Studio 17

Outpost: M-Factory

Thomas Proctor

Studio Description

Outpost is a series of teaching studios run by John Wardle Architects. We understand Outposts as speculative by nature and represent a desire to evolve cultural values and experiment with emerging forms of knowledge. They can be defined by a geographical location, a philosophical position, or a new medium of creative expression. By operating at a distance, an Outpost is a site to experiment with emerging ideas, identities, and modes of representation.

Outpost 05 considers the factory as a site for architectural inquiry. As we emerge from the pandemic the priorities and pathways for the future of local manufacturing are being redrawn. The local industries of the future will be driven by significant technological innovation – research and development of sustainable manufacturing and advance material and frontier technologies are key to a healthier local industry ecosystem.

The studio will explore a hybrid typology, both a proving ground for new, small-scale industries and a hub for innovation, research, and learning. Students will identify and research a material technology and production process that promotes circular economic principles, sustainable operations and outputs, and is suited to local manufacture. This research will be presented as a return brief – a proposition for a factory of the future.

Studio Outcomes

Before proposing a new model for local industries, this studio begins by posing new questions. This approach promotes a habit of mind where questioning is celebrated as a central act of the design and research process. The studio’s emphasis on sustained questioning will be enacted through a series of focused design tasks, site visits, readings and group discussions that will provide the conceptual tools to develop a Return Brief that challenges the received functional one.

A Return Brief is a core requirement of the studio and will be referred to as a constant guide for the development of each project. Evidence of questioning and critique, a Return Brief suggests that a received set of ideas required reconsideration, renovation, or even rejection. This studio frames the process of questioning a brief as fundamental to being an architect, and optimistically believes that the brief shouldn’t be passively received - but actively shaped.

Studio Leader<s>

TOM PROCTOR works for John Wardle Architects as a designer on projects ranging from residential, educational and commercial development to large scale master planning proposals. During previous employment he has worked on infrastructure and civic projects such as the Melbourne Metro, Perth Stadium, and the WA Museum. Tom has a strong background in mathematics and parametric modelling which has led to collaborations with a number of industry leaders including augmented reality software firm Fologram and engineer James-Murray Parkes of Brookfield Scientific Solutions Group (BSSG).

Readings & References

  • Young, Liam. “Machine Landscapes Architectures of the Post-Anthropocene”.
  • Jeremy Till, Nishat Awan, and Tatjana Schneider. “Spatial Agency: Other Ways of Doing Architecture”.
  • Latour, Bruno. “Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime”.
  • Floris Alkemade, Michiel van Iersel, Mark Minkjan and Jarrik Ouburg. “Rewriting Architecture – 10+1 Actions”.
  • The Avery Review: Graham, James. “Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary”.
  • Hyde, Rory. “Architects After Architecture”.
  • Frichot, Helene. “Dirty Theory: Troubling Architecture”
  • Ricardo Flores and Eva Prats. “Thoughts by Hand: The Architecture of Flores & Prats”.

Schedule Mondays 18:15-21:15 and Thursdays 15:15-18:15

Contact Handbook

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