Sean Booth (left) and Rohan Nicol working on the 'cupped hand' section of the Wright Hall crest. Photo by Adam Spence.
An inspiring crest based on a beehive
What do the symbols in the crest on Wright Hall mean? Evana Ho reports.
There are logos and crests on walls that we walk past every day without a second thought. However, a new one on campus deserves a closer look – the crest that sits five storeys high on the Wright Hall residence.
The design began with the three guiding principles for the new residential community – Tenacitas, Comitas, Gratia – tenacity, courtesy, gratitude – created by Wright Hall benefactors Graham and Louise Tuckwell.
The task of interpreting the principles into a design was handed to ANU Gold and Silversmithing Workshop Head Dr Rohan Nicol, technical officer Sean Booth and Head of the ANU Glass Workshop, Associate Professor Richard Whiteley.
“The Tuckwells also put something else to us,” Nicol says. “They liked the idea of the beehive – it represents enterprise and industriousness, and the idea that beehives are a cooperative and have a shared cause.”
From this, the team came up with some designs, but had difficulty incorporating the motto. They commissioned a graphic designer who fashioned the symbols that now serve as shorthand for the Latin words and also can be read at a distance.
The cupped hand represents giving back, the ‘O’ is for community and the flat bar denotes resilience. The bottom cell represents you, the students, coming together to build on these core values.
Their design wasn’t just for a crest. Inside Wright Hall, the visual motif is repeated on the interiors and furnishings. The design will also appear on sporting attire, letterheads and webpages.
“It’s about building identity and community through a visual system, building a sense of place,” Nicol says.
“The symbols in the crest will become code for the values that Wright Hall represents. When the residents look up, they’ll understand what the crest and those symbols mean.”