Unruly Edges

Master of Architecture
Semester 2, 2018

Studio leader(s)

“In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.” – purportedly from Suárez Miranda, Travels of Prudent Men, Book Four, Ch. XLV, Lérida, 1658


In this studio, we will examine the relationships that exist between architectural production and an expanded reading of site. Students will explore one of a set of linked cities, Auckland, Brisbane, Perth or Vancouver. These are cities that might have once been considered the ‘unruly edges’ of the British Empire, but are now regarded as ‘Beta Cities’ in the post-global order.

The studio asks students to challenge established discourses around the generic nature of global cities, but also admits the difficulty of establishing identity in urban territories that have erased or obscured their own histories, and in cultural frames that resist immediate understanding.

Building on the notion of the expanded site, we will be approaching our design work through disciplines adjacent and congruent to architecture such as critical writing, archival studies and archaeology. We will be charting and cutting through geologies in the vein of cartographers, then viewing and considering these unruly edges through the eyes of the landscape artist, the cinematographer and the street photographer.

Students will produce a museum/archive and a method for reading their chosen city through close scalar research methods and investigations. The semester will require both the development and refinement of a new kind of urban museum, as well as ongoing spatial research conducted through mapping, forensic reconstructions, cataloguing and the production of text.


Tutorials: Wednesdays 10:30am - 5pm