Politics and Utopia in Architecture: Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Politics and Utopia in Architecture: Indigenous Knowledge Systems

  • 29 March 2021, 7–8.30pm
  • Online

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A panel discussion about Indigenous Knowledge Systems and their ability to engender new theories and practices in Architecture.

What can architects, and we as a society, learn from situated and embodied Indigenous Knowledge Systems? How can we decolonize architecture and design? A discussion on how and what we can learn from a more than 60.000 year culture and its socio-political framework.


Professor Barbara Glowczewski is a Professorial Researcher at the National Scientific Research Center (CNRS) and member of the Laboratory of Social Anthropology (CNRS/EHESS/Collège de France). She is an anthropologist specializing in Australian Indigenous issues, strategies of recognition and networks shared with other Indigenous peoples and alternative collectives for social and environmental justice against ecocide. Fieldwork in Central Australia with the Warlpiri people from Lajamanu (since 1979), in the Kimberley with the Djugun and Yawuru people and their neighbours (in the 1990s and 2014) and in Townsville (until 2014) on social justice (including the death in custody inquest of Cameron Doomadgee 2004, and the committal hearing of people arrested for the « riot » that followed on Palm Island. Barbara holds a Phd and is author of many books, including Indigenising Anthropology with Guattari and Deleuze (EUP, 2020).

Uncle Leonard Clarke, Gunditjmara/Kirrae Whurrong

Dr Christine Phillips, Architect, RMIT University

Dr Hannah Robertson is a Lecturer in Construction Management at the University of Melbourne and an Adjunct Research Fellow and Monash Sustainable Development Institute’s Centre for Water Sensitive Cities. Her research specialises in remote area building and participatory design through the facilitation of Traditional Owner-led research, and immersive and transdisciplinary teaching. She has worked on building and design projects in collaboration with Indigenous communities in Cape York and Arnhem Land. Her research has been recognised both nationally and internationally, including the Royal Institute of British Architect’s President’s Dissertation Medal (2011), a commendation in the Architecture Institute of Australia’s Colorbond Steel Biennale (2012), the Rachael and Henry Ackman Travelling Scholarship (2015) and the University of Melbourne’s John Grice Award (2019) and the Chartered Institute of Building Research Award (2019).


A/Professor Rochus Urban Hinkel’s research and practice focuses on applications of virtual, augmented and mixed realities for design practice, storytelling, and new modes of collaboration. In 2020 VR movie ‘Voices of Country’, developed with support by the NExT Lab (MSD) and Büro Achter April (DE), explored digital storytelling and was presented at one of the world’s leading media arts festival: Ars Electronica. He is the recipient of The UniSA, The SIDA Foundation and The David Roche Foundation’s inaugural Curatorial Research Fellowship for the digital craft project ‘The Doppelgaenger’.

Rochus is Associate Professor in Architecture and Design at the University of Melbourne and has taught architecture, interior design and industrial design in previous positions, including Professor of Artistic Design at OTH Regensburg, Germany, and Professor of Interior Architecture and Furniture Design at Konstfack, University of Arts, Craft and Design, Stockholm, Sweden

Dr Peter Raisbeck is an Architect, Design Teacher and Researcher. He teaches Design, Design Activism and Architectural Practice at the Melbourne School of Design. His work explores architecture’s intersection with global finance, new technologies, procurement, design activism, politics, and architectural history.

This event is part of a series of three Politics and Utopia in Architecture panels conducted by the MSD during Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

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