World Memory

Bachelor of Architectural Design
Semester 1, 2020

Studio leader(s)

Isles for Culture Consumption

This design studio borrows its name from Italo Calvino’s short story “World Memory.” Due to an imminent disappearance of life on Earth, the story tells how an institution works to collect the human memory and transmit all we know to others so that all we have done may not have been on vain.

Like Calvino’s tale, the studio assumes that the world as we know it is disappearing.  Students will imagine and invent a miniature archipelago composed of a series of spatial pockets and actions for consuming contemporary culture. These islands of culture are fragments of the ‘memory of the world’.

The studio will be divided into four different phases:

PROJECT A: The Inventory of Culture

The inventory, composed of two parts and generated through collage and rhetorical procedures such as irony or double meaning, will reflect on contemporary values of our society.

A1. Inventory of Material Culture: A visual list of things or ‘nouns’ that humans make and use to consume culture categorised in several categories.

A2. Inventory of Culture Consumption: Twelve new ways of consumption of culture using a drawn ‘story’ and recontextualising some of the material culture chosen in the first step. The new visions will be organised by the scale of the things involved in the consumption (S, M, L, XL).

PROJECT B: The Culture Transformers

It reflects on the overproduction of material culture in current times and will take the form of two machines in which movement and change (of culture) are the essential elements. Constructed of found objects, these two transformers at the scale of the body will manipulate, transform, destroy or reinterpret somehow the consumption of culture.

PROJECT C: The Factory of Culture

Students progress from individual to group work to create a factory at the scale of the city for the consumption of culture: a laboratory of culture which is to be guided by the strategy of “cross-programming.”

PROJECT D: The Archipelago of Culture

A group of islands orchestrating all the previous challenges not merely as an architectural design but mostly as a compositional score or action plan: a landscape(s) for the consumption of culture imagined as a set of tactical proposals to derive the maximum benefit from the implantation of the previous work on a real site in Melbourne CBD.