With the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) in its initial design stages, challenges for suburban Melbourne become visible in new ways. Three suburban university campuses are now joined to each other and directly to the airport in a concentric ring around Melbourne’s traditional centre. Now connected, these campuses can reorientate themself in multiple directions and are less reliant on the city for its representation. A field of opportunities for knowledge sharing and employment is present nearby and asks for a new design language to suit its specific character and needs. How do we design for a work-life balance after 2020?
There is opportunity now to investigate how the suburbs surrounding the campuses will adapt, how they should respond to climate change, the new normal, a changing demographic and new roles for the institutions and employers.
Design is a tool to reconsider spatial changes for all these conditions. This studio will focus on creating new urban models for Melbournians to live, work and play, and will use design projects to investigate the relations between those modes of our urbanised city.
The preferred method of imagining architecture, drawing, has undergone major changes and shifts in the last 30 years. How and what we draw says nothing of the sensibility of the act of drawing, but instead tell us more about efficiency and clarity of intent. Can drawings represent more of the culture its representing? Can drawings incorporate the subconscious, the hidden or the variations of time? The studio will search for ways to challenge methodologies of drawing, by drawing. How can drawing, diagramming, model making, reading and re-drawing be able to understand, influence and inherently perceive the discipline of architecture.
We will use and develop drawing techniques to question the role of the suburbs, the campus, the industrial park and the sportsfield in a new Australian suburb, to design housing, working and leisure projects that support universities campuses in redefining their new position as centres for Melbourne.
We will design on multiple scales from the room to the campus and question how a balance can be met between the individual and the collective. We will investigate and design near three university locations in Melbourne’s suburbs which will be connected to the SRL. How do the modes of living, working and playing fit to the new normal, or its future inhabitants and its institutions? Should they?