DULUX GALLERY, MELBOURNE SCHOOL OF DESIGN
Named after a species of fast-growing mushroom, Pholiota was the house Marion Mahony Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin constructed in 1919, using their innovative Knitlock brick system. Quick and cheap and easy to use, Knitlock’s vertebrae-like modules were designed with the aim of ‘democratizing’ the construction process because they could be assembled by homeowners themselves, rather than tradespeople.
In October, as part of the Melbourne Festival’s Cultural Collisions program, the house became the subject of an exhibition at the Melbourne School of Design, with a 1:1 model of the home assembled by students and staff in the School’s Dulux Gallery. In addition to experiencing the replica, the exhibition also allowed visitors to explore the home in a 21st century context, with updated floor plans, furniture and surroundings, via the use of virtual reality headsets.
Photographer_ Melbourne School of Design
ANDREW LEE KING FUN GALLERY, MELBOURNE SCHOOL OF DESIGN
Coincidences was an exhibition produced by John Wardle Architects, featuring 26 photographs, that examined similarities – some previously unnoticed and some obvious – that might exist across a collection of the firm’s buildings.
Presented on beautifully designed plinths, the exhibition continued on from themes presented in the firm’s recently published book, ‘This Building Likes Me’. A select group of 12 photographers were asked to capture images of pairs of JWA buildings and find their related elements. In doing so, the practice was able to reflect upon its own work, while common traces and ideas – a kind of practice DNA – was revealed through the photographer’s eye.
Image by_ John Wardle Architects
MADA GALLERY, MONASH UNIVERSITY
Earlier this year, the MADA Gallery in conjunction with CRC for Water Sensitive Cities hosted “Swamped”, an exhibition demonstrating sustainable and water-sensitive design options for the Melbourne bayside suburb of Elwood.
Firstly focussing on Elwood as a case study, and then expanding to explore the Elster Creek catchment and the related terrains of the Victorian Southern Lowlands, the multi-disciplinary exhibition speculated on the impacts that climate change and rapid urbanisation may have on swamplands and similar environments, and the possible futures that might be imagined for them. Featuring work from students, architects, and researchers, the exhibition included design proposals for Elwood, studies of other wetlands, and interactive modelling. The result was an exhibition that prompted visitors to rethink the way a city is conceived; defined not by traditional frameworks of politics or economics, but by the water that trickles through it.
Image by_ Tobias Titz
RMIT DESIGN HUB
Grace Mortlock, David Neustein,Fleur Watson, curators of Occupied, at RMIT’s Design Hub note that by 2050 approximately “70% of the world’s population will be urban with Australia’s major cities expected to nearly double in size”. The question of how to house growing urban populations, in an equitable and sustainable way is a difficult one. With this in mind, Occupied aimed to offer up some solutions ranging from utopian and speculative visions to more pragmatic, or research-based projects. Proposals had a modest edge to them and focused on retrofitting, repurposing, adaptability and small-scale or system- based interventions.
Populated with work from local and international designers, Occupied contained media including models, photographs and film. The exhibition also featured “Supershared” (Jacqui Alexander and Sibling); a loft space built for sharing, that could be booked out for the duration of the exhibition by students, highlighting and reflecting debates over the politics and equitability of accommodation and the sharing economy.
Photographer_ Tobias Titz