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Natural wonder wins photo award

Posted 9 August 2018 - 1:22pm

An early morning photo of a dew-kissed spiders web has won CRCLCL PhD Researcher, Malay Dave, the Living Future Institute of Australia’s (LFIA) top photography award.

Stretched between native grasses and vegetation at Sandy Creek in the Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, Malay discovered the colony of spiders and their webs on an early morning walk. 

The LFIA recently announced the winners of its Biophilia Photography Awards with Malay declared the overall winner.

Malay's research focus at the CRC for Low Carbon Living is on sustainable and affordable living through modular homes and communities

Malay says he has always been fascinated with the field of biophilia, but particularly now as it is a focus area within the sustainable built environment – his field of research. 

“As an architect and a student of sustainability, I’ve always been very interested in how the environment, built or natural, influences the health and well being of people,” says Malay.

“In 2013 I had the privilege of listening to Professor Stephen Kellert, who pioneered the theory of biophilia, when he was visiting UNSW and since then I have been constantly aware of biophilic design in different forms and manifestations.”

When the LFIA launched the inaugural photography award Malay jumped at the chance.

Pictured from left to right: Stephen Choi, Georgina Reid, Amanda Sturgeon (back), Jess Miller, Roderick Simpson (back), Malay Dave, Behnaz Avazpour, Jake Weisz, Peter Church, Daniel Shipp.

“There were some very well-regarded people on the panel of judges, so I thought I should enter a few of my existing photos that captured some of the special moments I have had in the Australian natural environment,” he says.

“It was also partly an attempt to take a break, a small relief, from ongoing pressures and stresses of research,” admits Malay.

“Although, it was an indirect interaction, this engagement with biophilia has been quite a rewarding process in itself.”

Malay’s award was presented at the launch of LFIA’s Biophilic Design Initiative.