It has been a difficult and challenging time for everyone; a time when assumed values and ways of living have been exposed as just that – assumptions that have been taken for granted.
In 1939, RMIT University then the Melbourne Technical College started a 3-year interior decoration degree. This was the first dedicated interior degree in Australia. 1939 is the year the Second World War began. While we no longer have insight into what the motivation was to start an interior design program at that time, one can imagine a similar atmosphere of de-stabilisation pervading daily life and speculate this heightened people’s concerns regarding a sense of home-making and feelings of belonging.
While incomparable in many respects, the impact of the Covid pandemic has shaken confidence in terms of how to live and inhabit the world around us; economic and social ecologies have been disrupted; and all of this has happened in the midst of dramatic shifts in climate and environmental ecologies.
How we live and the environments we inhabit have been brought into focus as an urgent agenda.
Interior design as a practice of designing interiors steps forward as a critical practice for these times. We can see this in the graduate student projects here.
No longer a practice pre-defined and assumed to be one that must necessarily take place in an architectural context, the projects here manifest the future of interior design as a practice that transforms current situations and open out new modes of living.
What is Modern Interior Design? was an exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC) exhibition in 1953 in celebration of the emergence of interior design as a new design profession. In the catalogue, interior design is defined as ‘the art of arranging objects for agreeable living’ based on four main ‘traits of modern rooms’: comfort, quality, lightness and harmony. These traits continued a refrain in the interior design as a practice of working with spatial, temporal and material conditions to produce a sense of stability that enables ways of living.
Looking at the individual thesis projects of 2021, it is striking how many are concerned with the concept of ‘value’ being re-posed to enable new values and the proposition that interior design is a practice that creates spaces, programs and engagements where these new values can be activated, lived and embodied.
The effects and affects of the pandemic such as lockdowns, social isolation and inside as a refuge from perceived threats of an uncontrollable exterior has also foregrounded an understanding of ‘interior’ in a dynamic relation with ‘exterior’. The interiors of our lives over the past couple of years have been shaped by an exterior dominated by Covid. This has also heightened insights into the connection between interior and interiority as physical and mental ecologies, and the potential to intervene through re-arrangements to create new interiors that make relations with different exteriors. These ideas manifest graduate projects here where we encounter a proliferation of projected interiors and selected exteriors; interior designing as a world-making.
This is a watershed moment in all areas accelerated by the impact of moving online to work and learn digitally and virtually. While the concept of ‘virtual interior’ has been nascent for many years, the past two years have seen its actualisation accelerated as real as any physical space.
It is not a question of one representing the other, nor one being more real than another.
And the concern with value – which values, how to value – is manifested here too in projects, offering potent forms of resistance to what otherwise feels like an inevitable passive glide in to Metaverse.
There is so much newness proliferating in these projects whether it be through concepts, programs, techniques, values, interests.
It is inspiring to encounter these projects as they show there is also something exciting and extraordinary about these times, especially for people who are about to embark on establishing their practice.
Congratulations to our 2021 graduates and thank you for all your inspiring, ambitious, thoughtful, sensitive interior designs that open out onto to different exteriors in a process of offering new ways of living and inhabiting.
In the final year of their studies, students undertake a yearlong self-directed design project. Over the duration of the year, students develop a comprehensive body of intensive exploratory work and learn deeply about their motivations to establish their interests in the practice of interior design. They are encouraged to apply their thinking concerning contemporary issues and challenge conventional interior design notions to produce innovative and unique outcomes. This undertaking is an intensive and rigorous activity that involves creative risk-taking, exploration of in-depth ideas, and developing a personal vision for practising interior design.
This year has been incredibly challenging, with the effects of the pandemic playing a significant role in the teaching and learning space. I admire this year's graduates for demonstrating resilience and tenacity in their creative and critical endeavours, and it is inspiring to see what has been produced and accomplished. INDEX is a wonderful celebration of this energy and effort!
INDEX is an exhibition and an event – it is an opportunity to share this vision for interior design and celebrate the exciting potential of their emergent practice. INDEX is the spatial index of the students thinking, making and experience. It is an assemblage – an arrangement of ideas, approaches, projects, technologies, mediums, activities, conversations – into a dynamic exhibition.
INDEX is usually held in temporary spaces off-campus, in various locations in and around Melbourne. For the first time in 38 years, INDEX is occurring on campus and in the RMIT Design Hub Gallery –inaccessible for most of the year. The students, in collaboration with staff, have produced a vibrant hybrid virtual-physical exhibition.
Congratulations to the graduating students of 2021!
I want to acknowledge and thank many people who have been involved in the final year – Leslie Eastman for coordinating the 2021 graduate year and the tutors - Jen Berean, James Carey, Madeliene Griffiths, Raphael Kilpatrick, Michelle Mantsio, Pip McCully, Nick Rebstadt. I appreciate the guest practitioners who generously contributed their time to the students by participating in panel discussions and critiques. I also want to thank the academic staff in the interior design program; Suzie Attiwill, Ying-Lan Dann, Anthony Fryatt, Kate Geck, Olivia Hamilton, Roger Kemp, Andy Miller, Phip Murray and Adam Nash.
In 2021 I have had the honour of working with students undertaking the intensely challenging final year of the Bachelor of Interior Design (Hons) at RMIT. Much of this has been online and during the complex times of Covid.
The final year requires students to identify and articulate their own unique motivations and approach to interior design through devising and realising an independent research project. Students work intensively with their tutor and in discussion with peers to shape a research framework informed by a deep interrogation of practice and theoretical precedents and through practice-based methods of investigation. This year long research project undertaken by the students is an enquiry into the dynamic field of interior design and a statement about who they are as emerging designers.
The unique circumstances of Covid have meant that the work presented in this exhibition was developed using online collaborative platforms. Many of our graduates are studying offshore and required to undertake this study remotely. They have explored the technological constraints as well as opportunities in remarkable ways and with panache. Their in-depth ideas and personal vision are a testament to their endurance and resourcefulness and are exhibited here on display at the RMIT Design Hub Gallery in Melbourne and online in the digital realm.
I would like to congratulate the students for reaching this stage in their practice and under such challenging circumstances. You have all been an inspiration.
Thank you to the 4th year staff for their commitment, ingenuity and good humour during this complex time. To Nick Rebstadt especially for his tireless work on the exhibition and catalogue organisation. Thank you too to Phoebe Whitman who is the program manager for her guidance patience and commitment. And for the encouragement and oversight of Associate Professor Suzie Attiwill whose vision for the discipline opens up this space to such innovation and possibility.
The project questions the role of interior design in connecting people to materials; How can interior design support a reciprocal relation between commodities and communities?
My research project is concerned with the dominance of economic agenda on material as a commodity, speculating on the potential for industry and communities to work in partnership. The disconnect between people and environments has instilled a gentle material activism that motivates my interior design practice to restore balance between human impact and natural environments.
An investigation into the near-depleted Austral Bricks quarry in Wollert revealed a shift in the material distribution industry. The relocation of the Austral Bricks clay pit from Wollert to Wallan in 2023 is an opportunity to disrupt the material production line, renegotiate the value of raw material, and engage with community objectives.
The project questions the role of interior design in connecting people to materials; How can interior design support a reciprocal relation between commodities and communities?
100 000 Bricks is an opportunistic proposal that suggests ways that residents of Wallan can have a hands-on role in the large-scale development of the town centre redevelopment. Residents have open access to a brick production program where they make bricks that are used for town infrastructure, working into the town centre masterplan. This multi-faceted approach includes, responds, and involves present and future residents through a brick production site, community event program, and digital archiving. These interventions sit in a larger network, reimagining the relation between the quarry and town typologies and people, power and material. This program enacts to empower local communities impacted by quarrying and generate value in small towns' social, economic, and urban fabric.
Through this engagement with time and process, past, present, and future communities can become attentive to the tangible qualities of material and connected to the embedded materiality of place. The very shifting of material is a gesture in its most simple form but can transform the material culture and social values of a place.
By integrating nature into the interior, how does that impact our daily routines and connections to place?
How can design create meaningful relationships between residents in a retirement community?
How can a typical Singaporean apartment engage its residents with nature? This initial inquiry broadened through the research to investigate not just how plants can be incorporated into the interior but how humans can engage with green spaces and weather in meaningful and reciprocal ways. In my early project development, I documented the routines of residents in an apartment and redesigned the home by integrating green spaces that could be maintained and cared for through the residents daily routines.
The final project expands on this approach by designing for residents in a retirement home. Given that people of retirement age spend more time at home the research asks whether the design of green spaces within the interior can assist residents in sociality, purpose and wellbeing. The design proposal first establishes the residents overlapping routines.
Creating a collective space for living also means an overlaying of different routines and personality types. A survey was conducted and I drew from this three general personalities which i classified as; the achiever, the up-keeper, and the maintainer. By defining the routines of each category, I aim to design by integrating green spaces into an interior to nurture community and improve the residents social interactions and connections to nature.
How the experience of spaces within dreams may be used to enrich the design of real interior space?
My major research project asks how the experience of spaces within dreams may be used to enrich the design of real interior space? Throughout this year I have investigated the influence of dream in art and design – from surrealism to visions of alternate reality- as well as researching texts of dream interpretation. In particular, the principles of temporal distortion, displacement, condensation, mirroring and perceptual distortions are key methods that I have experimented with to evoke dream space in my project. The notion of the Uncanny, the eerie feeling of the familiar and strange that we experience in waking life is an atmosphere that I am also interested to explore in my design work.
“Alternate Reality” is a proposal aiming to create the atmosphere of dreams and the uncanny in interior spaces. I am proposing an immersive installation located within the majestic architecture of Melbourne’s iconic Flinders Street Station. The train station has an enduring literary and symbolic resonance in dream imagery. In particular, I am proposing to use two near identical corridors within the historic complex.
A series of speculative designs have been envisaged within the corridors of the Station that use principles derived from dream experience. Material experimentation, modelling, and collaging have been important to my methodology. Abstract and collagic film making techniques have been used to communicate the experience of these spaces to an online audience.
When describing something as “dream-like” we usually mean an intangible experience difficult to reconcile with a sense of the Real. This project is informed by the two-year epidemic in which the experience of reality and the virtual were confused and entangled. This project encourages a re-thinking of what is real and valuable as we emerge from a time that has upended and inverted the rules and rituals of everyday life.
How can the atmospheric qualities of a location or space be conveyed through cinematic design?
Ambient Bubble explores the question: How can the atmospheric qualities of a space or location be conveyed through cinematic design? Using site-specific spatial video installation, the audience will be connected and transported to other environments. This research project will explore themes of atmosphere, etherealities, light, displacement and colour through cinematic design.
This design uses projection mapping, video, sound and imagery to displace the audience and form contrasts and connections between their physical environments and the surroundings they will experience within the space, encouraging them to visit locations similar to those presented. Projected images become a method of spatial displacement, targeting emotional and sensory attributes of disparate locations. Biophilic Design principles will inform the design of both the space and the movement of the video elements. Predominantly, the design will use concepts of minimalism to allow the ambient qualities to convince the audience that they are somewhere new.
Combining cinematic and biophilic design aspects have led to the exploration of ambient qualities of a space and how these can be recreated. As an audience, the elements of cinema that we connect with are the narratives, the settings, and the feelings. These were the main aspects that were drawn out from the research and the design and used as the focus. Viewing these elements together on the screen creates an experience within the minds of the audience that can mirror physical transportation, whilst creating a calming and enjoyable atmosphere.
How can vitality be brought to Chinese antique art museums to help make these culturally significant antiques accessible worldwide and to a younger audience?
antiquE-LAND is a wonderland created based on China's five thousand years of antique culture. It is a non-traditional museum that adds gaming elements to an online museum. This unique kind of presentation is designed to gain interest from young visitors in the hope of bringing a broader appreciation of Chinese antiquities and culture.
The research questions how new possibilities and vitality could be brought to Chinese antique art museums with the intention of making these culturally significant works of art accessible worldwide.
Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, life for most people has been restricted and has shifted to an online mode. Therefore, this project takes the opportunity to consider the museums as engaging online environments.
antiquE-Land will showcase treasures from the last five thousand years of Chinese culture. While not possible to cover every detail, the museum will explore typical examples from different dynastic periods. Visitors will be able to learn about antiquities along with four timelines from XIA to the QING dynasty. Through the gamification of the museum, this project aims to give visitors an exciting 3D world to explore while building their knowledge of the pattern, form, colour and scale of Chinese antiques.
'Back to the Old Days' is an immersive exhibition presented within a historic Seaweed house in Shidao, Shandong province, China. Urbanization and societal changes create separation from the physical memories of our childhood. The Seaweed House is a structure that holds these cultural and personal artifacts for many people in this region.
This exhibition aims to create an immersive experience of inhabitation and memory. To study the question: “How to reactivate the memories in the body?” Stored memories are explored and activated through the body and sensory input of touch, sight, smell, and hearing.
VR, binaural technology, and sensory interventions are incorporated into this project to explore memory and history. According to the sequence of time and space, the exhibition brings an immersive journey to the audience. Through the auditory, olfactory and tactile interactive system, the audience can actively and passively trigger physical memories through their bodies.
If the body is likened to a warehouse full of memories, then the senses are a medium for receiving and releasing memories, and memories can be re-activated through the senses under certain conditions.
Can the use of bartering and sharing lead to an equitable exchange when designing within a diverse
cultural community? How can value be attributed and developed in a meaningful way?
When living in a diverse community such as Melbourne, people need to constantly adjust and understand each other's culture to get along. Australia has a long history of migration, where people of different cultural backgrounds continue to work, study and emigrate to Australia. This project is aimed at accelerating the pace of mutual understanding through the process of bartering. The principle of exchange through bartering enables all parties to participate and so aims to establish equity and agency for all members. Bartering is an effective tool to attract and encourage people to come together in the community. The aim of this project is to build a "journey" between diverse cultures in the community, where through the act of exchange of objects and activities between one another, members of the community can recognise and reflect on cosmopolitanism. This project consists of an installation at Melbourne's Immigration Museum, which uses the principles of bartering and exchange to sharing the community's diverse culture. The quickest way to get to know each other's cultural background is through objects and other senses, such as food, smell, sound, etc. This has been applied to the design language in this project. The piping structure throughout the installation draws attention to the structural scaffolding surrounding these ideas and how the design of such an apparatus can support the journey of this mutual contract. The aim is to encourage people to come together, communicate with one another and recognise and reflect on the mutual contract between migrants and local communities. Through the design, people can experience bartering and feel how each other's different cultural values and their own cultural background merge into a constantly evolving culture.
How can interior design use embodied movement and ritual to enhance connection between individuals and their surroundings?
The pandemic over the past two years has produced physical and psychological dilemmas for people globally. I also started questioning my existence in this world due to a sense of ‘disconnection from the outside’ during one of the worlds lengthiest lockdowns in Melbourne. Even though we have all turned quickly to an online virtual experience, we still need our bodies to tell the story of our existence and connection to others.
Be[in]g Resonant is a research-based project focused on understanding the experience of movement and how it informs our connections in the total field of our surroundings. The research draws upon different conceptions of subjective embodied experience within Eastern and Western philosophical traditions. This practice foregrounds the significance of the relationship between the body and space in particular the intimate movement of forces that I trace from inside the body to the outside and how this resonates with the surrounding field.
There are three main categories of concentration for this project: Using the body as a Place, an Instrument, and a Channel. The body of practice opens out to compelling possibilities and potentials of engagement between the body, objects and spaces. The inference is that our body is not an enduring self-enclosed form, but a perceptual relationship that is continuously forming a lived dynamic within the surrounding field. My research questions how the body functions as an amalgam of conscious and unconscious experience and as a nexus of past, present, and future. How can we be connected in the surrounding field within the practice of interior design?
How can cyclic and mechanical processes between humans and non-humans be utilised to explore mutualistic approaches to designing interiors?
In the current technological era of the 21st century, where anthropogenic climate catastrophes are being fuelled at accelerating rates due to destructive industrial productions and processes within the urbansphere, it is time to reconsider a new mode of reasoning that extends beyond the human centre. Blurring the traditional binaries of interior/exterior, human/non-human, digital/physical and natural/synthetic, becoming [metabolic] responds to the increasing uninhabitability of the biome. Influencing these conditions are anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 emissions, particularly within the energy use and heating sector. Synthetic biological processes of today's world reflect a shift out of the binaries of the past. Underlining this research is an enquiry into the capacity of humans to embody this hybridisation by adapting their bodies to the conditions of the environment drawing upon metabolic processes of the biome. The project speculates upon new ways for the everyday active body to inhabit spaces within the urbansphere. Drawing upon the symbiotic mutually beneficial relationships of photosynthetic eukaryotes of microalgae, the research aims to facilitate new inter-relationships between humans and non-humans. Through hybridising the ancient technology of photosynthesis in microalgae with contemporary techniques of algorithmic modelling, a new speculative inter-sphere was developed in the form of a living wearable. The wearable adaptation offers a new inter-sphere of urbanisation where co-inhabitation and revitalisation becomes the future.
How to enhance the experience of an unban river?
Before colonial settlement, the Moonee Ponds Creek was an essential part of the ‘temperate Kakadu’. There was a time when the wetlands and waterways were abundant with life and played a significant role for Aboriginal peoples of the Kulin nation. The creek was essential water, food, and cultural source. However, the swamps, waterholes, rivers, and waterways have been affected through urban development, and their cultural significance has gradually been disregarded. The Moonee Ponds Creek has been seen as an industrial drain and transport corridor. This project explores how the cultural, historical, social, and material form and flow of the Birrarung needs to be attended to and celebrated. The project explores ways of rethinking the urban state of the creek, as a boundary and non-place, through a series of interventions and material gestures that can animate water.
In considering the urban condition of the Moonee Ponds Creek as an interior, the project aims to protect its history by reimagining its future, by making the creek dynamic again, by interweaving and interacting with the ecologies and occupants of the city. Through cinematic techniques and material gestures, the research has developed ways of capturing and framing ephemeral conditions such as water, light, shadow, reflection, and mist. By employing these techniques, the project rethinks the creek as a threshold where its boundaries and surfaces could be activated to become a vibrant situation for the surrounding community.
The design explores the social, poetic, and spatial potentials of two areas along the Moonee Ponds Creek, reflecting different contextual urban spaces. The design proposes to bring a sensitivity to water by introducing vitality to the space within the urban experience, emphasizing the river as a situation for social and cultural importance.
How can haptics and materiality increase the bodily experience of space?
Beyond the (I) is a research project exploring the hierarchy of the visual and haptic senses to create a bodily experience. Influenced by Juhani Pallasmaa’s argument of ocularcentrism, this research emphasises the role of design and tactility in creating an awareness of the present moment. Utilising haptic design processes, Beyond the (I) aspires to create a more meaningful shared space for people to perceive, initiate and sustain experiences. This body of research will be a co-working environment called /kəʊ-/ in Ubud Bali. The project will be a way to regenerate the economy of Bali in a post-pandemic climate taking into account the impact of Covid-19. The phonetic of /kəʊ-/ - co outline the design’s co-working collaborative aspects and will use haptic design ideas to provide community and comfort.The means of haptics are categorised into three different touches as an approach for the design outcome. The haptics are: (i) the body touches the ‘objects’ directly, (ii) the ‘objects’ touches the body directly, (iii) the ‘objects’ touches the body indirectly. In this term, ‘objects’ is defined as all matter, tangible and intangible, emphasising materials, temperature and body movement. The methodologies applied in this project will vary from having significant texture and form, body engagement through modularity and movement, and contrasting elements. The techniques used in this proposal were developed from experiments conducted in a hospitality setting in Melbourne that sought to interrogate, collaborate, and intervene the body and ‘objects’. This project forms a journey that is interchangeable to the inhabitants needs to respond as a way of experiencing the site to move, touch and feel through their skin. Thus, making the experience of the inhabitants more present in the space.
How can a transitional public space release the pressure of domestic life and build connections in the community?
The events of the last 18 months triggered by the global pandemic have drastically changed our daily lives. Our lives are constrained. The living space we occupy has shrunk from multinational to national to state to domestic. The home has taken on new importance. It represents safety, ownership, privacy and stability. It is somewhere we can be alone or with people who we care about. The influence of family members on our daily lives is magnified. The home can also be a place of stress, restriction and supervision which can lead to depression. These emotions can affect all members of a household.
This project aims to create a semi-private communication space in the public domain. The site is in the Doncaster bus interchange, a transitional space between the domestic and public realms. It is a transfer station when we leave home or back home, which also is a space that can affect our emotions. The design stems from visualisation experiments conducted to outline the personal space of individuals. Through these processes, a body bubble was identified, a comfortable distance between people. This research aims to materialise this personal bubble space as a bus shelter to provide socially distanced comfort to individuals and the opportunity to engage in dialogue with others through digital message boards. These bubbles are connected through an app interface. Message boards allow real-time or delayed dialogue where conversations begin as participants share experiences, give advice, listen, and connect.
This project combines traditional and modern conversation methods to provide a new communication platform. It aims to be an antidote for the separation brought on by the pandemic restrictions, a respite from the dense emotional space of the home and a way to alleviate the pressure.
By retreating from modern living conveniences, can we foster a greater appreciation for the natural world through transformational built environments that respond specifically to site and seasonal occurrence?
Motivated by a profound appreciation for the natural world, especially the Australian landscape, Bush Retreat explores a re-attentiveness to things that are. The investigations explored ways that the buildings could be situated within the landscape to minimise their impact and have a light touch on the earth. Initial explorations of seasonality, slowness, process and adaptability; documented through film, diagramming, mapping and observation, revealed that part of being present in a particular place is understanding the inevitability of change. Camping denotes home as place, rather than as structure, and begins to inform my attentive approach to site. Transformational structures, modified in response to seasonal occurrence, require the user to be incredibly present in place at any given time. Movements across site are slow and intuitive, proposing retreat from the convenience of urban environments. The design approach is anchored by an understanding that we do not control the landscape but rather, we work with it. Suggestions of light structure throughout reflect a thoughtful presence in the landscape, with less impact and permanence. The focus of the built environment is to enhance the natural immersive experiences that the bush and surrounds have to offer. The feedback and reward discovered by slowing down and connecting to place directly becomes a part of this attentiveness.With opportunity to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces, this body of work seeks to address society’s increasing disconnect from the natural world. The application of site-sensitive, adaptable and sustainable design begins to challenge conventional notions of inhabitance and gives the occupant the opportunity to disconnect to be able to reconnect.
Can seeing playful potential in our exploited urban environments offer a contemporary potency to normative modes of interior design practice?
Capitalism, discussed within the context of design practice, is not merely the elephant in the room, it is the room. And so sometimes in a strange way, it eludes us. It is from this troubling but necessary acknowledgement that this work emerges.
This exploratory research project is situated at the place of its namesake; the site of the infamous ‘Cheesesticks’ designed by Denton Corker Marshall, around Flemington Bridge where the crudely manipulated ‘drains’ of Moonee Ponds Creek pools into a multi-level pile-on of trains, motorists, commuters, and locals. Capitalism in this site is expressed through speed and abuse. The ominous rumble of trucks overhead muffles the scraping of skateboards against the monolithic concrete, trains chug on and motors cough and spew leaving black clouds in their wake. All the while the ever-ephemeral creek flows on; trickling at times and gushing at others, carrying miles of suburban dregs through and beyond this site.
Here, with the guiding principles of Deleuze and Guattari, in particular their ideas of ‘becoming-minor’ and ‘deterritorialization’, as well as modes of knowledge production from more recent thinkers like Irit Rogoff, I have designed into a site and situation. Co-opting playful methods, I, as ‘interiorizt’ (as propositioned by Suzie Attiwill) have endeavored to cultivate softly non-capitalistic engagements with the urban and subsequently, with the interior design process. Acts of gleaning, playing and gifting-back are traced through recurrent dwellings, drawing and filmmaking to reveal a potentiality for divergent social interactions through placemaking in a site preoccupied with transit. Furthermore, I would like to argue for a greater sensibility around what I call ‘rogue’ uses of space; to see creative possibilities in that which is overlooked and at times absurd. Cheesesticks thus ponders whether designing into our cities can culminate in fulfilment, joy, and encounter, as opposed to mere transaction or extraction.
How can interior design informed by traditional and new technologies rethink the way space and resources are used in residential buildings in China? How can interior design help mitigate waste and energy consumption whilst also enhancing a sense of community and quality of life in China’s apartment buildings?
I am undertaking a speculative project that rethinks the way interior and exterior space is used in Chinese Residential Apartment Buildings to enhance the use of resources, recycling and renewable energy. In the past year large sections of China have experienced power shortages as the nation attempts to minimise coal power energy generation. Over a billion people live in residential apartment buildings in China. Through design initiatives informed by both old and new technologies in conservation, recycling, agriculture, ventillation and energy generation, I imagine how such simple small innovations applied across this vast residential sector in China could reduce energy consumption and make a substantial contribution to the problems of climate change.
Early research for ‘The Garden in the City ’ was conducted in Pudong (Shanghai) and the surrounding area of Linyuxi Community where due to the Covid crisis I have lived and studied for almost two years. In the first semester I explored ideas of systems thinking and ecological approaches to problems of climate change. I have looked at advances in technology including the renewable energy internet. I also have reflected on the way that the traditional agrarian values in China that I I have seen first-hand through the farming practices of my Grandparents has much to offer this issue. Respect and reuse of materials, composting, recycling of grey water, maximizing space usage and a preference for the use of public space are all approaches that I feel strongly can inform approaches to city living. I seek ways to combine the old and the new in rethinking the way interior and exterior spaces are used in the building where I live. These residential apartments entrench a new individualism in Chinese life and use substantial power for cooling and heating.
In particular I have focused on a reimagining of unused rooftop space in a way that emulates traditional agrarian water saving and composting but also employs wind and solar technology. I have proposed a space for a community garden that utilises existing environmental conditions. Additionally, I have reconceived the ubiquitous inner stairwell of Chinese apartment buildings using passive cooling systems in the more temperate months to reduce airconditioning. How could passively cooled and heated communal and private spaces encourage greater use of public space and less use of private air-conditioning?
These simple innovations to the residential apartments in China could have far reaching effects both environmental and social. Interior design will play an important role in addressing the challenges of climate change and the possible harmonising of traditional approaches to building interiors combined with advances in technology to make for a more sustainable and improved future.
How can interior design assemble people's connections in daily life?
This project considers mapping as a research strategy for interior designers exploring urban interiority. It provides new perspectives on understanding a site in time, space, and people; and temporarily assembles different elements into new connections. Comprehending mapping in this way – as a network of making relationships – produces opportunities for people to think differently.
Community City is an experimental project in response to mapping research, investigating a designer's innovative thinking based on the understanding of the site. Using mapping to change the designer's perspective, rearranges the designer's perception and activates an empathic experience between other human beings. Analyzing and mapping new associations of networks and relations opens potential possibilities and constructs new relations in a particular moment.
Community City is situated in a historical building in DongShanKou (DSK), Guangzhou, as a social space for gathering people, and building new connections. DSK is a diverse community consisting of native elders, emerging artists, businesspeople, tourists, and students, which are separated but present potential connections. Analyzing their interests and demands to design an interior containing programs, functions, facilities, and activities enables them to communicate with other groups and engage in their physical experiences.
The project approaches narrative thinking to design the space by considering human behaviors, culture and society in DSK. The study introduces the space by illustrated stories adapted from observing people daily life in DSK. The interior design adopts voice, text, video, physical, direct or indirect ways to engage people in choosing their comfort way to support others. As an interconnection of urban interior and DSK's community life, this project aims to bridge the current disconnection between different groups of people in DSK and encourage interactions that may change their future life patterns and the community.
How can design blur the boundary between pedestrian and skateboarder in the urban context?
The act of observing ephemeral moments between pedestrians and urban components is key in the process of this research, a sentiment inspired by the term ""Flaneur"" developed by German philosopher Walter Benjamin. The experience of walking through the city with no other purpose than to observe modern life is expressively documented through a range of sketches and diagrams. Interactions between pedestrians and urban components such as footpaths, benches, and handrails are usually perceived for their conventionally designed uses. But what if such values are stripped away and the user is allowed to co-opt these urban infrastructures?
The project is situated along Flinders Walk a busy thoroughfare for thousands of pedestrians commuting through Melbourne CBD to Southbank. Primary users of this path are commuters and skateboarders as well as artists and staff of the creative youth art studio SIGNAL. This project seeks to maintain the function of the site for the existing users while enhancing and creating new possibilities.
This project draws from observations documented throughout the city, as a toolkit to enhance the connection between users by proposing a series of forms that transcend conventional understanding of urban spaces. A key question asked is what prompts pedestrians to observe each other in an urban context? Commuting Paths experiments with arrangements of form and materiality to address the creative expression of skateboarders, commuters and artists.
What is the role of conversation, and its use as a technique, in the discipline of interior design?
This major research project is immersed in the messy process of forming practice, situated within the discipline of Interior Design. Conversation presents an opportunity for the initiation of these generative processes and collaboration between other creative practitioners. To [design, speak, practice] with and from, rather than for, there is an embracing of the mundane complexities and nuances of forming practice.
This body of work is in the midst [of flow] a larger indeterminate process. The creative research practice begins to explore and pose questions around how we, as practitioners, explore the physical and digital spaces of collaboration. The technique of conversation becomes a generative act and presents opportunities for this process that is, forming practice. Through conversation, prompts are formed which embody acts of assembly and re-assembly of temporal spaces; to be used as platforms for the creation and dissemination of new knowledges and further prompts.
Although spaces of conversation are central to the continuum of forming design practice, observing, listening, practicing attentiveness ~ interior whispering ~ are pivotal to this ongoing process.
Conversation becomes a design initiator, where different forms of knowledge collide.
One thing comes from another, and an ongoing exchange and process is formed throughout a field of learning that is not bound to the constraints of a school, university or program.
It is an opening out to other ways of how people practice, different cultures and ways of thinking about the world. This is then brought back into a field of learning that continues prompting Interior Design practice and the messy process of forming practice.
As access to physical spaces and contact is being challenged today, how can we now reimagine collective design thinking, through a reinterpretation and reactivation of ‘conversation’ in the digital and physical realms?
Conversation as an enabler of knowledge-transfer is a key motivation to this project, given its inherent ability of inviting and allowing participation to occur. In its initial phase of research, the project has analysed Conversation spatially, which later foregrounded interior qualities of temporality, scale, and access.
The project proposes a strategy of working and practising creatively in the realms of the digital and the physical through a residency program that involves designers from the fields of architecture, urban, landscape, and interior design. A digital interface is designed to facilitate the program, expanding its parameters to a global scale, therefore, welcoming the presence of international residents despite differences in physical locations. Zooming in the interior(s) of the interface, gestures are formed within to allow 3 scales of conversation to occur and with this, reimagining the site of conversation to be multiple and in motion rather than singular and static.
Situating the program in a timeline enables a long view of the project where opportunities of extending the digital conversations outwards to the public are present and are maintained through different methods of reactivation. This allows for the dissemination of information through the use of physical mediums and overtime, reintroduces the relationship between the physical and digital realms through an interior design perspective while amplifying the value of conversation as a technique and technology for exchange and collaboration.
How can design benefit our sensorial tech-lead-beings to coexist in space meaningfully?
This Major Research Project builds on prior digital and spatial design studies to curate speculative modes of dwelling that softens our approach to technology.
The digital interface is infiltrating every layer of our contemporary being, that the legacy of material surfaces and the articulation of spaces is changing.
This proposal raises awearness to the tensions of living. It highlights a system of complex relationships by identifying what humans need to feel, nurture, attain pleasure, connect, control, work and escape.
How might we avoid the physical interior becoming an obsolete concept?
The unprecedented restrictions of recent times, offer an opportunity to wonder about the wellbeing of our modern inhabitants.
(Digital) Dwelling illustrates a futuristic home not limited to physical conditions. It is a place where the human body lives in binary with technology to cultivate space and curate time. Spaces are translated through the interplay of tangible material to create a new era of meaningful human interactions.
Through imagining a reality, the dwelling presents a series of design interventions formed from feeling and experienced digitally. Spatial conditions care for both the resident and the virtual visitor to challenge the issues of overconsumption. Thus, the designs welcome future-proof techniques; food, solar and intelligent technology that our finite planet may sustain.
So the question remains, how can design benefit our sensorial tech-lead-beings to coexist in space meaningfully?
How can we design space that is not passive to the embodied experience?
‘Disrupted Embodiment’ is a curatorial intervention founded through a curiosity of the interrelationship between bodies and space. Through a central focus on the embodied experience within the interior, the project explores how the design fundamentally impacts the experience of the individual existing within the space.
By drawing attention to the impact of design on the individual experience through a series of interventions within the corridors of MONA, we can begin to ask the question: how does the perception of an interior shift when the body is existing in a disrupted state? The project takes on an investigation of how the body interprets space based on pre-existing knowledge, and the causality of this prior knowledge being disrupted in the interior on the emotional relationships between user and space.
By altering and controlling the body’s ability to exist within a space, the perception and potentiality of the interior in which it exists also shifts, relaying the question; how can we design space that is not passive to the embodied experience? The project achieves this through a disruptive approach, intervening with the flow of movement between the exhibition spaces in MONA, utilising a repetition of materials that convey ethereal qualities through a sense of invisibility. Remaining relentless throughout the corridors between the exhibition spaces, ‘Disrupted Embodiment’ toes the line between being aesthetic or obstreperous. This becomes representative of the power of design to subconsciously impact the experience and power over movement within a space.
This project aims to create feelings of disruption through using individual bodies to activate a carefully curated space, identifying, and drawing attention to the power of the interior in creating and controlling emotions and experiences through design.
As humans tirelessly absorb, alter, move, and organize the
constructs of the Earth as a contributor to environmental impact, how do we reposition rehabilitation?
How do we reinstate 'matter matters'?
Down to Earth' situates connections between Earth and self through a practice that explores the potential of pottery, poetry, person, place, process, programme, and potentiality.
Down to Earth questions, the value of matter and asks why does ‘matter matter’? By exploring how making and working with materiality produces an encounter in its physical, immaterial, and historical context, interior design here is developed as an expanded practice. 'Down to Earth' interrogates the value of clay through interior-making by asking how materiality is brought to life? Furthermore, how does craft practice address spatial and temporal urban conditions?
This project experiments and explores how a quarry situated in a quarry in Lysterfield, Victoria, could become activated and occupied. Since 1979, the quarry has been in operation, providing a significant source of hard rock aggregate for Melbourne. This research responds to the quarry as a site and situation that will remain uninhabitable in one hundred years. The nature of the material excavation, stress, chaos, and destruction posed on the Earth's surface through quarrying, the project explores how the quarry is a site of becoming and unbecoming.
This project involves an intervention that acts as a physical and metaphorical bridge by responding to the quarry's present and potential future. It is a gesture of care - bringing attention to the quarry as a situation and environment requiring rehabilitation and regeneration. The intervention is a passage that connects and gives access to humans through the design of a frame that marks out a situation that is in becoming.
As humans tirelessly absorb, alter, move, and organize the constructs of the Earth as a contributor to environmental impact, how do we reposition rehabilitation? How do we reinstate 'matter matters'?
How to use indirect biophilic methods to increase the connection between people and the natural environment in urban communities?
As one of the basic psychological needs of human beings, biophilia is an instinctive attribute formed by long-term adaptation to the natural environment. The formation of cities is essentially a defence against nature, which develops bio-phobia. Humans are isolating themselves from nature, resulting in isolated urban environments. However, humans without a connection to nature lose their biological integrity and automatically surrender their birthright, leading to many health and development problems. Therefore, the effective way to solve the above problem is to re-establish the connection between daily life and nature. The proposal of biophilic design provides a new perspective for solving the contradiction between the human and internal environment today.
Dwelling inside-out is a design research project looking at how nature can integrate into the urban infrastructure to enhance the human sense of community and connection. In Harbin, Heilongjiang Provence in China, the site is a triangle of residential space boarded by a hospital and two parklands. The project aims to create a series of walkways suited explicitly for the needs of the residents. A network to connect, protect and enhance the community. Its peculiar geographical location determines that it needs to meet the needs of different people of nature.
The project abstracted trees in a natural environment, simulating the exploration of some qualities of various parts, such as symbiosis, textures, and forms. It also tries to introduce direct natural elements such as sunlight and plants. Walkways provide residents with more space to move around without being affected by climate or traffic. Also, get psychotherapy and self-contained farm for hospital users. It provides additional outdoor parking and a central plaza for the community and surrounding area. The design aims to provide residents with a rich and diverse community environment by exploring, mimicking, and using the qualities of trees in nature.
How can designers create spaces to inhabit and experience which foreground care as the primary focus in order to make living easier/more comfortable?
Endo Interiors proposes a design and design process driven by stories and embodied experiences of people with debilitating pain both mentally and physically. The embodied experiences of people living with endometriosis (commonly known as ‘Endo’) has evoked a care driven project which has focused on exploring what it is like to inhabit spaces and situations enduring pain, challenging assumptions about how interiors ‘should be.’
Endo Interiors draws on Maurice Merleau-Ponty's philosophies of the embodied subjectivity of self and how we create meaningful experiences in the spaces we inhabit. Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of embodiment involves the study of both the body and the mind of the subject as intrinsically intertwined. This theory of embodiment has been explored and played out with the situation of ‘menstruation’ as a key concept driving the project. Gathering and learning about people’s stories set up a way of working through and foregrounding different experiences. Bodies that menstruate are often in debilitating pain, they need care, support, accessibility, and empathy. So how can designers create spaces to inhabit and experience which foreground care as the primary focus in order to make living easier/more comfortable?
Endo Interiors proposes a speculative studio apartment driven by the embodied experiences of people with endometriosis, designed for people with endo. The design begins by dismantling all pre-existing ideas of the domestic interior and rethinking the functions and necessities of the domestic setting for people with endo. The bedroom has evolved over time mainly due to technology from the primary function being a place of rest and sleep and the innermost private space to a space which involves social interactions, shopping and working. Endo Interiors is designing an interior which caters for three specific scenarios being sleeping/resting, socialising and bathing/caring for body.
How people could better interact with their surroundings in the busy city centre?
Development of our urban spaces has seen many improvements and increased efficiencies of transport and convenience. But, with these technological advancements some of the more basic modes of transport like walking have been disrupted. This has limited opportunities for people to appreciate the surroundings and interact with elements such as rivers, green space and even the sky.
The design project considers how people could better interact with their surroundings in the busy city centre?
The site chosen is a short stretch of the north bank of the Yarra River which has been dissected by the Queens St Bridge. With a constant flow of car and trams across the bridge the walking path along the river is divided by three sets of traffic lights requiring the pedestrian to wait near traffic.
My design proposal seeks to prioritise the pedestrian and form new connections with the river and surroundings. Staircases have been a focus of the research seeing them as more than a thoroughfare and instead a place to gather, perform, relax and view. In the process of designing a continuous walking path and stairway the elevated bridge incorporates opportunities for people to engage socially and access views previously unavailable.
How as products of the flows of information do we read ourselves, others and the world?
ETC. [so on and so forth], is directed towards an understanding and development of a relational design practiced based on the plastic roles of ‘author/designer’ and ‘reader/participant’, using the text(s) and context(s) as a driver for designing these situations.
ETC. [so on and so forth] examines how we are the products of the flow of information, shaping how individuals read themselves, people, and the world. The investigation into this provocation guides me a central proposition exploring temporary situations that emerge from the interactions between content, context, and reader. Simultaneously, the authors curatorial strategy and role in distilling the information is reflected on, remaining a responsive and active working through, opening it up to translation and interpretation.
Through reading, meeting, conversation, interpretation, and presentation ETC. [so on and so forth] manifests in three distinct modes; ‘The Reading Group,’ ‘The Reading Grounds,’ and ‘The Read I[N]-Between.’ The aim of these modes is to fortify a level of engagement with participant and the techniques, establishing relational platforms that hold potential to disrupt, generate and disseminate knowledge. The exploration into these strategies and modes of working a myriad of responses and opened ended situations are produced.
Looking at expanded spatial encounters through the lenses of interaction, embodiment and context exemplifies how critical reflection and analysis of text as an adaptive material and condition has the capacity to shape the way we think, act, and design which in turn can create more informed world-making.
[1.] World-Making: The process of both imaging and creating space(s) where things can unfold otherwise.
Kern, Leslie. 2020. Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-made World, 57. Toronto, Canada: Between the Lines.
How do spaces play a role in (re) - defining the everyday rhythms of work and life, to benefit the individual and the community?
The culture of working from home has become a central point of discussion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought challenges to professional and personal routines. Moreover, Australia sees a rise in the gig economy as more people are transitioning to global/online/freelance occupations. With this new work culture emerging, what does this mean for the home, workplace, and city?
'Everyday Productions' is a provocation for living based upon this enquiry. This project explores how living environments need to address and incorporate working from home during these dynamic times. The project is a model for living/working. It proposes a design into these in-between grey areas, creating intermediary spaces where both programs can coincide and inspire each other. The design explores how co-living and working arrangements can benefit the individual, the community, the environment, and the local economy. By appropriating moments of dialogue between work/life and private/public, ordinary everyday life becomes performative through this changing dynamic.
This body of research culminated from a personal experience of working and living in isolation throughout the last year. It inspired a project speculating on new ways of living and working that nurture the individual and their community. By combining work and living spaces, our buildings internally and externally operate to their full potential, alleviating rent costs and sparing diminishing urban space.
'Everyday Productions' is a model that advocates for more flexible and responsive infrastructure. Through the design, the everyday becomes a series of performative gestures that support the ever-changing and dynamic ways living and working occur. The project intends to foster relationships on various scales - from the urban neighbourhood and street to a more intimate dwelling scale. This project is a production of how spaces play a role in defining the everyday rhythms of life.
How may interior design work with concepts of sensual complexity to create a space of ritual calm and reflection?
Contemporary China is undergoing a period of modernization where older buildings are being demolished at a rapid rate. Demolished too is a sense of history and sensual complexity that I associate with these vanishing spaces. In new urban developments there is a lack of historic and ritual spaces that emphasise calm, and contemplation. The loss of these spaces has the potential to alienate the people that once inhabited them as well as depriving younger generations of this history and experience.
In Juhani Pallasmaa’s book “The Eyes of the skin”, he advocates an idea of architecture where experience and sensory subtlety are combined into tactile architecture.1 His architecture of the senses combines “rough” space and a sensual complexity of detail that gives intimacy and requires all the senses to experience it. Through my visits to ritual spaces in China—tea rooms and temples particularly—I have observed such a unique experience that arises from interiors that retain a sense of tradition and culture, and that seem designed to address sensory complexity— a mind-body combination that speaks to and resonates with the space.
This semester I have worked to develop a proposal for an abandoned building- an indoor swimming pool complex in the suburb of___ in my city. This space which is slated for demolition is an architecture of real potential for the kinds of sensory subtlety that Palaasma champions and that I value in traditional Chinese architecture. Instead of demolition I have imagined a repurposing of this space. By adapting the swimming complex I have sought to protect this building, proposing an entirely different purpose whilst also preserving its historic qualities. The reconceived interior works with spaces, natural light, surfaces and textures to create a spatial experience of ritual, calm and reflection that speaks to all the senses. The intention is to reconstruct and repair both building and inner experience of those who will use it.
How to combine flower patterns to bring new experience to people in the park?
Donghai Park is a key area for urban renewal and ecological restoration in Suzhou, China. It is also a good place for citizens to use rest, exchange, and enjoy. Suzhou Municipal Peoples Government uses the Flower God Festival - a traditional Chinese festival - as a cultural theme to attract people to nature.
In contemporary Chinese culture, patterns have become the focus of art and design - with their unique style and profound elegance. This project is inspired by patterns in the natural world and explores how nature generates patterns. By designing a pavilion that supports and gathers people during the Festival, the project explores patterns as structure, ornament, ecology and human behavior.
The project explores how patterns can form a connection between nature by connecting people and nature and increasing people's comfort and dwell and spend time experiencing the park. In Suzhou, lotus flower is the local city flower, much loved by people. So the pavilion is based on patterns drawn from the lotus flower, which in Asian cultures has symbolic meaning such as beauty, openness, knowledge and renewal and is often described as being an analogy for the human condition–the Lotus produces the most beautiful flower even when its grows in muddy waters.
The pavilion is a place to shelter, gather and celebrate the natural conditions of the park, through light, water, wind, and rain - the pavilion frames these conditions and performs them through the patterned structure. The pavilion is displayed all year round to provide people with a rest or a venue for different activities. At the same time, it will also change with different seasons and weather conditions, bringing people a different sensory experience.
The research explores how patterns drawn from nature and represented in a natural setting, like a park, can activate a stronger connection to nature. The project focuses on analyzing the relationship between humans and nature through studying the relationship between patterns and landscape and exploring how to create space through these patterns for people to experience the wonder and poetry of nature.
How can a mobile kitchen alter the way food is valued?
Food is often all around us, however, we tend to miss the importance of food in our lives and the process going into making the food to arrive at our table. Food becomes a central point to bring people together, but rather it is unrecognised.
Food To Facilitate is a research project which delves into the importance of food around us as well as the importance of the roles in the hospitality industry. Altering the way food is cooked and eaten by changing the setting in which a kitchen is placed in. The major research project question is how can a mobile kitchen alter the way food is valued?
Food To Facilitate is documented through the process of photography, human interaction, mapping, and diagramming. Diagramming is fundamental as it becomes a storyboard displaying functionality and documentation of key moments in the event as well as in the mobile kitchen. Furthermore, human interaction is achieved through hosting events surrounded by food and by putting myself in the shoes of the chef, delivery driver, waiter and occasionally the customer.
Each documentation is a method of producing collective interiors through facilitating food events. The events become a form of observation and analysis, which advocates food and the process of food being made.
This Major Project began with an exploration into the repetitive concept of mark making and making lines. Through this exploratory process, this Major Project encompasses the redesigning of an existing residence located in a mountainous region in China called Yaoluoping. The residence is redesigned to allow people from busy cities in China to come to this scenic spot for respite, allowing the occupants to have a deeper connection to the surrounding landscape.
The residence is designed with two main components – a single room with large openings, framing the external landscape in specific ways, and a large terrace which becomes a threshold between the interior and exterior, a space between and a space for contemplation on our relationship with the landscape.
Contextualised within contemporary society’s longing for a deeper connection to landscape after the pandemic, this Major Project becomes a case study for further interior design projects, which seek to find a balance between interior and exterior environment. This in turn, creates a better life for those who occupy these interior spaces.
How to reinterpret the ritual of the traditional festival through framing, in order to reshape an immersive experience of the natural phenomena?
"团圆" (gathering together) is a project that explores natural phenomena and atmospheric conditions such as light, wind and colour, in the context of rituals involved in the Moon Festival. This festival is a traditional Chinese festival that occurs in mid-Autumn; hence, it is referred to as the Mid–Autumn Festival. During this season, viewing, worship, and expressing feelings to the bright and round moon has developed into folk, forming a traditional activity that embodies people's eagerness to reunite, recreation and happiness. In China, the full moon represents "团圆", which in English means gathering together. As an ancient Chinese poet has said, "人有悲欢离合，月有阴晴圆缺" (People have joys and sorrows, and the moon has waxes and wanes). Over centuries, cultural and social activities have long-established a close connection between the moon's waxing and the reunion of people.
This project mainly discusses the relationship between natural phenomena and the festival by producing a new immersive experience by appreciating natural phenomena through rituals. This project also reconsiders the relationship between interior and exterior and believes that the interior space becomes activated through natural phenomena outside. Through framing, digital and multimedia techniques, material installation and arrangement is used to break through the boundary between nature and media to create an immersive space of rituals. Four interventions address four distinct phenomena to allow the audience to interact more dynamically with the intervention. Ancient poetry runs through the four interventions and philosophical thinking about natural phenomena to produce reunion connotations and symbolism related to the Mid-Autumn festival. This project considers different times of the day and different seasons of the year. The research considers how to transmit the spirit of the Mid-Autumn Festival by creating a connection between nature and humans through a series of immersive experiences. The research has developed an appreciation towards different perspectives, dimensions, poetic conceptions to establish how the Mid-Autumn Festival could be reimagined through an immersive and dynamic interactive experience to create a deeper connection between people and natural phenomena.
How can interior design work with grey spaces-minor or overlooked spaces -within city infrastructure to give expression to the unnoticed, overlooked aspirations and activities of its inhabitants?
Compared to the immensity of the development and the organisational systems of urban space in contemporary China, what I am attracted to is the humble, minor and overlooked spaces of the city. I like to call them “Grey Space”. These are sites or situations that reveal a moment or evidence of a group of people that exist in an urban city and everyday life, unnoticed, but full of possibilities. I call them grey because they are between the visible extremes and yet dependent on these structures.
My project asks how can we find ways to create value with those spaces and in so doing bring new ways of understanding different scales and experiences in the city? Part of this process is to be an urban explorer, to document the city corner, to reveal the historical background of a district, to reveal evidence of people’s individual pathways. I emphasise the need to pay attention to overlooked spaces and occasional moments that happen in city life. Every corner and act may be examined for meaning and traces of existence. Urban planning is more about functional planning and thinking on a grand scale however I am interested in the fact that people like to create their own rules or tactics.The way people use a place mirrors expectations. I am interested in designing to pay attention to the unnoticed, to look at the overlooked, to amplify the moments that people create.
This semester I have identified a range of overlooked spaces within the city of Guangzhou to work with. These interventions reframe or focus attention on spaces, places and people. They may be viewed as propositions for public artworks that are integrated within the urban landscape and function on an intimate and occasionally larger scale. I use strategies of mimicry, disguise, humour and interventions that create access to inaccessible spaces or suggest the yearning, aspirations and determination of the city’s inhabitants.
How can interior design improve the physical and psychological health and well-being of people within a hospital setting?
The healthcare system often places patients in environments that can be considered uncomfortable and potentially anxiety inducing. Bright overhead lights, a maze of walkways and un-natural finishes that appear cold and harsh. Rarely are these interiors a place where you want to be, let alone a place you go to for healing. As an interior designer, I question whether there are other ways to accommodate patients that could potentially improves their psychological and physiological well-being.
Could the interior improve comfort and assist in healing in our health care system?
The design project is situated an eye centre at the St John of God Hospital, Geelong. Through mapping of light conditions and detailed site analysis —such as movement mappings, Lux readings, light movement diagrams and false colour luminance maps— I have built up an understanding of the daily movements and activities of patients and staff. The design response utilises a range of techniques for moderating light conditions, materiality and form to improve way-finding and comfort for patients with different eye conditions.
How to activate a social space for labourers living in the urban village?
Shenzhen city is an international multicultural metropolis established in 1979, becoming the first special economic zone in China in 1980 and it is well known as “Silicon Valley of China” all around the world. The economic boom has attracted migrant workers from all over China, who live in the city’s urban villages.
Shenzhen’s urban villages are the product of low-cost urbanization, providing a foothold for people from all over the world who come to Shenzhen to pursue their dreams. As the 996, 007 working hour system becomes popular, the laborers group are under more pressure. “Home away from home” intends to fill up the lack of social and entertainment environment for people living in the urban village which includes laborers’ families, supporting their needs at various times.
“Home away from home” uses the materiality including bamboo and net, and forms of existing urban village and activates them into a new space, which guides people who live in the urban village interact with each other, building up a new lifestyle. In the extremely limited and dense space in the urban village, the project builds connections within two rooftops in two adjacent buildings, which would satisfy people’s social life needs according to their daily activities through observation.
As a local Shenzhener, my intention is to spread this spirit into my design into my design, showing my great concerns on the labourers group. In Shenzhen, self-built homes account for 59% of the total housing market. In 2019, the Bureau of Planning and Natural Resources released the master plan for the comprehensive renovation of urban villages, which mentioned that the reconstruction of urban villages will not be large-scale demolition and construction but pay attention to the preservation of the villages and the optimization of the living environment, which has also become the purpose of my research.
How does the practice of interior design and built environment the community inhabits could make an impact in providing solution in facilitating sustainability.
Sustainability is one of major issues facing our community. House of reformation investigates achieving sustainability in a built environment from within our community, forming a closed recycling circle. A Space where people drop by and leave their recycling waste; purchase packaging free grocery, attend workshop sessions, upcycling things like take-a-way containers into their new jewellery, showing up at events to learn how to make compost bin, or... just coffee.
The design is situated in the Chapel street shopping district taking the form of a multi-program community hub that aims to interact and assist individuals into voluntary sustainable lifestyle choices. Spaces composing the House of reformation aims to target at three stages forming the closed recycling cycle; collection, re-formation, and re-evaluation. The stages are then taken to adapt behaviour patterns and forming recycling corner, recycling workshops, and retail area. A sustainably minded café and zero waste grocery store assists in making sustainable lifestyle choices more accessible.
An increasing number of sustainability-driven products are surfacing in our sight, but instead of making changes in our products with more resource input, why can’t we make changes in the way we act and re-use resources we already own? House of reformation is driven by curiosity as to whether interior design the community inhabits could make an impact in the way we act, providing solution in facilitating sustainability.
House of reformation seeks to change the ways we relate and connect between interiors and sustainability, with the formula of collection, re-formation, and re-evaluation. This closure to recycling circle will be able to apply to any spaces in and as the community requires, where the interior acts as a connection containing individuals and linking them with acts of sustainability.
 The process by which a product or material can be used and then turned into a new product or converted back to raw material indefinitely without losing its properties during the recycling process.
How can the removal and rebuilding of boundaries & thresholds celebrate the relationship between the commercial and residential in a shophouse setting?
"In-between space" explores the opportunities of reactivating the shophouse typology in Penang. The shophouse is a South-East Asian typology seen along the streets of Penang. These buildings are often mixed-use, multi-storey buildings – traditionally with a family-run business on the ground floor and a residence upstairs. But, over the last few decades, urbanization, traffic congestion, and lifestyle changes have left these buildings abandoned or replaced. Although some in the region remain preserved [heritage-listed buildings], the city continues to be populated with high-rise buildings, embodying Penang's transformation into a finance and business capital.
The In-between Space is a design-based practice, to make the in-between space the center of the whole design process. the project views boundaries and thresholds as zones of negotiation and the transmission of private and public information between commercial and residential spaces, that provide two totally different functions. Introducing the concept of shared use and shared access program for parts of a building, with the presence of different façade designs according to the users and spatial patterns which can crack the existing pattern of the urban fabric and create new synergies and impulses for the development of a city. The In-between Space project examines how can the removal / rebuild of boundaries & thresholds celebrate the relationship between the commercial and residential in a shophouse setting.
In Boundary is a space that seems to be overlooked in the practical interplay of our interiority and exteriority of the world. Boundary is always taken as an end of one space that divides this space from another. However, boundary itself has the potential to be a space with permeability between inside and outside, which can provide a view to the entity in transversal movement. In Boundary explores this position of the boundary as a situational condition that unpacks actively with the symbiosis of nature and structure; visitor and local culture, in relation to duration and space. This project challenges the tradition of boundary as divisions and enclosures and considers techniques encountering the interior through build up of the in-between to involve communication, highlighting the gestures of care to neglected groups.
The mountains areas are a neglected group revealling the difficult life from lack of opportunities to interact with the outside world. However, they have plentiful local products, beautiful landscape and many local artists. Its intermediate platform is therefore crucial in helping villagers to have a stage to show more. Situated at the entrance road to the Long Chi, China, this site is a series of situations explored in relation to ideas of the permeable boundary and offers an open interior of communicating with local people, encountering the landscape and culture.
This project addresses the concern of the relative slow development and poverty in mountainous areas that have gradually made them a marginalized group. Affected by the epidemic in the past two years, many people have lost their jobs; their sources of income have decreased. By creating a platform to highlight existing details, cultures and flows within the site and environment, this concept of permeable boundaries aims to generate period and spatial dynamism in an attempt to bring more visitors and other artist in; taking more products and experience out.
This project is aim to provide an opening for local development, increasing extra foot traffic and communication in the area. It also offers the possibility of future development of local industries related to food and beverage, accommodation, transportation and tourism.
How are senses enhanced to enrich our experience? Why is it important to connect with our surroundings?
In [Ex]terior is a research-based project that started from the curiosity of shifting perception through textured materials and colours to enhance senses. As result, it sparked conversation, awareness, connection and new sensations. This leads to the investigation of shifting perception in a restaurant to make the short break of the day more memorable. Hence, it raises the question: Why is it important to connect with our surroundings? How are senses enhanced to enrich our experience?
In [Ex]terior is sited at the Garden Restaurant in the National Gallery of Victoria International (NGV). The redesign project is focused on the hospitality experience that aims to offer a journey to connect people with the space through the senses and materiality. Series of spatial interventions bring the gallery and garden's engaging atmosphere into the restaurant, forming the relationship between interior and exterior, body and space, and people to people. Sketches, models, collages, and renders are the main techniques used for the investigation.
The journey begins when people enter the NGV greeted by galleries and the garden before arriving at the restaurant. Sensation and narrative are built as people enter from one place to another. The restaurant and garden are connected by a threshold that offers a short transitional moment to prepare people for what will unfold in the restaurant. Once inside, perception is shifted through the play of the mirror. As people dine, the segmented mirrors allow them to see themselves as fragments of their surroundings. People can see themself, others, the garden, and the restaurant simultaneously.
In the end, the restaurant offers an opportunity to connect with the surroundings through spatial interventions. When spatial perception of space is shifted, it increases body awareness. Thus, enriching the hospitality experience by allowing the body to be present at the moment as people dine and feel the surrounding.
How can mappings and recordings of traversing the city grid be manifested to activate a suburban mall setting?
The research project ‘In Transition: Liminal Drift’ questions and interrogates traversing thresholds throughout the act of a journey. Traversing the urban landscape, acknowledging elements of interest that determine our every movement and captivate our attention. Too often, we experience a journey for its end destination and fail to acknowledge the spaces we have traversed. This project aims to draw attention to the movements in between through observation, diagramming and activation.
Inspiration is drawn from key practitioners of the Situationist Movement who pioneered and introduced ideas such as the Dérive and the Flâneur. These concepts play a critical role in exploring the journeys taken throughout space. This project draws from intimate wanderings through the urban site of Melbourne’s CBD city grid, and transform recorded findings into a design offering that activates the suburban site of Eastland Shopping Centre.
The primary medium of ‘In Transition: Liminal Drift’ is diagramming and annotations. These strategies are utilized to explore and understand the journeys taken. Through the act of journeying and forms of recording, a greater understanding and appreciation for site is developed, allowing activation and site-specific design to occur.
‘In Transition: Liminal Drift’ intrinsically develops as a form of observation within which exploration is conducted. A process-driven practice that aims to discover an appreciation towards the journey between spaces in a public realm. ‘In Transition: Liminal Drift’ proposes an outcome that is site-specific and built upon various exploration and process driven thinking. This project, at its core, is a documentation of interest, an archive of movement, a collation of experience, and, most importantly, a journey through space.
How can a practice of intervening inform an adaptive, residential interior that celebrates and preserves a heritage site?
[In]visible systems explores the connections between the residential to its surrounding context. Motivated by a practice of intervening, an exploration of history and objects that power an existing heritage site has transitioned into a desire to find solutions that celebrate infrastructure. With the growing need for working from home, this project intends to propose a program that also supports industry and practice. The project specialises in the multi-residential, commercial and cultural sectors and is situated within a historic flour mill in the suburb of Albion. This site is proposed to be developed into a hotel. As a site in transition, there is potential to rethink the current proposal, and consider this both as a public monument, a residential building and a space that welcomes the community.
The project involves a questioning of value within this typology of buildings to create a new narrative that activates and preserves its heritage fabric and presence of Albion. Making changes that affect the network of existing and proposed buildings becomes more important, which in turn, allows residents to gain more control over their interior. Using a body of research as a design tool, as well as techniques of drawing, diagramming and modelling, the uses of this site are challenged to better facilitate this control through a series of work spaces that are operated by the residents and public. From these moments, a layering of multiple meanings into the site is established, for both the residents within and the community on the exterior, as well as a duality of visible and invisible systems.
How can light be used as a material to inform the way in which a space is programmed and designed into?
This project proposal begun with a simple interest of the effects of natural light on the interior. Consequentially this began to reveal the ever-changing nature that conditions of light can bring to the experiences we have within interiors. This urged me to test how I can apply my observation in a way that informs a design.
The research led to a re-programming project in response to a client brief. Jane Dodge, an artist, wanted to be able to create and exhibit her art under the same roof of where she lives. The original site is a former school hall that situates itself in the rural Victorian town of Kingston. From the research I had undertaken in unpacking qualities of natural light within interiors, light as a material was able to inform the design and reprogramming of this old school recreation hall into a functional residency and public gallery space.
Each side of the exterior of the building is activated at different times of the day depending on when direct daylight hits particular surfaces, the same surface can be activated at different times of the day depending on the season. The gallery design uses this information to distinguish between restricted and unrestricted access into the space. There are moments within the interior where direct sun light needs to be blocked or controlled, the use of curved walls is used to communicate this notion, whereas straight adjacent walls control and block both light and visual access of visitors of the gallery. "
How can interior design practice conceive of spaces of empathy that recognise our commonality as difference? in response to a reductive colonial history.
This body of research is motivated by considerations of the socio-political attitudes attributed to different bodies in our society. We occupy our bodies and land. Both are territories that have been possessed and exploited by the colonising vision. Intersubject explores how interior design practice can create a relational space of empathy that enables a recognition of our colonial histories and an affirmation of our commonality as difference. Commonality meaning, the embodied experience shared by all with difference meaning, the diverse and irreducible history of an individual that arises from the unique circumstances of their birth.
The project developed using ideas of intersubjectivity and collaborative encounters between people, objects, sounds and spaces. A performative space of empathy, situated in the grassland circle of Royal Park in Naarm, is envisaged to explore the space of empathic encounter. The proposed space responds to the colonial narratives of the site and is activated by a programmatic score resulting in a choreographed performance of relational encounters. These relational encounters evoke an embodied awareness of our shared difference- the space of empathy. This approach is contrasted against the dangers of a reductive colonising vision and its impact on our bodies, culture, and ecological landscapes.
In the face of a history of colonising narratives, discrimination and exploitation of people, land, and resources, this proposed interior aims to activate surrounding communities and conversations exploring our commonality. The audiences bringing their own histories and interpretations. Whilst working with the specific history of a site, Intersubject is envisaged as an ethical methodology that through its recognition of differences and commonalities has relevance to other sites of colonial conflict.
Through design, can we improve already existing dwellings to adapt to the current climate, promoting wellbeing through exterior connection?
Through the use of apertures can we create a bridged connection between the interior and exterior to elevate residential living?
Intertwined apertures; an approach to living lightly', is a research project exploring how interior practice creates a stronger connection to the exterior elements, allowing a fluidity between the interior and exterior environments. I am personally drawn to the exterior, but more specifically nature, as it has an instantly calming effect that washes over me upon encountering it. The underlying concern for this research project and agenda is to provide a stronger sense of wellness within residential living in interweaving the exterior environment in dynamic relation with the interior. The exterior has known benefits to our health and wellbeing, and considering the pandemic, there is a much-needed shift in how we design to compose a more vital balance with nature. Through processes of model making and ways of framing ephemeral conditions, I have developed a series of apertures and thresholds which allow for this dynamic relationship to occur. Situated in a Melbourne suburb, the dwelling has been approached to test these ideas and techniques. Through the production of a series of gestures intertwining between the site, the structure of the dwelling and light, the research project has developed a way to elevate and harness what is present in a more dynamic way, without rebuilding. The design intends to provide agency to the occupants through a dynamic system that creates a personal curation of exterior forces to elevate their living environment.
How does space shape our movement, and how does movement shape space?
Space may be understood as a trace, a cast or even a record of movement. Space can also encourage or suggest ways of moving, inviting ways of relating between people and narratives that may be read into places. This research commences with an exploration of staircases. Stairs facilitate movement. They are also a fundamental element in the connection of otherwise separate spaces. They are liminal spaces between other spaces. When people use staircases, they both see the staircase as a visual entity and feel the staircase as they use it. The use of a staircase creates a journey, a pathway, and has many possible experiences.
My research starts with diagrams and photography that analyzed movement in spaces from which I constructed conjectural models. The models created speculative investigations of staircases, and spaces, that shape and visualize movement. The forms I have created are expressions of the amalgam of the invisible and psychological forces at play in these liminal spaces. Then, I interrogated the staircase as a navigational tool, to create stairs to connect different levels in an apartment and created a continuous flow of upward and downward spaces. This works to stimulate people’s curiosity for the interior space and enhance the value of the apartment living, while also promoting more communication between people and between people and space. It becomes a visual and spatial guide, leading us to these other spaces.
This Major Project explores the relationship between staircases, spaces, and bodies. Spaces can be adapted to the human body and can be created by the movement of the human body and perceptions. Korean artist Do Hu Suh said: “The space I’m interested in is not only a physical one, but an intangible, metaphorical, and psychological one.” This psychological space can be regarded as people’s conception of space, and it can be applied to spaces where humans live, providing new concepts for the future interior design.
How can the slippages of translation in spatial and body language be recognised, interpreted and expressed?
Language of space' is a research project motivated by an interest in practising and exploring the relations between language and space. Language is explored as a practice in which it is understood as a medium, material and tool—to enable exchange, expression, movement, communication, and information. Language is experimented with through various mediums such as text, graphics, signs, annotations, photography, mapping, and diagramming.
The practice has engaged in how language involves translations, misinterpretations, where slippages and multiple readings—causing interference or connection—are celebrated and explored in how these effect and affect the audience experience. Language has the potential to be social, political, contextual, and is complex due to its cultural nuances and impact. This has been explored critically and creatively where techniques in language have been developed, such as concrete poetry, display, and wayfinding programs. These have been experimented with in relation to exhibition design, curating and designing experiences with art.
The project comprises a series of physical and digital space-interventions that examine thresholds, surfaces, and reflections as a mode of mediating and heightening encounters with art and the space where art is encountered—accompanying a series of site-specific interventions is the design of a website that aims to engage in digital mediums through imagery, text and sounds to enable the audience to navigate the exhibition in a different mode. Through translation, transfer, texting, and reading, the exhibition design engages with how language becomes a way of facilitating the encounter with art and its site of display.
Situated at The Godown, a cultural program and space located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the project investigates the building's cultural, historical, and social aspects and urban setting. The project comprises designing an exhibition for Lucy McRae whilst simultaneously responding to the site and the current restrictions upon people being unable to access exhibitions in physical space. As globalisation decreases, digitisation compensates for the loss of physical accessibility with art and exhibition spaces. By speculating and negotiating between the presence and absence of the body, the digital and physical, the 'Language of space' can facilitate and expand the encounter with art.
How can an Interior Design of diagramming challenge and contribute to the masterplan & project timeline?
Can the design process become more receptive by utilising interior processes of the diagram?
The site is a network of intersecting systems. The way we relate to our environments, and the tools we use to communicate, are performed through abstraction. In pursuit of efficiencies or ideals, the multiplicities of change are denied in the process of a masterplan and project timeline.
Is there space for unconventional collaborations to alter the way we analyse and project? Can a parasitic partnership between site analysis and a practice of diagramming position the site as the key stakeholder?
Dialogue is utilised to learn from the meantime. As a measure of time, it denotes a present engagement with the site regardless of the design phase. As an act of interior making, it works counter to our time, to foreground the site’s infinite possibilities.
Supplemented onto an existing council project, 'Let’s Converse in the Meantime: An Open Dialogue with Site' contests final solutions and seeks alternate, open-ended ecologies. It hopes to interrogate assumptions made within a project by communicating the site’s agility and demanding the labour of prolonged learning and listening.
Direct proximity enables a knowledge of languages, rhythms, and durations. As its own living entity, and a counter narrative to the masterplan, the site communicates through scalar symptoms of transformation.
The reciprocation between designer and site is discursive and tangential. The importance of relations is magnified through the shifting interiority of the diagram; it is one of conversation, interpretation, and timescale.
How can a multi-residential apartment be activated to encourage community engagement and meet the changing needs of residents?
This research project seeks to develop a residential space that will serve city residents who live in multi-residential buildings, to help them have a playful connected happier life.
With urbanization and population growth, there are more and more people living in high-rise dwellings, street life is limited. The residents of these dwellings are constantly changing as well. Neighbors in the same multi-residential building do not know each other. The residents in the high-rise apartments become more and more isolated. On the other hand, there is less open space and common land in our cities. Children in the apartment building hard to find playmates and a suitable playground. The playful childhood is disappearing.
This situation raises the question: how can a multi-residential apartment be activated to encourage community engagement and meet the changing needs of residents? I choose a typical high-rise apartment located in the Melbourne CBD area as an example, to explore the answer to this question.
This project is divided into three scales: small(within the single apartment), medium(within one building level), and large(within the whole multi-residential building). On the small scale, instead of demolishing the existing structure, the use of adoptive furniture meets the changing requirements of different residents of the apartment. In the middle scale, a well-designed communal space created by thresholds boosts the connection of neighbors. On the large scale, a rooftop garden with adaptability provides residents a social and activity space to fertilize the community within the apartment building.
The project focuses on providing a better vertical living in cities by improving the adaptability of the existing building, as well as boosting the connection within the apartment community. Hope it can call the attention of the missing community life in high-rise apartments and provide some useful solutions.
Can small multi-generational living spaces improve the quality of life for residents?
How will we live in the future?
As urban density increases in major cities around the world living spaces are becoming smaller and smaller. Interior densities are also increasing and houses often accommodating multiple generations. Within even the smallest spaces residents maintain ideals of ‘home’. This research project explores how design can meet the changing needs of a multigenerational family home with challenging spatial limitations.
The design for these smaller homes requires greater consideration about the social relationship between residents to be able to meet their changing requirements. The potential of small homes has come under new scrutiny as people continue to abandon the stereotyped concept of home and the emergence of unnecessary luxury concepts, the potential of small-area houses has been re-examined.
The site chosen for exploration is sandwiched between boundary walls and existing buildings in the centre of Dengshikou in Beijing, China. The design introduces natural light, multi-functional furniture and emphasises multimodal programs which stimulate flexibility and endless potential within the limited footprint. These methods offer flexibility, possibility and comfort to the residents while aiming to enhance the quality of life.
How does community shared space as a platform enable the restoration of interpersonal communication for high-rise communities after the pandemic and in the future?
Community shared space is the most common space available for connection for residents in their daily lives. It is the material carrier for residents to carry out various activities. With the pandemic, some public living spaces have been prohibited, and people’s social contacts have become limited. The impact of this is not only in the reduced space available to these dwellers, but also the psychological impact of such isolation. The consequences of this have prompted me to respond to the problem of the extremely limited social interaction evident in the city’s high-rise apartment buildings during and after the pandemic.
In response, the project Lost and Found has developed into a modular offline storage facility and online interactive platform. The offline facility will serve as an important hub in this project. Utilising the shared public space provided in high-rise apartments, it will provide innovative storage, where direct exposure and connection to the storage owner enables exchange and short circuit connections within the high-rise community. It is essential to the entire system as it maintains and promotes the circulation of the system. The online platform will employ the principles of blockchain technology, where ownership is expanded through a proposition of how sharing of usage rights strengthens this community.
Lost and Found is a project designed to help high-rise apartment communities derive access and connection within and between unlimited affiliated communities offline and online. It provides greater opportunities for people to connect with fellow residents, as these are the people they are surrounded by in their daily lives. The project has the potential to be applied to different cities in different countries in the future to facilitate better connections. These offline and online platforms provide increased communication channels where design can address isolation and actively provide support structures to eliminate this impact of the pandemic.
How to use natural light and shadow to redefine the space and shape new spatial experiences in interior design?
Scientific and technological progress has led to the emergence of endless artificial lighting. Contemporary design has seen artificial lighting gradually replacing natural light in architecture because of its convenience and controllability. However, the overuse of artificial light as principal source has created uniform floodlit space. It has taken people away from the qualities of natural light and nature.
The relationship between interior space, human experience and natural light is explored in this project. Sunlight plays an important role in how it impacts on the spatial aesthetic, as an expressive tool and its ability to create an atmosphere where distinctions between interior and exterior can be broken down and explored.
For my research project, I have chosen to renovate the pavilion next to the Tudor Village in the Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne. The City of Melbourne, recently issued a statement, looking for a new activated use for the pavilion. My goal is to renovate this pavilion into an art centre for the community. Based on my analysis of this site, I will replan this space and inject new functions. The space is designed to be adaptive and change in time. Through the design of architectural form, the division of space by natural light and shadow can be realized, and a new spatial experience can be brought to activate users' imagination of space. Users include everyone with an additional focus on how this pavilion can become a multigenerational and multi-ethnic bridge to promote community experience and communication. This project aims to use the physical, mental and emotional spaces available through natural light in developing this art centre. Not only will the design explore how good lighting can be produced using natural light, but also create a nuanced light experience that increases and activates users’ physical pleasure and mental and emotional enjoyment.
What is the 'how' of movement─ the anatomy of change and how are action and motion experienced by the body in everyday urban life?
The year’s work largely investigates what is the how of movement─ the anatomy of change and how are action and motion experienced by the body in everyday urban life?
“Lively, diverse, intense cities contain the seeds of their own regeneration” 
make x [do + up] is a speculative concept of the interior of a train that offers endless possibilities. The initiative encourages people to action their ideas and ‘make do’ with what is present, now, to ‘make up’ their own journey.
Using the concepts of dance as the main technique, the approach involves learning, [re]learning, [un]learning and [re]inflecting an observation and, eventually a practice. The space of the body, kinaesthetic empathy and improvisation are key concepts of dance as a practice and are employed throughout the weekly explorations to understand the motion and interpretations in depth. The explorations examine how the intricate intertwining of perception, action and coexistence can promote a more creative, interactive, and empathetic community.
The issue of social isolation in the urban landscape is especially relevant to our current climate, where cities are implementing new ways to restore vibrancy and culture. The research bounces off Jane Jacobs’ ideology to unwind the tight grip on a predictable and automated form of city planning. Human beings are dynamic and thrive in organically formed environments that provide for their individual and collective narrative. The aim is to combat unconscious duplication and order in urban spaces by heightening the experience of a daily activity and producing an embodied action.
make x [do + up] provides a set of tools to enable adaptation, assemblage, and performance of a daily task to expand our understanding of a temporary, ever-changing space. It develops an ecosystem within a train that empowers passengers to choreograph their own chaotic and vibrant lives into the journey, while having to change their perspective, constantly, to coaction with other diverse personalities.
- Jacobs, J 1961, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Penguin, New York.
Courtney Daniels, map as site/site as map [×]
How can collective cultural memory be used as a bridge connecting multi-generational residents? How can memory as a metaphorical public interior be used to create a more cohesive community?
“Metaphor Memory” is a strategy that connects collective memory and space. It challenges temporal and spatial dimensions, as it carries out a spatial dialogue between past and present and above and below spaces through re-imagination.
The project is located in Shanghai’s Putuo district, a modern residential community. Community is an environment consisting of several social groups forming a large inter-connected population living collectively. Since population growth and people’s pursuit of high-quality life, changes in the public living environment have caused a lack of communication between multi-generational social groups, weakening residents’ community participation. Lack of cohesion in the community is a key issue for current residents.
This project intends to use the collective cultural memory of Chinese Landscape Culture as a bridge to connect multi-generations in the public living environment. As a public interior, it explores the potential of interior by using characteristics of the natural environment as an activating and binding catalyst. The elements and artistic conception of Chinese Landscape Culture are introduced into the interior as the concept of “metaphor”. From traditional to modern, the conversion to experienced memory creates a new shared experience in the community, triggering people’s thinking about changes in the role of past and present.
This intervention will consist of two interconnected leisure spaces designed in the public space of Xiangyuan Lidu Community. The public pond is used as a dynamic medium, to house an above-water Tea House and below-ground multi-use space. The design will provide segue ways to encourage a celebration and blending between traditional and modern, old and young and above and below, where the metaphor of memory is a shared experience able to activate and bridge community members’ relationship to their environment and one another.
How to show history in new design without telling people directly?
Turning the clock back to 2008, Nan Fung, the largest local cotton yarn producer, announced that it would suspend operations of its Nan Fung yarn factory in Tsuen Wan. When people were worried about whether the yarn factory would become a real estate project, the group decided to revitalize the yarn factory into a collection. The creative centre with the art gallery, laboratory, and retail space in Hong Kong's first private revitalization project with the theme of the textile industry and has become a base for cultivating a new generation of creativity. The Mills, and finally officially opened at the end of 2018.
People are no longer satisfied with industrial production, but pursue personalization and design aesthetics, and the cultural and creative culture has emerged from this. Young and dreamy. The future belongs to young people. Speaking of "cultural and creative" it is the culture that takes creativity as the main body and then uses creativity to design works and make it a productive industry.
When revitalization combined with culture and creativity, it can inject new impetus into historical buildings, and even the two complement each other to a higher level. And this is the Mills. The revitalised old building not only injects vitality and vitality into the building itself and the neighbouring communities but also makes people understand that revitalisation can create infinite possibilities.
Stepping into The Mills, you suddenly feel an atmosphere of design and creativity. The designer retains the old cement surface of the wall, floor tiles, stairs, handrails, floor markings, and even the sand cans used to extinguish fires. The very original industrial style also reflects the scale of the old yarn factory.
How can a multi-use community space embrace its history and build connections among people in the community?
My hometown Qinhuangdao is a coastal city in northern China. In ancient times, due to geographical reasons, it was a military stronghold to defend the capital of Beijing. The opening of international ports in modern times has further boosted the urban economy. Qinhuangdao's Beidaihe District is also famous for its tourism. It is a developing city with specific historical culture and economic conditions.
However, in this rapid economic development, new problems have emerged. In the city, new buildings are being built without referencing the history. These developments ignore the existing cultural inheritance. People are moving from large families living together with shared courtyards to solitary high-rise apartments. The relationship between people has become indifferent and distant. The architecture is shaping this change. But People do not always benefit from these changes. In random interviews with residents in the community, many of them told me that they felt a sad alienation in their relationships with the community over the years.
This is a research project that explores a multi-use space that can rebuild the connection between people and the community. It is mainly aimed at my hometown Qinhuangdao and its residents as the design clients. It is a place where people can find a respite from the fast pace of life and be encouraged to connect with others in the group.
This research project uses history, cultural, and environmental factors from the city for each design stage to respect and inform the making a new space for community connection.
Illustration, modelling and collage were all used to develop the site's interior design. Sensory research adds diversity to the visitor's experience of the space. I further honed my ability to design practical projects, and the coordination of internal partition and graphics enabled me to have a deeper understanding of the use of space.
How can the notion of habits and movement of people informs design for Indonesia's transportable food industry?
Every country is facing a diverse set of economic challenges. As many of us are aware, the recent emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in more people demanding new strategies to sustain the economic growth and well-being of the community in their respective countries. Indonesia is no exception, their local food hospitality programme named ‘Kaki Lima’ is currently struggling to maintain a sustainable level of income. Kaki Lima has been Indonesia’s cultural icon for the transportable hospitality industry since the late 1600s, yet the society has shown no interest in improving the matter.
Nomadic Afoot will be the program which designs a micro-financing soft infrastructure that is dedicated to supporting Kaki Lima vendors and the economy. This government-funded program will enable street vendors to re-imagine the space they occupy sustainably and become a place where the community can take time out and meet others. Moreover, people nowadays tend to be selective in choosing places to hang out and eat due to the current pandemic situation. The program will shift between three modes of configuration: Public (base camp), Semi-public, and Private urban settings situated in different zones. Vendors can travel within the zone and engage with more customers. Each mode caters to a variety of assemblages, experiences of gathering, scales, and degrees of intimacy.
Through a process of assessing the movements and habits of occupants, the design focuses on maintaining the vendors’ beautiful individuality through spatial layout and materiality. Alongside with designing smallness to incorporate flexibility, mobility and efficiency within the three activations.
How can an understanding of existing infrastructure and spatial systems (road systems) be used as a design tool to produce a responsive interior?
Off-Road explores the potentialities of using residual spaces under and in Kuala Lumpur road systems for more than travel and transit. The epitome of accessibility and connectivity, the project looks at its possibilities for activation. Informed by the practice of urban improvisation, the project examines how joinery and structural interventions can address and react to contemporary understandings of the city. With the lack of public and social space in KL, this project opens opportunities to use existing infrastructure to house a range of public programs that support the community.
Situated under a flyover in the Imbi-Kampung Pandan Roundabout, Off-Road is a platform for communities to build resilience and support through adversity or crisis. Partnered with the Kechara Soup Kitchen, Off-Road proposes a series of empowerment programs that focus on skills retraining. As an area that is open and accessible to all people, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, or socio-economic level, the project rethinks the current role of road systems and considers it an opportunity to reconnect communities back to the city.
With this, the project views boundaries as zones of negotiation and the value these road systems have to create a new narrative within the city. As Kuala Lumpur undergoes rapid modernization and urbanization, listening and reacting to existing networks becomes essential.
Through digital mediums such as 3D modeling, photography, and diagramming, the project proposes a series of workshop spaces that expand and contract to facilitate the different occupations of volunteers and the public. From these interventions, Off-Road examines how designers can respond to our cities, creating opportunities for road systems and other built environments to go beyond their intended function.
Situated under a flyover in the Imbi-Kampung Pandan Roundabout, Off-Road is a platform for communities to build resilience and support through adversity or crisis. Partnered with the Kechara Soup Kitchen, Off-Road proposes a series of empowerment programs that focus on skills retraining. As an area that is open and accessible to all people, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, or socio-economic level, the project rethinks the current role of road systems and considers it an opportunity to reconnect communities back to the city.
With this, the project views boundaries as zones of negotiation and the value these road systems have to create a new narrative within the city. As Kuala Lumpur undergoes rapid modernization and urbanization, listening and reacting to existing networks becomes essential.
Through digital mediums such as 3D modeling, photography, and diagramming, the project proposes a series of workshop spaces that expand and contract to facilitate the different occupations of volunteers and the public. From these interventions, Off-Road examines how designers can respond to our cities, creating opportunities for road systems and other built environments to go beyond their intended function.
Can my experience of growing up in a Chinese communal neighbourhood aid the redesign of community spaces in suburban Australia to encourage a supportive environment with opportunities for connection and participation.
Today, according to The Happiness Institute research, 77% of people in Australia do not talk to their neighbours and know very little about them. Loneliness they report is a great threat to wellbeing. This phenomenon has lead me to rethink the value of privacy and individualism in Australia. In China, public space is communal, and shared spaces are used extensively and collaboratively. My research draws on the sense of community I experienced in my childhood neighbourhood in China where space was actively shared producing a rich intergenerational culture.
This year I have explored possible ways of addressing this issue through reimagining public and private space usage in Melbourne neighbourhoods. My major project reconceives the Laylor Community Garden in the suburb where I currently live to build a stronger collaborative community. By reimagining this space and program the project aims to build relationships between different generations and nationalities. By doing so I aim to engender a supportive community with opportunities for social connection and participation.
The methods of this research involve undertaking a series of case studies, site analysis, photography, drawing, and model making, creating a collection of architectural details, joinery, and animation to represent these ideas of sociality and living with others. This project intends to reinvent the sense of connection for people in these spatial scenarios that will build a supportive active environment. This project speculates on new ways of living to overcome the lack of social participation within my suburban neighbourhoods. To create a strategic design for public spaces reshaping today's neighbourhood situation.
How can the conditions of an environment and human interaction be influenced through notions of performance within a space?
Performing Conditions explores the notions of performance that exist within a site, that influence the behaviour and experience of those inhabiting the space. This program is situated like a theatrical play, where the design process has been engaged through a series of Acts followed by an Epilogue. Located at the confluence of the Merri Creek and the Birrarung next to Dights Falls, the Acts explore the relationships between water and people, bringing together the design community to share, learn and support this generative process of interior design. The temporal, performative and unpredictable qualities seen both in performative arts and our local waterways create a dynamic relationship with tangible and intangible distinctions.
Over the course of Melbourne Design Week, there will be physical structures placed within a designated space on site that are to be engaged with by attendees, to deliver an instructional score revealing a unique live performance. Consisting of Melbourne Water data, diagramming, bodily movement and negotiating space within Dights Falls, the different Acts further highlight the diverse performative qualities. As these interventions take place, viewers can see the many activities and intensities that overlap surrounding Dights Falls, understanding the performative complexity and impact existing in the same space.
This program encourages consciousness and reflection upon waterways apt to flooding such as the Merri Creek and Birrarung, as a focus point to consider how these relationships between environment and people can suggest a performative way to design in aid. The influence of fluctuating movements within design practice and changing site conditions enlighten the importance of our actions as a group and challenges interior design; to create adaptive, supportive outdoor environments through performance.
How can concepts of pedagogy be applied as a method for practicing interior design to evoke play for all ages?
“Play” can be described as any physical recreational activity that involves moderate to vigorous bursts of energy that produce positive emotions, as well as experience. This proposal aims to explore “play” as both a design concept and methodology and questions the potential outcomes of an interior design process employing concepts of Montessori’s children pedagogy. Key principles of this way of thinking are based on the development of a creative mind through a sense of freedom, individuality, and belonging. The project uses residential public space as a site and offers an intervention that mimics a children’s play system by blurring boundaries to evoke a sense of ambiguity in an undefined space for people of all ages to explore.
This concept of “play” came about from the concern that standardized mass-produced plastic playgrounds imposed some constraints in playing. In response, this project was conceived as a departure from the standard playground design that resembles military exercise equipment. To provide a maximum sense of active free play, the proposed design revolves around two key design features: play objects and circulation. The concept of play can be tested by designing a playscape with a handful of diverse individually designed play objects, each having its own identity with its own function and structural logic, to see whether these stimulate imaginations. These play objects are connected through a designed circulation. This circulation act as a tool that evokes curiosity and a sense of exploration while also encouraging and fostering alternate forms of movement.
Through this design process, play can be used to explore new experiences by encouraging people to interact physically with different play objects through a sense of curiosity and exploration. This playscape intervention also brings the residential community together to carry out social activities through play.
How does culture enrich place? How can place reflect cultures and build empathy?
The Foreigner is the one who does not belong to the state where we are, who is one of them the other” (Kristeva 1991). Even with the increased multiculturalism of Melbourne, many international students still live in segregation and loneliness. This situation worsens under the lack of public contact and the absence of the neighbourhood. “Where space is not assumed as pre-existing but produced, occupation becomes the process of transformation, of making relation” (Lanz 2018). While people seeking a new home beyond the land they were born, place becomes the bearer of the desire to be accepted, to become part of something, and to belong.
How does culture enrich place? How can place reflect cultures and build empathy?
These questions are explored in the context of suburban Melbourne suburb. Expanded mapping techniques and site appreciation are combined with interviews and a historic review of Kew Junction. The research also draws upon my personal experiences of being an international student away from home.
The final design proposal explores ways for [re]connecting and [re]inhabiting new places. To live somewhere is to experience it and to make it one’s own. There is an essential social dimension in doing this, so the design intervention building upon the common reference of the barbecue picnic. These activities are unremarkable and yet symbolise a public expression of life. The proposed event design is not intended as a solution to ‘foreignness' or exclusion but rather an invitation to engage.
How temporal qualities of everyday rituals of varied species may affect, transform and re-imagine communal spaces?
'Play. Everyday' is a multi-species playground designed to engage interaction between children, adults and their dogs. The design utilises immersive freeform play experiences, the network of the relation between interior and exterior, dramatic sculptural forms, and interactive waterways displays to take visitors on a journey into the fun of the outdoors.
The playground explores new modes of communal interactions, appreciating all the variations of scales and senses recognition, and offers insight into a new way of designing public spaces.
Smith and Howe reserves in Port Melbourne is an off-leash dog park that is in between a busy road and the North Port train station on a CBD fringe. It is a popular location for dog owners and walkers which is a ‘green’ escape for local residents. The project is built upon the original conservation masterplan allowing the existing trees and infrastructure to be part of the offered interiority.
This research project explores how temporal qualities of everyday rituals of varied species may affect, transform and re-imagine communal spaces. It aims to explore how can the needs of different cohorts be integrated into an inclusive design?
Play. Everyday proposes a speculative version of outdoor recreation. The playground addresses the social necessities and a way to accommodate the growth of pet ownership due to COVID-19. This allows visitors to share experiences of communal public space in new ways as form of an outdoor freeform play. It is an experience of walking through the park as a journey of constant play and rest.
Pretense is a multifunctional object set within the context of the ‘living room’. Broadly, this is a space where the inhabitant is free to perform their rituals and routines, dependant on their cultural, social, and personal needs. As dwellings become smaller, the living room is required to support overlapping programs throughout the duration of a day. From hosting, eating, resting, entertaining and everything in-between, this project seeks to examine the question - can one piece of furniture fulfil more than one of these needs to save space?
The design is inspired by the female inventors of the 19th century who were tackling the pervading issues of cramped living quarters and the female Bauhaus designers, who were ‘humanizing modernism’ through their deep understanding of human needs within domestic spaces. Designer Charlotte Perriand stated ‘In every important decision there is one option that represents life, and that is what you must choose.’ and thus Pretense aims to prompt discussions around the static nature of contemporary furniture and its inability to adapt to the user.
Appearing solely as a coffee table, encounters with Pretense are revealed by drawing the viewer closer to the piece through the juxtaposition of illuminated sheer curtains, placed purposefully in stark contrast with the angular timber frame. The inherent narrative of curtains alludes to something more – to be uncovered, revealed, and concealed. The piece is unfolded, pulled apart and put back together, and as it is activated by the user, a multitude of uses arise.
This project is a return to fundamentals, inestigating the potentiality of adaptable furniture. Similarly to the Modernists, it seeks to foreground human scale and function above all else. In performing Pretense, the user is invited to imagine and challenge conventional living room furniture as it exists today.
Can the interior meet individual privacy needs in small shared living environments?
The pandemic, which forced us to stay at home for long periods —sometimes in shared living environments– made me wonder how a residential interior might better meet individuals privacy needs? This issue becomes important because in an enclosed interior if conflicts cannot be avoided or solved, stress will increase exponentially and there is nowhere to hide.
This study explores how to create private interiors in the city by giving an extreme scenario of designing residential space for low-income marginalised people. The site is located in a narrow alleyway in Melbourne’s CBD. The clients are the fictional family members from the film Shoplifters who represent a family struggling to get by in a major city. By analysing their needs by diagramming their routines and social interaction patterns, I explore explores strategies to facilitate individual needs within a small shared apartment.
Private Shelter aims to reveal that privacy is about understanding our emotions, relationships and activities intertwine at different distances from each other to find a comfortable balance between private and public. This research project developed a technique for visualising the invisible bubbles which constitute each persons “territory” suggested by Edward T. Hall as a means to re-examine interior spaces (Hall 1966). I utilise the dimensions of these bubbles to arrange individual use of space and take advantage of the blind spots in our senses as a tactic to let individuals feel less crowded. Private Shelter recognises private and public as relational condition where transformation can be used as a strategy to suggest the “mode” of space in order to facilitate various kinds of needs for both individuals and groups.
My research question is, how building surfaces may be understood as a new skin that connects the interior and exterior?
My research explores how building surfaces may be understood as a new skin that connects the interior and exterior. As an Iranian-Australian interior designer, I aim to bring my experience of Persian architecture and Australian culture into my Interior design practice. I see the idea of skin and surface as a way to explore these themes.
Natural light is a central concern of Persian architecture and continues to be the main focus of my research. Light from the sun imbues surfaces with change and shifting identity. One characteristic of natural light is its dynamic behaviour, which activates interior spaces and creates impressive and affecting surfaces. I have explored the ever-changing encounters of light interacting with opaque, translucent and reflective surface materials and interiors throughout the year. I have worked particularly with the lotus pattern. I view this encounter as an identity inherited from both Persian and Australian cultures.
For my research project, I have designed a cultural centre based in inner Melbourne for women like myself who have emigrated from Iran to Australia. Drawing on my research, I have developed a porous building surface for the proposed centre that utilises light apertures derived from a repeated pattern of the lotus flower motif, an enduring and significant symbol of femininity from my culture.
My intention is for the building and program to communicate the richness of Persian architecture and contemporary experience as well as to provide educational, economic, and creative opportunities for Persian women. Integral to this ambition is the use of light in this design. The building’s skin- its exterior surface - is an emblem of an emerging identity between the two cultures and between the natural light and interior. The ever-changing light phenomena generated by the lotus apertures combined with Australian materials and context are intended to produce a dynamic and engaging new relationship of both surfaces and identity inherited from Persian and Australian cultures.
How can spatial intervention, within public space, activate intimate community experiences engagement?
[re]Build a Bridge is a hypothetical design strategy, which focuses on exploring the interconnected relationship between public community space and residents. The relationship is physical, bodily and experiential.
Through the popularisation of vertical development, there is a tension of high-rise domestic habitation and restricted land size between infrastructure and leisure space, causing the development of accessible public living space to be stagnated. Thus, how a balance can be found through collective community planning on a limited site. This project is located in a community where this planning conflict occurs.
The focus of this renovation research project is on resident experience. Spatial interventions aim to deconstruct existing daily interactions and recombine to build an effective communication channel between communities, activities and residents. Early research was undertaken to gain an understanding of daily occupancy within the community, while physical motion experiments summarize the needs of experiences through readable media.
As a spatial solution, the vertical extension of community public space aims to connect the horizontal habitat of street level by engaging with everyday community interactions. Stairs and slopes connect vertical hierarchies, encouragingly guiding the sequence of the residents' journey. The intervention presents a fluid experience, which gradually awakens the self-awareness of residents in the context of the community environment.
While respecting the existing environment and residents' lives, this program endows rules and vitality in a new dimension, thus stimulating physical intimacy that acts directly on the human body.
Exploring calligraphic culture, how can the multiple meanings of words be re-conceptualised through immersive intervention?
Re-Conceptualise the Text explores the culture and multiple meanings behind Chinese texts. In this era of rapid development of data media, the cultural significance of Chinese characters has been neglected. Through spatial intervention and wayfinding, the project aims to reconnect the viewer with this lost form of communication.
Chinese calligraphy is a unique art form encompassing the culture of China. In the first semester, Chinese characters were reconceptualised into patterns to influence our vision, guiding our perception of objects and the environment within space. To stimulate the audience's understanding of the multiple meanings of symbols and the importance of calligraphic culture, this research practice focuses on text and experience to stimulate the potential of our senses and enhance perception. It raises the question: How can the multiple meanings of words be reconceptualised through immersive intervention?
Exploring the Shenzhen Children's Palace, an extracurricular educational building that stimulates children's scientific awareness and artistic potential, this site offers a series of places to think and intervene with calligraphy and Chinese character culture. The project challenges how we can connect with space through wayfinding and how words can be reconceptualised to enhance our understanding. Through digital projectors and tests of calligraphy, the audience uses their bodies to move through the site, subconsciously engaging in activities designed to aid an understanding of the culture of words and enhance the perception of objects in space.
This project explores different strategies to design spatial interventions to express words and language, for the occupants to re-experience, understand and create value. The activation of the intervention brings more attention and exposure to traditional Chinese characters and calligraphy culture, keeping the culture alive.
Can sensory design help to seperate work and life in a home working environment?
How people’s daily routine will affect the balance of work and life?
What are the sensory experiences in those routines?
This major project Re(Dis)Connect explores the relationship of our human senses and the experiences of a combined work and home life in 2021. The project also explores the sensorial as a means to mediate work/life balance.
During the 200+ days of Melbourne lockdowns, brought about by the COVID pandemic, people have had to adjust to working from home. Accompanying this change of condition, it has been noted a people who work from home are working longer hours and having less time for home-life. This suggests an increased need for separation between work and home-life. Could design assist in the decompression from work when situated in a home environment?
The design project discusses the possibility of incorporating sensory elements within a studio apartment. By studying the client’s daily routine within the home, I examine transitions between programs such as waking, bathing, eating, studying, exercising, and socialising. What are the sensory experiences in those routines and can the transitions be affected?
The final proposal re-designs a tiny studio apartment to test the research. Reconfigurable cabinetry and furnishing are used to mediate the transition between different modes of use. The sensorial qualities are accentuated with the use of natural and artificial lighting, materiality, and orientation. Combined these design elements allow resident to actively engage in a transformation of the program which extends the transition of work-life and allows for a recalibration. It is intended that will untangle the blurred home/work environment and have a positive impact on the resident.
How can we change our perception of waste to see its value?
Waste, although usually discarded and unwanted, has plenty of potential to be salvaged and turned back into useful functional things. Waste has long been misused and my design aims to explore and celebrate opportunities for re-use, up-cycling, reconfiguration and repair.
My design proposal is located at a disused petrol station in Preston as a way to consider the increasing redundancy of such sites as the world transitions away from fossil fuelled cars. Aiming to re-evaluate the site and utilise its existing infrastructure, I have proposed a community repair shop that could support a volunteer lead workshop focused on processes of recycling through the modes of repair, reuse and reconfiguration.
Considered as a node in a network of such programs, the design seeks to encourage a circular economy. The design and utilisation of the site is intended to be flexible and adapted overtime as needs change.
The interior facilitates different types of educational programs, all focused on repair and reuse. I am designing functional work spaces that utilise waste material by prioritising utility over visual aesthetics. While considering the language of the neighbourhood’s infrastructure and the previous use of the site, I conducted various mappings and diagrams to situate my site in relationship to its environment which have led to inform my design decisions and interaction with users.
In developing the final proposal I have looked at ensuring that each component can be reused again in the future to assist in this circular economy. I have used modes of sketching, rhino rendering and model making to test the design and explore different material configurations.
How can the intensity of sensorial perception allow us to rediscover our bodies and heighten our bodily awareness in space?
Re/[evolve] is an experimental research project that aims to allow us multisensorial beings to rediscover our bodies in space. I have always had an interest in how children were able to discover how their bodies work. I would sometimes think from a child’s perspective and try to understand why they do things a certain way and why as adults we perceive it differently. For example, the experience of walking; children have a difficult time trying to walk as a toddler as they are developing their muscles and balance perception. Whereas, as adults who have years of experience, it is something we do without trying.
From our head to our toes, our joints, together with our perceptions of the senses, this research project focuses on developing different alternatives towards heightening one’s awareness of their body through the feeling of discomfort, distortion and disabling. Re/[evolve] is an intervention aimed to allow users to rediscover the experience of discovery by intensifying sensorial perception to heighten our bodily awareness in space through play. Sited at the Coburg Reserve Re/[evolve] will employ the site’s terrain and history of a site used for physical activities in the development of a response.
Re/[evolve] addresses these questions; How can multisensory experience and physical movement affect how people experience space and become aware of their bodies? How can the environment shape our experiences of space in constant interaction with the body? And how can the intensity of sensorial perception allow us to rediscover and heighten our bodily awareness in space?
How can we regenerate un-utilised building typologies that reconsider how natural environments can create community spaces between university students in the suburb of Cranbourne?
[Re]new ground is an experimental program that focuses on how nature can facilitate in bringing students of diverse disciplines together to build connectivity, outside of university bounds. Using the outer Melbourne suburb of Cranbourne as a case study, this project has the potential to expand across the suburbs, providing a network of spaces for connection. [Re]new ground proposes a satellite space to the Cranbourne Library, that aims to provide a community-focused study space for university students. The project is focused on providing better access to open learning and collaboration through exposure to the advantages of nature.
Sited within an unoccupied warehouse, originally designed to house a big box hardware store, [Re]new Ground reflects on the issues related to this building type and proposes and alternative approach for its reuse . Unoccupied since 2015, this site reflects the dominance of built structures over natural systems and societies disregard for diminishing natural lands.
Through the exploration of deconstruction of the site, analysis of the existing natural environment, physical exploration of planting, understanding the needs for environmental growth, etc. that has allowed us to understand an appropriate approach to the redesigning of this neglected warehouse that will re-use material waste and take advantage of provided resources to regenerate, to rebuild and reconnect students back to nature.
This design research thesis stems from an understanding of people’s inherent affinity to the natural environment, and how it is a vital component to bringing psychological, mental, emotional, and physical benefits for individuals. [Re]new grounds seeks to understand how we can implement this research into creating a community that is supportive and collaborative, prompting students to create strong and lasting relationships with others, which will be beneficial as they enter into the professional field.
How can we use reconstruction methods to nurture community and connections between space and people that make people recall the past, examine the present, and create a meaningful future experience of space?
Reconstructing memory is a re-experiencing method employed to bring valuable memories back into the present space. Rapid urban expansion and an increasingly mobile population have widened the interpersonal distances of communities, thus weakening their internal connections. People’s memory and connection in urban space is gradually being forgotten. Time dilutes people’s memories and blurs the perception of the spatial. This blurring opens the potential of how memory can be reshaped and re-experienced.
The research aims to use people's individual and collective memories in the city as a fulcrum for reconstructing urban memories, making people think about the past and present, and even potential future as meaningful spatial experiences. This has been achieved through observing the old and new interiors in Nantou Ancient City in Shenzhen where the industries of oyster farming, pearl gathering and salt collection were pivotal in establishing the city as it is now. The legacy of these industries has been blurred and re-imagined into the contemporary condition. The tidal movement enables layered historical industries to be re-imagined as a program that includes games, performances, and interactive projections activating people to re-experience memory and re-connect to the site. It invites people to participate in embodied events that brings the past into the present.
The project intends to reconstruct memory with imagination and physical movement to facilitate how this social situation can nurture new community participation experiences and meaningful connection in these public spaces.
Can understanding Ornamentation as a process incite attentiveness and new forms of care through restoration?
With the imminent sale of Melbourne’s heritage Nicholas Building, its future and inhabitants are left unknown. Being a beautiful example of Commercial Palazzo architecture, while the facade and exterior has been maintained, the interior has fallen into disrepair: can our perception of heritage buildings be altered to appreciate their wear, poetically showing their story and tolerance of time? In my project, I reframe restoration as a way to acknowledge the past and current state of disrepair and amplify these as poetic experiential spaces of the story of the building and its inhabitants.
By designing with the notion of impermanence in mind, I explore the use of the building’s transitory spaces, their wear from use and highlight changes in ornamentation, allowing for a new sense of attentiveness, appreciation and restoration. Ornamentation — the act of adorning or being adorned — is intrinsic to architecture and interiors. Minimalism opposes ornamentation by stripping itself of adornment, but in doing so, it amplifies raw surfaces and their materials, creating a new form of ornamentation. I propose a new way of perceiving and discussing ornament to engage with the surfaces and material of the world around us. Ornamentation is usually understood as a fixed outcome of addition to a space or object: enhancing, layering, adorning. I propose a furthering of the definition of ornamentation; that all surfaces are adorned inherently, through processes of change by way of addition, subtraction, maintenance or weathering, with their outermost layer displaying the most visibly ornamented self. Every change, whether intentional or incidental, is an ongoing form in the processes of ornamentation. I designed a series of gestures in the building’s stairwells which expose and explore various ornamentation processes at work in the Nicholas, forcing a slowing down of visitors, producing a new attentiveness to its layers of liminal space.
How waste be better utilised through design in a post pandemic situation?
RETURN proposes a multigenerational playscape in the neighbourhood of Kedah, Malaysia as a response to the national plan for co-exisiting with COVID. To allow people to socially reconnect post-pandemic there is an increased need for well ventilated outdoor spaces for local communities to gather safely. This project explores strategies for revitalising an under-utilised public playground and expanding the program to be more inclusive.
My initial investigations involved re-using and up cycling materials. The design utilises locally sourced waste materials and reconsiders them for use as a playscape. Research shows that children in their early childhood should play outside more because it can help develop self-confidence, resilience, executive functioning abilities and risk-management skills. The quality of each reused material is consider in relationship to how it could facilitate play and learning.
By utilising reclaimed materials in creative ways to create a multi-generational playscape it is also hoped that it will raise community awareness about waste. By creating a fun and engaging community park it is hopes to showcase what is possible to achieve using waste."
What role can interior design play in enabling us to reveal and conceal food processes in our hospitality environments?
Revealed is an investigation into how the processes of making and food production are revealed and concealed in hospitality environments, and what role interior design can play in this.
Through following the journey through Victoria’s vast food distribution network, it is evident that many of the production processes of the food we consume are hidden. Thus an investigation into where the food we consume originates arose. Located in the semi industrial area of Tullamarine, the site which exists as the current Alba Cheese Factory was landed on. The selection of this particular site was driven by personal experience and memories as a young child. This site presents an opportunity for a new, hospitality experience that reveals the production process of how the food we consume, specifically cheese comes to fruition, bringing these operations to the forefront. Through this a layered experience which is immersed within the production of fresh cheese is proposed.
Ultimately this major research project aims to provide transparency in the origins and production processes of food, bridging the gap between food production and consumption, building a layer of trust through transparency. Featuring the use of glass, opacity, projection and live operations, an intimate, curated viewing experience is established that varies in intensity. Adding to this is the performative elements from the existing factory operations that routinely occur, including the loading and unloading of milk fresh from Alba’s farms in Gippsland. The opportunity is afforded to experience, first hand, how much happens behind the scenes to produce the food we consume. Therefore an immersive hospitality experience is formulated that encapsulates the logistical operations. Bringing how our food is produced and where it originates to the forefront, creating a celebration through clarity of the way the food we consume of produced.
How can biomimetic principles inform immersive encounters in spaces of transition and everyday routine?
How can real time wind data be re-presented through pattern to create a dynamic spatial experience?
Cities are vast ecologies where infrastructural, societal, and environmental networks overlay and intersect with one another. Innovative city initiatives utilize data to inform responsive and efficient decision-making to mitigate increasing pressures on the urban environment. This design approach can be likened to the efficiency that growth patterns of natural phenomena display within their network functions. This research project has explored working with data from studying natural systems, environments, and patterns. Through principles of biomimicry, the project has developed ways of making data visual using pattern-making as a strategy for design.
'Reverberating encounters' is a speculative future design for the State Library Station. As a network in itself, train stations are spaces where thresholds and routines allow passengers access and mobility on their daily journeys. The proposed underground train station will be isolated from weather temporalities present in the every day, leaving an opportunity to visualize exterior conditions on the interior. This project seeks to facilitate a kinetic experience that responds to practical and nuanced conditions of the station through re-presentations of real-time wind data of analogue and technological means.
Wind responds to, pushes moves around, and moves through masses of the built and living environment with the capacity to generate kinetic energy. Materializing the ephemerality of wind that we feel but cannot see will produce ever-changing effects specific to the site of intervention with the source of data or energy not apparent to the viewer. These characteristics will be highlighted through forms and lighting conditions to produce dynamic atmospheric qualities that layer on top of the station’s infrastructure to re-present what would otherwise be quantitative data removed from the human experience. Instead, the station interior becomes a living environment where the senses are newly engaged each time visitors pass through the station.
How can design utilise the potential of materiality and its impact on humans?
Influenced by digital fabrication, digital science and transcendental materialism, materiality has returned to being given due attention and importance.
The study and exploration of materiality constitutes a key prerequisite of interior designers’ creations. For materiality to transcend into an essentialist design ideology, meaning cannot emerge until materiality is fully explored for proper utilization, amplification, and demonstration. When traits of a material are enhanced, the material can transcend and establish a corresponding uniqueness with space and human spirituality. Stages in material creation mark the importance of process, with a gradual shift from physical property to spirituality. The spiritual connotations of materials largely rely on designers’ attentiveness to materiality as they attempt to draw out or return to a quintessential quality of the material. An affective material must feature expression through materiality to have the most direct contact with audiences, as it aims to initiate visual imagination and emotions.
After experimentation and a series of investigations, I’ve chosen wood as the material focus of my final project. Through earlier research I began exploring wood burnt during bushfires, which in turn led me to my site selection, the regional town of Bendigo recently affected by devastating bushfires. My project Sanctuary will consist of a two-part project, a fire wall and a permanent installation. Inspired by the transformative elements of wood, when impacted by fire, Sanctuary will use a variety of technical means to dismantle and reorganize wood, freeing it from a conventional production method. Finally, the material created will be placed at the Bendigo site to demonstrate that a material and its production process are where the inner aspirations of human beings and the objective external world intersect. Sanctuary is a manifestation of how through this production process, materiality can satisfy people’s spiritual and material needs.
How may a series of design interventions in the alleyways of Melbourne that use artificial and natural light and their influence on human experience attract visitors and rebuild connection to inner city spaces in the post pandemic period.
The pandemic has dramatically affected the frequency of public space usage in the city of Melbourne, with most people preferring to spend time in green environments such as parks and squares. However, the relatively crowded and narrow public spaces of the inner city have been neglected and devalued. Interaction between people has lessened, and people's sense of belonging to the city has decreased. This situation leads to scarcity of human flow and reduced activity in the city centre.
This year I have researched the experience and perception of light and shadow in space, initially in interior spaces and then as a means to address the issue of visitation in inner-city spaces. Through a series of interventions combining daylight and artificial light and controlling their dynamic influence on human experience, I have imagined ways to draw people back into the neglected spaces of the city. These interventions will facilitate passage through the alleyways of inner Melbourne using an array of approaches to light that will attract visitors and rebuild connections to urban spaces.
I have utilised the reflective, refractive, and dynamic possibilities of natural and artificial light, as well as working with synthetic and natural materials to generate a range of mesmerising atmospheric effects.
The focus is to understand the context of the site and how individuals have used these public spaces. The project considers ways to reframe and enhance the experience of urban space within the city through the use of light to promote interaction between people and urban space and re-energise the city.
How may spaces be designed to engage the sensory body to enhance positive emotions ?
The covid pandemic and extended lockdowns have impacted the soul and body of people globally and of Melburnians especially whose confinement has been one of the words longest. Now, as the hoped for ‘opening up’ approaches, we are all looking for a safe place to find release. My project is an artistic attempt, to allow those who have been at the edge of their emotional limits to find a space of freedom. In particular I am interested to see how interior design can produce a positive emotional experience by reawakening the body to the potential of the senses. What spaces and activities can I design that mobilize enthusiasm for people and bring them to an experience of beneficial embodiment?
My project commenced with a series of interconnected performative actions, and speculative structures that emphasised the relationship of the participant’s body to objects and materials and later to multiple users. These projects draw on contemporary performance and installation art from many national and international precedents as well as my own experiences of confinement and release.
The project developed into a series of interconnected installations sited at Melbourne’s Flagstaff gardens. The installations, seen as an entirety, reconnect visitors to the local terrain of the gardens as well as to other people through spatial structures designed to enhance a broad range of human senses. The entire experience may be understood as a set of conditions, not a singular object. The purpose is to encourage participants to use their body to explore and complete the spatial structures, to find form and balance. I have created spaces and encounters which generate intangible conditions around themes of connection and reconnection. I have used materials which amplify plasticity and elasticity to activate the sensing body and to help the long suffering peoples of Melbourne to find a way to come into contact with the outside world from the space inside.
How can light and space be used in an installation context to communicate the psychological intensity of confinement and uncertainty?
My research commenced this year with an exploration and study of how colours reflect psychological, emotional and visual feelings in the context of the Covid pandemic. I am interested in the way that as an interior designer I am able to work with light, shadow and colour to produce emotional responses for visitors to an interior space. Light, shadow and color will effect people's perception and emotional experience’s in many ways. Through the exploration of color and light, I have found many possibilities to communicate a sense of anxiety and confinement that I have felt through this unique historical moment.
My project this year is informed by my interest in contemporary artists and designers working with installations that actively impact human perception using architectural interventions combined with light shadow and colour. Artists such as Bruce Nauman, Mona Hatoum and Pablo Valbuena have been important influences and theorist Clair Bishop’s ideas around mimetic engulfment have been an important theoretical source. In particular the extended lockdown that has impacted freedom of movement for more than a year has contributed a dark dimension to my work. My work asks how can light and space be used in an installation context to communicate the psychological intensity of confinement and uncertainty? I have developed a proposal for an installation in the Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum that is an immersive interior that uses light, shadow and colour to suggest claustrophobia and constraint.
How can the combination of projector technology and sensory experience archive an area's history to create an immersive space for collective memories?
'Staging the Archive' arose out of a deep concern for the loss of collective memory. It was driven by the desire to establish a community-led practice that explores interior design as the production of atmospheres and narratives.
Folk festivals and cultural celebrations create a strong vitality and cohesion for communities – as a way of passing on stories to form a collective memory. This project aims to transform the folk festival into a new narrative by designing an atmospheric experience and collective space for the local community. Situated in an abandoned shipyard in Shapowei West, the community art space adapts the ancient Ong-Yah ship religious celebration passed down through traditional ceremonies and transforms it into a dynamic eventful and archival space. Functionally, the needs of the audience groups and community development are analysed, and the atmosphere of the different stages of the festival is transformed into spaces with different programmatic functions – from an exhibition hall to a night market.
This project has engaged in digital projection as the primary medium for transforming the festival involving performance and rituals into ephemeral imagery and immersive atmospheres as spatial narratives through superimposing light, wind, water, smoke, and material surfaces. The change of spatial atmospheres is produced through an expression of time, a shift in the rhythm of ritual progression. The spatial boundaries are broken in the form of space, and the atmosphere is spread to the whole community. This ritual is transformed and staged as an immersive experience that unfolds through interaction between atmosphere, space, and audience.
By re-staging the archived celebratory atmosphere, the future of the community space is transformed into an opportunity where the community's memory will no longer only work in the short term and the past but becomes staged in the present.
How can notions of performance intervene into public spaces to generate microcosms of dialogue?
Re-imagining moments in the CBD through a performative lens, Staging the Dialogue is a direct critique of Melbourne's public spaces. The project investigates how activism can be supported in the everyday life of the city. Dialogue in the city assembles bodies through both the intimate conversation between individuals to the gathering of collectives for protest. The interventions built language facilitates the duality of these scales and uses interior design to generate dialogue in public spaces. Through interrogating flows of movement in the city across daily use and protest, embodied processes and performative gestures were used to gain insight into the language and potentials of public design. By mediating the rhythms of a chosen site, interior design provided a way of working that accommodates existing activities while also envisioning performative activations.
Staging the Dialogue proposes a series of interventions based on the notion of a stage. The design of the stage is intended to afford a multiplicity of actions that enables use across two contradicting speeds, from the immediacy of a protest to the slowness of everyday life. The built language of the design encourages performative uses, however remains open to interpretation, instilling a sense of trust and agency in the users. The sites increase in complexity through their use, when a protest activates a site leaving behind graphic collaterals to prompt daily conversation, decentralising the discourse. Relations between people and the sites are continuously developed through temporal inhabitations, producing a more subjective experience and understanding of public life, participation and protest.
Exploring the temporal condition of light and shadow, how can a neglected laneway be activated for future use?
Melbourne offers many interior qualities and atmosphere. The CBD of Melbourne is composed of laneways and arcade between high- rise and low rise buildings. I am particularly interested in the shift and evolution of the city Lane ways and Arcades due to the constantly increased density of people, and the high level spaces between buildings. This project focuses on within the shift and changes of light and shadow in the laneways, by exploring voids, volumes, shapes, forms, and materiality, amidst the shift of scale from thresholds to facades, and high level space between buildings. All the lane ways are different but they all have spaces to be activate into a functional space, that will allows to contribute to the society.
Looking into Melbourne CBD as a whole and reduce the scale into laneways, and using the laneway as a site to explore the interior potential space. The project analysis the temporal condition of light and shadow to influence material selection, and showing how the light can be reflect onto the materials and changes to the space. The process also shows methods of collecting the existing elements inside the lane ways, and achieving that by tracing the spatial elements (shadows) and casting it into physical forms .The design will be communicated through floor plan, elevations, joinery details, and condition renderings.
As the population constantly grows in Melbourne CBD, the project offers an activation for a neglected laneways, by incorporating an exhibition space, Pop – Up café , and seating area for inhabitants to occupy.
How can we design a retail space that embodies intimacy, desire and connection in a time of uncertainty around physical interaction?
Subtle complexity is a research project that is focused primarily on exploring interiority in relation to intimacy, tension and an engagement between two forms of being. The motivation of this research inquiry is to design a new retail experience that promotes connection and desire within a public interior, whilst limiting physical touch post pandemic. Covid-19 has shifted the way in which we live and thus, the way in which we design must also change. Physical stores have suffered immensely and the future of retail is uncertain. As the project is situated within a retail context, there is an opportunity for the creation of a reimagined physical shopping experience.
How can we design a retail space that embodies intimacy, desire and connection in a time of uncertainty around physical interaction? The research began with an exploration into the term interiority and an understanding of our relationship between physical objects in space. An interrogation into concepts of intimacy, connectivity, the enmeshed experience and object ontology was conducted.
The research project is focused on creating exposure for Australian brands post pandemic, through encouraging a level of intrigue and engagement between the inhabitant and physical store. The ideas will be spatialized through illustrative, diagrammatic and experiential imagery as well as physical intricate models to enhance the experience. Utilizing an in depth exploration of complex ideas of interiority has created opportunities to further explore these notions whilst offering a new way of working for future design.
How can an appreciation of ephemeral and sensory conditions elevate user experience in an exterior landscape?
Temporal Dimension is a collection of gathered knowledge and investigative practice exploring ephemeral and sensory qualities. As human being we are primal creates, we use our senses to gather and respond to the particulars of our environment. This research inquiry considers this sensitivity towards the landscape, constructing a threshold between the interior and experienced exterior. Posing the question how can an appreciation of ephemeral and sensory conditions elevate user experience in an exterior landscape?
Conducting documented wind, sun, and material tests analysing the living landscape, temporality is understood within this research project as the relationship between ephemeral conditions and the landscape throughout time. This project situated in Baxter offers a series of activations within public space requiring specific engagement to encourage an awareness of ephemeral conditions and temporality.
Each activation offers a subtle but enhanced interaction with qualities often overlooked in commercial interiors. The dome is the first activation users will encounter on-site, offering shelter, it blooms with fragrant Australian natives filling the air with a powerful scent. The climbing frames, follow the basic building blocks of a playground, with an altered motivation, to enhance time spent at the top of the structure, delighting users with a magnified sensation of wind. Following that, the fire pit offers connection through taste and community engagement as users sit within the earth to heat items for consumption. The mounds parodying from the lower parts of site, offer a squishy sensation as users move across the waterlogged landscape.
How can protest inspire new ways of design thinking and arise a new understanding about the dynamics and interactions between space and people?
'Everyday life makes policies.' 
Tenth Year Rhapsody reflects on my experience growing up in Hong Kong. This project is conceived from the idea of protest performance in Hong Kong and the world. Contemporary activist platforms and tactics happen both online and in real life, presenting more opportunities and challenges for activists and designers.
This project focuses on investigating, documenting, and preserving the protest process and transforms them into an extended reality design. Every ordinary object on the street could have a powerful meaning and this design focuses on different protest objects and their background story. It also seeks to highlight ordinary found objects in life and document their transformation into symbols of resistance.
Tenth Year Rhapsody exists in the physical and the virtual space as an exhibition design located at the NGV and distributed across the city. It combines the idea of technology and installation design to form a multi-performance. It uses the techniques of rhino model-making and Unity, a VR building program.
The work seeks to transport the audience into the collective memory of people in Hong Kong during the summer of 2019, a situational context that can no longer be visited, immersing the viewer into these interactive spaces. These interactive performances work together to rebuild the evolution of spaces. This project leads the audience to experience these stories from a first-person point of view. by stepping in from the physical exhibition into the VR space, allowing individuals to look closer.
 Manzini, E 2019, “Politics of the Everyday.” Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, London, UK. 2021.
In a post COVID urban realm, what role can a pause to notice the present play, in the wellbeing of workers, who occupy the space the most?
The act of noticing' is a research project exploring how ephemeral and spatial conditions in the urban environment can be perceived and experienced anew. This project explores ways of enhancing and activating multiple perspectives of everyday surroundings. Situated within Melbourne CBD, a series of installations located along Collins Street intend to incite an act of noticing. The act of noticing produces a shift in perception, movement and behaviour, as these situations aim to interrupt and alter the occupants’ awareness and attention. In a post-COVID urban realm, what role can a pause notice the present play in the wellbeing of workers, who occupy the space the most? Techniques for framing have been developed by applying different materials, angles, and scales to form a disruption and utilise reflection to amplify looking. Shifting movement allows people to notice further and understand their surroundings. Three sites have been chosen to highlight how different speeds, rhythms and movements occupy the city. Each intervention works with the pedestrian from their approach to walking and moving at street intersections, to sitting and resting. Framing with perspective enables a way of drawing attention and enhancing what already exists in a new way. These interventions become a network of encounters across the city to provide moments of pause and rest whilst also amplifying conditions for those who may feel rushed and too busy to slow down, in a time where the smaller moments should be more appreciated.
How can textures, materials and movements be used to create a dynamic sense of interior and an inclusive place?
‘The Body The Interior The Moult’ is a material-based research project exploring the bodily interior as the site. Experimenting with textures and scales to create a wearable augmentation, this project aims to illuminate the interior’s soft, fluid, and porous aspects. The research hopes to open a dialogue and extend understanding of interior space from an enclosed condition to a participatory experience, stretching the opportunities of interiors beyond a walled space.
My experimentations are performed on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, where I traced my resources and formed activities. It gathers predominately consumed fabrics and fibrous plant-extracted materials to manifest our relations with the surroundings. Through making, I continue to reflect on a space that could be co-produced by gestural movements of nature, animals, and materials, or ‘living bodies’ described by Henri Lefebvre. The design approaches to facilitate this include photography, mapping, drawing, and connecting through borrowing, reforming, sewing, and wearing. These journeys celebrated our intimate interactions with each other, reflecting on a collective narrative about living and growth.
The outgrowth of this project depicts a soft moult-like structure that strongly reflects the networks in the physical body. It also renders the textures found in the environment where I explore interiors in productions and connections with the other. I considered my process of explorations as a method of un-thinking interiors as inside-outside, here-there, body-embody, selection-relation. Thus, this work is an invitation to expand different modes of inhabitable interiors through heightened tactile interactions and wearable interventions.
Can the gesture of subverting an authoritarian environment, generate exchange of a higher value?
Time is not always money. One of the most prominent concepts in Capitalism, values ‘time’ as a profit-driven outcome. The desire to re-value time’s worth by participating in something of a greater value serves the worth of the individual through the shared practice & generation of useless skills/knowledge. In this gap when we are not contributing to capitalism, there is the opportunity for knowledge-sharing or exchange to occur - Time well spent, where money is not the exchange value.
The design supports a situational interior encouraging natural, relational encounters to occur in a bid to subvert authoritarian conditioning. It allows the participants to have agency over navigation and participation into an indeterminate amount of time, encouraged to seek knowledge & an eagerness to share. The design aids dwelling and active sharing for like-minded individuals interested in gaining a somewhat useless outcome, but meaningful concurrence.
Testing the design, my site situates itself in Melbourne’s ""top end of town” on Collins Street in the ‘Reserve bank of Australia’. The design manifests itself as an interwoven series of playful and interactive objects, influenced by the curious-driven navigation experienced in forest kindergartens. The opportunity to exchange commences at the beginning of the hour, suggesting the limitation to the complexity of the skill.
By introducing the valuing of an alternative kind of education that doesn’t serve capitalism, ‘the Gap’ appeals to a wider generative output by benefitting the CBD’s sense of community by facilitating unlikely encounters: developing an ecosystem.
How can interior design connect occupants to past narratives?
The Maintenance of Suburbia explores human interaction in the corporeal, where memory sows into materials, and investigates the exchanges between human and place. Proposing an anarchist interior that supports the connection between people and stories of the past. Located in the Sailors and Soldiers Memorial Hall in Collingwood, the design includes an exhibition of conversation, of narratives unspoken, a means for the past to extend experience. Not only a community archive, this centre is a home for facilitators, changing the way occupation is understood.
Following the bleak outlook of living conditions imposed by the global climate crisis, a change in contemporary occupancy that is facilitated with community practices seems needed, and non-traditional occupancy and anarchy in design provides a shift in perspective.
The Maintenance of Suburbia began through an interest in urban exploration; assimilation into abandonment. The motivation to understand the decay and disuse of contemporary interiors became an evocation for understanding human behaviour and the egocentric patterns of gentrification. By redefining the word ‘abandon’, assessment of site can be made, whilst ensuring unbiased analysis.
The project asks how individuals experience a moment in time they are not privy to. Storytelling as a tool preserves memory. Preservation of structure archives intangible stories and consequently frames interior design as a form of storytelling, as a means for narrative to inform history; moments fossilised in walls.
The activity that occurs in this alternatively occupied interior informs narrative documentation. Individuals visit not only to tell stories but to experience them, immersed in the world of the teller.
Land inequality corrupts community future and weighs the onus of usage with the wealthy minority, however land should be accessible to the public under the conditions that a space is left in a state of neglect; balancing utilisation.
Collingwood’s community connection to ancestral history is permitted through renovation of this suburb, with regeneration of facilitating practices and salvation of abandoned infrastructure; the reanimation of decay. This exhibition is an amalgamation of narrative, performed with an anarchist practice, claiming the site as public land, to be used and not discarded.
How can the existing interior narrative inform future development?
Buildings will have their own story and memory after they are built. They become part of the history and culture of urban spaces. However, with the development of the city, these old buildings mostly need to be remodeled as new spaces to suite evolving uses. As an interior designer, this leads me to the following research question: How can the existing interior narrative inform future development? The Makers is a project about renovation, a space that explores the potentials of the interior, challenges the intrinsic context and transforms with innovation to creative interiority.
Shunde is a small city of Guangdong Province in China. It used to have many industries and some of these industries are replaced by new techniques, so the constructions of many factories are overlooked and wasted. The site of the project is a former sugar factory that is important to the city and has a rich historic background. To continue the context of industry, The Makers maintain the materials and structure of the buildings as an old layer of the site. The project proposes to new designs and programs building on the existing conditions, to transform the space into an active creative precinct, with a focus on recycling industrial materials. The investigation process has involved techniques of analysing, 3D modelling, collages and so on to present the journey through the factory.
This research addresses the concern that because of the rapid development of urban spaces, some of the memories of buildings, both memories of past uses and of material and physical spaces, are gradually forgotten by people and the city. To save these buildings from decay and reconnect them to the city, the life span of the buildings can be expanded through reactivation, and new program to accommodate the changing industries and needs of our urban spaces.
How does repetition in our daily activity impact interior design materials in the context of aging of materials? How does repetition in a process affect the design in the context of interior design?
The Notion of Time is an experimental research project that combines studies of various techniques. In this research, the concept of Repetition is my main focus. Observing the repetitive process allows me to understand the attribute of materials that leads to a new perception, process, and enhancement in interior design.
Two main techniques were used (1) the model-making technique and (2) the patina/catalysis technique. Brass materials were used in the model-making technique to understand the properties of the materials by observing shape, size, and scale. Then, they were used again in the patina technique and catalysis processes to observe the outcomes from various applications such as vinegar, water, salt, and soy sauce.
Furthermore, I take this exciting opportunity to replicate and investigate how brass materials change over time from the concept of Repetition and the Patina process. I discovered that brass objects improve their utilities and develop their appearance slowly yet continually with time. This outcome provides concrete evidence that the surface development of brace materials is an excellent portrait of the time travel concept.
This distinctive idea, the Notion of Time, the merging of the Repetition concept and Patina experiment have brought to the belief that it could add an astonishing charm to historic buildings and significantly impact the interior outlook in the aspect of time traveling. My design uses the concept of the Notion of Time to turn Builders Arms Hotel, one of the Gertrude Street buildings into a museum of materials with historical time-traveling interior design.
What is the role of political, economic and social research in the practice and discipline of interior design?
In the context of this creative research practice, and in regard to the discipline of interior design, I define the interior as subjective, fluid, and not limited to the inside of constructed space. To create an interior is to formulate an experience, and therefore interiors can be, and are being, formed constantly through conversation, practice, learning, and research. Utilising the process of research to provoke creative explorations, several initial investigations were undertaken exploring the political, economic, socio-cultural influences, and current affairs within the urban interior. This has allowed for critical and informed decision making appropriate to the situation, site, and community.
At the commencement of this research major project, I explored the political, socio-cultural and safety factors of femme gender within the urban interior. Using reading, annotation and data collection to provoke design explorations, my body was used as a tool to walk and document personal experiences within the urban interior. As the creative research practice developed, I began to understand that specific urban interiors were privileged to specific demographic groups. My own experience is not a shared experience by all within the community - it is personal and subjective. This realisation highlighted the importance and necessity of conversation between people in order to understand these differences of experience.
Further investigation into the political, social and economic systems of the urban interior led to the analysis of privately-owned public space within Melbourne’s CBD, and the connections between the public and political power. The collection of this research and creative works has led to a site-specific exploration of Bourke Street Mall, aiming to engage and uncover public authority within these existing systems, public space and the urban interior, working towards inclusion, awareness and choice.
Interior design is at the intersection of cities, cultures and communities; unbound by three dimensional infrastructures, and grounded in contingency and change. As a practice concerned with the relations between human and more-than-human ecologies, how can techniques of interiorization open up dialogues as to how we approach collaborating with place?
This research project began as a framework to investigate embodying temporal conditions as an act of interior design process, and has developed into a practice of being-with.
Concerned with the inherent contradictions embedded in the politics of value, the ripples on the water’s surface dance with me, what about you? prompts questions into what it means to value something, who says so, and why?
The research re-considered counter-narratives, aiming to disrupt, deconstruct and re-assemble spatial hierarchies. Through addressing the impacts that colonisation and the Anthropocene have on the natural environment, and the oppressive dispositions of colonial modes of thought, this project aims to foreground knowledges that operate beyond Western cultural paradigms.
This Major Project proposes a non-disciplinary residency program situated at intervals along the Birrarung (Yarra River), traversing openness, responsiveness and sensitivity as critical interior-making frameworks for the emergence of a generative and creative community. With an emphasis on experiential research and attunement, this residency facilitates a deep engagement with the river’s temporal flows, rhythmic processes, and dynamic ecosystems.
Evolving through an open-ended discursive process, this Major Project invites varying forms of connection, encouraging synergies that enrich individual and collaborative praxis. The program explores a set of gestures for interrogating relational assumptions, (re)configuring notions of territory, fostering mutualism and re-imagining conceptions of value; promoting attentiveness and slowness as subversive acts to engage with the complex tangible and intangible relationships between human and more-than-human ecologies.
Alongside the residency, this project speculates on the reinstallation of a deteriorating wharf located where the Yarra Yarra (Yarra Falls) confluence once flowed; bringing awareness to the contingency and fragility of our environment, and the myriad of ruptured narratives unable to be repaired.
In reviewing the ways we move through the world, we invite new ways of seeing. As hierarchies fall away, we are given the chance of slowing down, together with Country.
By disrupting the flow of in-between spaces, what kinds of new experiences can emerge?
When travelling to different destinations in the city, our individual journeys form an invisible network of traces interwoven with other people's paths. As the destination is the focus of these journeys, the experience of the spaces encountered in-between is fleeting, resulting in a physical disconnection between self and place. This project, titled The Unexpected In-Between, challenges the lack of self-awareness of our presence within transitional spaces by disrupting the flow of the journeys taken.
The research is situated at Southern Cross Station and suggests an alternative way to experience the site by uncovering the ephemeral and non-physical qualities between the station and the people who inhabit it. From passive to active inhabitants of the site, the project explores how we can enhance the connection and the mutual exchange between ourselves and the station. These encounters are brief yet impactful, as where we begin is different to where we conclude these journeys.
This liminal state is explored through a combination of digital and physical processes that intervene the site, facilitating a deeper connection between travelers and the temporary nature of their relationship to this space. Through proximity and interactivity, designing a responsive surrounding can begin contemplation of our presence by making the invisible visible. This research seeks to unveil these in-between forces and emphasise the travelers’ contribution to the dynamic nature of this transitional space.
What is the role of a line within the discipline of Interior Design?
This research-based practice is an interrogation of the notion of a line, and its subsequent role within the discipline of Interior Design.
The practice understands a line to be in a constant state of construction - responding to its immediate environments and bodies. Ultimately, a line generates an interiority by framing space, which in turn establishes territories. A territory organises chaos to communicate a narrative and state of being (Elizabeth Grosz).
Guiding the research was a series of durational and repetitive investigations that utilised the body as a tool to mark and map the movement of a line, working with and from the surrounding environment.
Furthermore, I explored the notion and function of a line to define a territory. Consequently, researching the political boarder of Australia; the Low Tide Line - specifically, located in Wadawurrung Country, Aireys Inlet.
This major research project proposes an artist residency, partnering with the Surf Coast Shire, and will be located at the Aireys Inlet lighthouse and its neighbouring cottage.
The lighthouse is a colonial tool to communicate and observe the surrounding natural and built environment. Gestural lines will intervene with its viewing platforms, to frame new territories that transform as the body spirals vertically within the structure.
In collaboration with the CSIRO, an archival weather station of tidal data will be located in the cottage. The residency will generate a series of temporal interventions that work with the environment to frame the fluidity of territories.
Overall, the research proposes that interiors are always in motion; working with the line as a framing tool to construct territories that respond to immediate conditions and bodies. "
How can "Tiny Tiny Spaces" activate in high-density neighbourhoods?
This major project explores ""Tiny Tiny Spaces"" in Yuen Long, Hong Kong. Yuen Long's living environment has always been dense, featuring lot of tight and under-utilised public spaces. For this project, it proposed to activate tiny tiny spaces in the neighborhood, including activating common spaces under stairs in typical buildings found in the neighbourhood and proposing tiny pavilions in a local strip of a handout, green area, and shopping.
The project seeks to challenge and work with fast-paced urbanization. Through research of users, site analysis, hand sketching, drawing, and working with a community that I am personally familiar with family, and friends form a part.
My interest in the stories carried within Hong Kong tiny spaces, and the unique and personal connection we have with our neighbourhood. The aim of this project is, to encourage different uses of public space, and create more diversified neighbourhood, to cultivate neighbourhood to enrich people's lives. At the same time, the project seeks to use Tiny Spaces to explore how this space provides a connection for people's daily life. In the future, to develop more diversified and dynamic cultural communities. Visualizing and articulating the residents' needs and demands in an actual physical project was an empowering and energizing process.
How can we as designers re-interiorise the agricultural landscape to re-connect with our natural environment? Can creating a resourceful interior re-establish the critical environmental connections between land and user?
Situating my project within the agricultural landscape, Too (re)wild & (re)connect is a body of work that challenges the traditional visual perception of what constitutes an interior space. Founded on the trepidation that humans and industrial encroachment will continue to remove the natural environment, I have speculated how the co-existence of an agricultural business, the wider community and the natural environment can utilise a resourceful interior simultaneously.
As a society, we have achieved mastery over nature, reducing, transforming and moulding the natural world to our desires. An economic perspective frames the viewpoint of how western cultures envisage the natural world. This has allowed our society to continuously enforce its dominance over our natural surroundings by assuming the exploitation of natural resources and typologies to generate wealth and productive output. Working through my project from an analytical perspective of observation diagramming and mapping, I explored my ideas through detailed and comprehensive site analysis. Through this process, I have considered how nature can be used as infrastructure, including previous observations around the methods of decay and shifting boundaries when thinking about how the different user groups will interact within the space.
Summarising my project into four systems; rhythm, regeneration, boundary and reconnection, I have designed a durational walkway that encourages the land to heal through human engagement. Although my chosen site is highly ecological sensitive and prone to flooding and bushfires, I have anchored my project around the interwoven blend of boundaries and conflicting rhythms from humans and nature.
Are we cyborgs? Always in-between physical and digital experiences of space?
“The cyborg is our ontology; it gives us our politics. The cyborg is a condensed image of both imagination and material reality, the two joined centers structuring any possibility of historical transformation.” - Donna Haraway
Are we Cyborgs? Always in-between physical and digital experiences of space? We exist in a world mediated by technology, but we have yet to realise its emancipatory potential. By considering conditions used in Live Action Role Playing (LARP) and implementing them into our immediate environments, this project reproduces our experiences to reimagine. Reimagine our bodies' participation in space as hybridised beings with potential beyond that of the human, as well as the spaces we inhabit and how we might design them. When science-fictional relations are fused into our everyday experiences, what can be produced?
Deleuze and Guatarri’s concept of the ‘Body without Organs’ has enabled the provocation of re—production within this project. By trying to reach a body without organs, I begin to explore the potentiality of a body and how we might experience space outside of its organisation. toward a cyborgian xenoverse questions how we can design change in a science fictional world.
The project suggests change begins with the body. It is through somatic experiences that a body can begin to comprehend its potentiality. It is from this embodied disruption that a body can begin to design a world free of its own limitations.
This is where toward a cyborgian xenoverse is positioned. Where character embodiment alters reality and imagination, opening out temporal physical sites for exploration. A participation in othering the assumptions of subjectivities; extending our cyborgian condition to question how we engage with technologies. Exploring intricate interior systems that operate at all scales. Becoming other to produce other spaces. Moments of otherness. It is within these moments that this project begins to speculate toward a cyborgian xenoverse.
How can the resources, left by an age of agricultural intervention, be used to create a new dynamic & resilient ecology?
Towards Dynamic Ecologies is a 35 year strategy of social and ecological resilience in regional Victoria, involving the creation of a network of locally connected systems, linking a series of fields of regional activities; culture, agriculture and economy. This exploration sees ecologies as interiors, a multi scaled system, shifting in and out, up and down, between the social spatial and environmental, highlighting the imperative need for a long term and economically viable commitment to land and people.
The project develops a network of people and environments, with the designer as the organiser. Attempting to enable collective analysis and discussion by organising interactive and participative ways to share and translate information.
Utilising a legacy of resources left by an age of “for profit” agricultural intervention and focusing research into three main sectors (built capitol, natural capitol and social capitol) this exploration culminates to a piece of cultural and ecological infrastructure. A structure in northeastern Victoria centered between Banella, Shepparton and Euroa, providing a dynamic interior, aimed at facilitating place and platform for people in processes of social and environmental repair.
An interior that throughout its entire lifecycle; from material extraction to construction, from occupancy into its future, provides the circumstances, environments, and tools, for participatory practices, where people can meet, debate, learn and test new ways of doing things together, working towards more resilient futures.
Towards Dynamic Ecologies invites people to participate in bottom up repair and regeneration processes, circular economies and ecological practices. it is through these networks and systems of regional commons that communities and individuals can develop expanded relationships, enabling them to reclaim a sense of collective agency over their space, land and country.
How can under-utilised spaces in residential apartment buildings be redesigned to create a stronger sense of connection and community in the city of the future?
What will the city will be like in 2030?
Major cities will grow rapidly in the future, with huge amount of population, and because of this, designers will need to fully use both horizontal and vertical space to design for the city. This major research project focuses on the future of urban natural spaces, creating authentic urban nature experiences for the people of tomorrow in the dense cities of the future.
The focus of the Urban 'House' is to create a sense of neighborhood living community on (beside) my apartment. A proposed activation space for the future city is developed by designing common areas that provide a "comfortable home" - environment for residents to live, play and interact.
The study will be carried out through annotations, sketches, drawings and digital modeling. The aim is to increase human and social interaction and to make the full use of the urban space. These human-centered and environmentally friendly interventions can atrract more inhabitants. These shared spaces improve the quality of life of residential communities. Through these interventions in underutilized spaces, a stronger sense of interconnectedness can be created within the apartment building. Increasing the sense of community and reducing loneliness for the future people.
How can the concept of waiting inform the practice of interior design?
How can we design interiors in relation to waiting?
Wait in / wait out
Waiting spaces – soundscape – a positive silence – polyphony – landscape framing
We are all waiting to return to “normal” after this masked pandemic life.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the world seems to have slowed down. We are required to keep a safe distance from each other, and we therefore wait longer in daily situations. We not only wait for a longer time, but our waiting experiences have changed, and we have different expectations. While someone may find waiting frustrating, others may enjoy the break with our routines and the potential leisure of waiting.
This project has aimed to design a sensorial system that links to a solution for waiting in the large forecourt between the Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum. Although the design process is developing with the storyline of Victorian people combatting the virus and getting vaccinated, it is a permanent visual and aural intervention into the site. Experimenting with, and responding to different types of waiting, this Major Project integrates into different places, scales, times, adaptations, and uses with two main elements: a sonic installation with sensors and speakers, and framing devices which make people encounter new experiences within the site.
Waiting is a narrative journey in unexpected scenarios of the every day. It is a positive silence. It facilitates an experience for an audience to become more aware and more attentive to their own bodies’ relationships to the built environment. By noticing the everyday, the audience’s focus is shifted away from the experience of waiting, through deep seeing, doing and listening.
/ Will applying a force of action in collage,
separation, programming establishes a new impression to space?
/ Can we challenge to configure an extensive experience of our surrounding space with human activities through the application with the use of screens (or technology devices)?
Mangling space' produces an opening up to the possibility of intensive and extensive spatial speculation through the design of a digital archive–that aims to build empathy with our adaptive way of experiencing the physical and digital. This research inquiry explores digital technologies as a medium and process for producing effective and affective qualities by experimenting with how digital technologies such as devices, google maps, glitches, and collage can change human behaviour to shift perceptions and experiences within physical space.
Situated in the burnt Ruins of St. Paul in Macau, this project intends to engage the visitor by reconnecting them with the forgotten histories of the ruin and its present-day situation. By educating a young generation of locals, tourists, and the residents of Macau, the ruins histories become part of a series of immersive archival experiences, activated through the screen as the visitor journeys through the site.
This project is a provocation for how technology can enable immersive connections between people, histories and place. A series of encounters brings awareness to the ruin's past, in its present condition; visitors interact with a digital program that produces an embodied experience with and in the heritage site. Through a combination of digital and analogue techniques in image production, such as collaging, the practice developed ways of intervening in the visitor/tourist experience.
The interventions involve digital screens, mirrors, hidden QR codes that become activated through the visitor's presence. Patterns and information are collected to present back into the site, where a series of immersive spatial experiences then reinforce the visitor's action through their photographic, scanning and viewing modes. A mangling of space-time emerges, as the present and the past become archived and displayed back in the site via the digital screen–an emerging interior is revealed.
How to make history visible to create new connections with space?
‘Walking in time' is a project that explores how materiality performs as it is affected by time, material forces and energies. The research explores ideas of time concerning history and monuments through ideas of the anti-monument and how materiality is impermanent and transient and refers to how the past can bring attention through reframing the present. A conventional monument is often a static object. However, the anti-monument is a re-thinking of permanence and commemorates the past by not wanting to make it static by incorporating materials that will become effective and affective over time.
This project proposes a new journey that intervenes in the existing heritage walk in the city centre of Johor Bahru. The interventions act as frames, highlighting surfaces and material conditions to show the area's past significance. The interventions encourage people to move through the frames to recognise these valuable moments. A booklet accompanies the new walking journey and acts as an interactive tool where the audience can leave traces to commemorate their journey.
The research questions how to make history visible to create new connections with the place? The project explores how to engage people by asking them to activate the moment of impermanence by constructing traces of time. By posing these questions, this project reflects those moments that emerge from the site to be performative and interactive. 'Walking in time' is an interior design project that encourages attention to the overlooked histories in the urban environment – to highlight connections between the present and past.
Can an awareness of the certainty of change and the world as a network of intertwined elements encourage design to become fluid to match this change and become a tool rather than a solution? Can the design of transitional spaces play a role in re-situating, reflecting and refreshing of self within one’s communities and networks?
COVID-19 has given us a newfound awareness of each other and the layered everchanging living system that is the world we share. The uncertainty of the pandemic forced us to become adaptable, responsive, and constantly aware of change. This placed us in an unsettling, in-between state. As human nature reaches for a status quo and normality, there is value in spending time in the in-between to reflect. Within this unique context, 'WE: W[o/a]nderous Elements' sees potential in the public transport network and its significant interchanges as sites that epitomise transition and exchange. It questions how their design may positively influence our sense of belonging and wellbeing throughout our life's various transitions. The project learns from the pandemic and looks forward to a new future. It recognises the benefit of the 5km radial lockdown strategy on our awareness and connection with our local communities. This strategy is adopted as a tool for community engagement within, across and between four chosen sites and their adjoining 5km radii, along a suburban bus loop bypassing the city. A kit-of-parts, composed of an armature reflective of the bus interior and infrastructural language, is designed with fitted sub-parts, responsive to specific local needs, uses and characteristics of their sites. As indicated by the title, the polycentric approach of the project acknowledges the value of a collective 'we' whilst embracing the wonder of individuality and also serves the community whilst specifically targeting public transport users by aiding their commute and transitions. It is a place to meet, wait, reconnect, reflect, play, and spend time. The distributed structures grow over time in response to their environmental setting and community connections, creating an everchanging dialogue. This project is an exploratory framework for designing future dynamic, adaptable, and connected public places throughout our living systems.
How can assemblage generate encounters that begin to test how culture and support gets discussed emotionally, physically and philosophically?
With more retail mocving online, what is the potential for vacant shopfronts as community-oriented cultural hubs in outer city suburbs?
Our current reality has been redefined through the parameters of virtual experience, illuminating the criticality that an active being-in-the-world has within our well-being. 'What we are Together: Provisional Arrangements for Support' is a process-lead research project that responds to this observation by prompting questions around how assemblage as a technique informs behaviour and affords support as an emotional, physical, and philosophical methodology. Assemblage is explored through the arrangement of objects, bodies and sensations meeting provisionally to enable new territories and relationships to emerge.
This enquiry unfolds in response to the issue of vacant shopfronts that have emerged since the pandemic by proposing a series of satellite sites for the 2021/22 Mpavilion located beyond Melbourne CBD’s 5km radius. Preservation and transformation of these provisional conditions are tested through various approaches through the assemblage of programmatic concerns, joinery and furniture acting as support structures. Through the distribution of activities and de-centralisation of culture, the project questions how cultural infrastructure can decrease suburban isolation. Foregrounding situations over built form and generating a new becoming of vacancy within their indeterminate in-between.
Framing, rearrangement, re-presentation form assemblages tested within a site located in Box Hill. Through techniques of observation, photography, diagramming and iteration the project explores how systems of support unfold in response to existing physical parameters. In turn, exhibiting how this conceptual framework will manifest in multiple vacant sites.
Exploring how varying modes of display become an arena for exchange, this ecology of sites work as a hybrid of virtual and physical events to respond to the immaterial implications upon human behaviour in this time of social, cultural and economic discontinuity. Repositioning the potentiality of interior as not limited to built form but as a condition produced through encounters informed by underlying social and cultural forces in flux.
Conversing, learning, imagining and caring are inherent in collaborative making processes. How can they be included in a design process? Can they be generative of more than tangible outcomes?
when we are_together is a research project that explores modes of cultural production and the places that support these. I begin by considering my backyard ‘shed’ as a production space. When shared, the shed can support collaboration between makers. Collective learning is used to imagine together, rehearsing worlds, uses and futures. I refer to the spaces where these generative dynamics play out as the ‘engine rooms’ of cultural production.
The ‘engine rooms’ are not often overt and the product —the event, the performance, the produce— is usually the valued result. This project seeks to reveal the mechanisms of the engine room through participatory design principles. To be able to question and work into the underlying systems of cultural production I aim to reveal them through participatory practice. This inversion considers alternative pedagogies, opportunities for broader participation and the engagement of tacit knowledges.
The project work tests the research and participatory making methods through the re-design of the volunteer hub at CERES Community Environment Park in Brunswick. The exisiting building was recently lost in a fire and with it an irreplaceable archive of the sites history. The project proposes that the remnant building be re-imagined as a place of cultural production and knowledge sharing. I initiate this by revealing the design process and opening it up to participatory and collaborative processes with a range of contributors.
when we are_together works within the messiness of cultural production. It offers an open-endedness to the design process which sets in motion a continued dialogue with the community. The research offers ways that the design process can become a dynamic participant in an ongoing negotiation of collective futures. "
In a world in constant flux, how can creating considered moments for pause impact wellness and appreciation of the natural landscape?
The body interprets the constructed world through the unconscious assimilation of design elements and principles. These interpretations are informed by traditional standards, relics of a modernist era, that aimed to create efficiency and order. However, these standards did not always account for the ever-changing world and its user. I posit that the principle ‘where form follows function’ lacks relatability in this current age with the world pandemic alerting us to inequalities ingrained in design. This is particularly prominent in Melbourne’s public housing estates designed in the 1960s.
(Where) form follows care looks into spaces between the lived and built and at the green spaces left neglected, to prompt a new discourse from the prescribed narratives and functions of public place. The research also explores the impacts of poor design practices through time on the health and wellbeing of people and environments.
The design proposal is situated at sites along the Moonee Ponds Creek in Flemington which sits between a public housing estate and a freeway overpass. The design explores the possibility of multifunctional nodes to bridge the social division of public housing residents and the wider community. It also draws influence from the temporal nature of the waterway and creates dialogue with its mediated movement with increased urbanisation.
Can care become a tenet for design as we reevaluate our urban environments?
How can concepts of adaptive reuse be employed for the design of future developments?
Within our walls is a research project which is focused on concept of time, change and adaption within homes and public buildings to consider avoiding the need to remove and demolish and instead embrace and amplify the existing and the past.
Early research began in my childhood home and connected to its memories and change overtime. A renovation occurred due to a growing family and once the home was sold the new residents decided to adapt and change the home to suit their needs such as we had done.
A home constantly shifts, modifies, and is refined by owners at the time, constantly being updated therefore creating a cycle. Deciding to undertake more research in understanding how homes and buildings change overtime and came across a building located in Fairfield Park named The Riverside Pavilion designed by Carter Couch.
The building was built to blend into the surrounding nature and assist the community by providing public toilets, changing rooms and workshop space for the adjacent Amphitheatre. The site seemed successful in its early years but over time the building was not being used for its initial purpose therefore becoming unused. The site is currently locked up and the council have stated that they want to demolish the site to have more space for the nearby canoe club. The community have spoken up to stop the demolishment with over 3000 signatures.
This poses the enquiry to create community engagement and bring life back into a building that adjusts to the needs of a changing community.
A home overtime adapts with demands of the residents, and I believe public buildings such as the Riverside Pavilion should also have a similar process but connecting to the needs of a changing community without demolishment but adaptive reuse.
How can I as a designer, make new with the things that exist?
Woven Identities is interested in objects and how they work in relation to space, audience, and designer. Last semester, looking at a series of techniques, and motivated by the popular works of Marcel Duchamp, Richard Wentworth, and Carol Bové, I was aided by the ambiguous and sovereign character of objects, carried through the stories they tell and placing them in a position to amplify their unique narrative. The project brought awareness to the objects’ agency and assessed how this inevitably sparks new encounters with them and the spaces they occupy.
By assessing the context of retail spaces, specifically the Kenyan retail scene, Woven Identities begins to identify both cultural and local characteristics of fashion objects from the Maasai people of Kenya. The central theme in this proposal looks at individual expression and artificial meaning imprinted by different people, places, time periods, and events and further attempts to intensify the histories of these extant fashion objects. The project is a temporary interior manifested into a series of curations that begins in the plaza space of a local mall in Nairobi, Kenya. It then journeys into a shop that nurtures intimacy and brings a unique experience in shopping and retail, with an audience and the specified objects, extending a distinctive angle that is contradicted in the mundane shopping mall. This interior is further executed through a series of display techniques, assemblages and arrangements.
In doing so, Woven Identities not only begins to visualise and understand the impact objects have in fostering intimacy but also tender unique design outcomes and techniques that lead to the new-age experiential retail. By provoking encounters beyond the normative, this project attempts to create immersive and sharable experiences, defying an audience’s expectation centred in commodity and exchange and critically shifting the meaning of these spaces.
How can we use assemblage making processes as a practice to shift the way in which we inhabit the street?
Embedded within the design of our public spaces are hidden power structures that can influence how we navigate through sites and at times dictate our behaviour. This project seeks to privilege pedestrians over cars and explore the values of public spaces for community within the development of a precinct.
‘You are Here’ is a dynamic approach to interior design that foregrounds the practice with the act of “selection, arrangement, and framing”, a process closely related to assemblage making. An assemblage being defined as a curated collection of components that through their arrangement generates a dialogue with the body. This project critiques and challenges the typology of our streets whilst at the same time redefining the interior as an assemblage and a product of negotiation among its inhabitants. This is examined through Foster St, Dandenong, identified as Victoria’s first Indian precinct where a series of interventions take place, designed with the intention to facilitate, and establish a sense of identity for the Indian community. The driving force behind this research project stems from the pattern of passive behaviour and the lack of freedom that we are given within the current design of our streets as a citizen, as a woman, and as a pedestrian.
To explore this, processes of framing, arranging, constructing, and deconstructing are used as methods to engage with ownership, control, identity, and community. Through this work, I ask the question how can we use assemblage-making processes as a practice to shift the way in which we inhabit the street?