Shanley Heffernan, Disruptive Design and The Common Suburban Experience [×]
The suburban interior is both a space for performing and abiding everyday, sensible action and a dynamic site where neighbourhood drama plays out. Contained in this space are suburban ‘actors’, performing scripted behaviours aligned with societal norms.
This project re-presents televised scenes from ‘Neighbours’ and locates these back in to the ‘real’ suburban space of Pin Oak Crescent in Vermont South, putting forward this alternate space as a set wherein neighbourliness and neighbourhood dynamics could unfurl.
‘Neighbours’, set within the imagined bounds of Ramsey Street, Erinsborough and filmed within the ‘real’ Pin Oak Court in Melbourne’s Vermont South forms site – providing a display and representation of both suburban reality and un-reality.
Site supports notional design work, allowing for an opportunity to critique and re-present Suburban space and living practices. Using Play as a design tool for disrupting the status quo, or common ‘scenes’ of the Suburban interior, routine modes of action could give way to a new ‘Suburban Un-reality’.
A re-presented scene from an episode of ‘Neighbours’, televised in 1989 has been placed back in to a ‘real’ suburban space of Vermont South and explores the relationship between ‘image’ (or representation) and reality. The reconstructed scene or ‘set’ poses as ‘real’ suburban space, filled with characters (or ‘actors’) who perform scripted roles and act out ‘neighbourliness’ together.
Further supporting this scene, ‘Junk mail’ is used as a way of ‘scripting’ or instructing on living in suburban space. The ‘junk’ aesthetic bleeds through into the material construction of the scene, as well as into the nature of the conversation and relationship between the ‘actors’ who occupy the space – holding a mirror up to the social, cultural and political knots that shape our way of living in suburban space, satirising patterns of materialism and consumerism that exist in suburbia.