child, I desperately wanted a box set of Derwent pencils for a gift… finally one year I got the prized set and I finally felt I was a ‘real’ artist! I still have them (although some favourite colours are on the stubby side now), and my kids now use them too!



I think these ideas are great for fostering creativity and imagination for ALL children – not just those who have shown an interest in building and architecture! I’d love to hear your thoughts – don’t be shy – comment below.

What was your favourite toy as a kid? What do your kids love playing with? Do you think you may have a little architect in the making?

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Talina x