Ahmedabad, Bangkok, Beijing, Santiago and Virginia

Ahmedabad, India

Studio Leader: Professor Haig Beck

The Ahmedabad travelling studio was a design-based investigation in an Indian urban setting – the city of Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad, in the state of Gujarat in western India, is the site of four buildings by Le Corbusier (two houses, a museum and the famous Mill Owners’ Building). It is also the home of the Indian Institute of Management, a university-sized campus designed by Louis Kahn.

Ahmedabad is a vibrant low-rise, high-density, high-energy, multi-cultural city with many fine temples and mosques. The medieval city, although altered in time, still retains its historical grain, along with many of its monuments, much of the city walls, and several traditional gated enclaves (‘Pols’) of vernacular buildings. In Ahmedabad are the ‘Gandhi’ Ashram (once the riverside home of Mahatma Gandhi) and the famous Calico Textile Museum.

Bangkok, Thailand

Studio Leaders: Dr David O'Brien & Hamish Hill

This studio involves students and staff from Melbourne University working in conjunction with students and staff from Thammasat University, Bangkok Thailand and Population and Community Development Association – a Thai non-government organiwation.

This studio will introduce the principles for designing and constructing sustainable housing for a rural community in northeastern Thailand. It addresses the effects of both sociological and technical issues and discusses affordability, liveability, constructability, environmental impacts, sociality and relationships between community networks and space.

The first part of the subject (undertaken in Melbourne) addresses these issues on both a theoretical and case study basis while the second part (undertaken in rural Thailand) requires students to work together to construct a habitable space at full scale. Students will be required to develop both their design and construction skills during the studio.

Beijing, China

Studio Leaders: Associate Professor Darko Radovic & Associate Professor Qinghua Guo

In 1999, we conducted an architectural and urban design-research studio in Beijing –MOST999. The focus was on Lou Gu Xiang (LGX), a quiet, traditional residential precinct, located north of the Forbidden City. Our project addressed various issues of urban regeneration, with an emphasis on the introduction of new contents and forms into the historic milieu, as a way of generating new energies that facilitate culturally sustainable development.

Over the last ten years, a lot has happened in China and in Beijing.  Recent hits on ‘Google’ declare: ‘Luo Gu Xiang: A Popular Hangout for Young Beijingers’ and ‘Beijing's Hidden Bohemia: Nan Luo Gu Xiang’. That is not what we experienced there in 1999 and it is why we wish to revisit Beijing this year.

MOSTO9 will start from the transformation of Lou Gu Xiang and those three words which, at the beginning of the 21st century, seem to have been compressed into a single meaning: globalisation, urbanisation, China.

Santiago, Chile

Studio Leader: Associate Professor Ray Green

In May of 2008 the Chaitén Volcano in southern Chile erupted and 4,000 residents of the fishing town of Chaitén had to be evacuated. Ash and debris from the eruption choked the surrounding rivers and forced water over the banks of the Río Blanco flooding the town. A new delta extending into the harbor at Bahia Chaitén was also formed. The Chilean Government has proposed the construction of a new town, Nuevo Chaiten, to be built 10 kilometers to the northeast to re-settle the residents of the old town. The Santiago travelling studio will focus on the design of this new settlement, for which a site has already been selected.

The studio will focus on proposing sustainable urban design and landscape architectural solutions for the new settlement. The site of the new town is located in a spectacular landscape of rugged mountains, lakes and rainforests and is the gateway to Chile’s remote Palena Province and Pumalín National Parks.

Virginia, USA

Studio Leader: Clare Newton

The Virginia travelling studio has as its canvas the famous University of Virginia campus by Thomas Jefferson. Using this backdrop, students will investigate the potential of landscape to accommodate student learning outside the formal teaching timetable. Spaces for informal learning have been largely neglected within design briefs with budgets primarily focused on supply of teaching and ancillary spaces. We anticipate your research and designs will have application not just within the university sector but also for kindergarten to Year 12 learning environments.

Designing for education

Education settings are changing from teaching institutions to learning organisations. Ready access to information using technology is changing the learning experience. Concurrently research into pedagogy is impacting on curricula and delivery with new understanding of learning styles, multiple and emotional intelligences, and formative assessment.  In response, architectural briefs for learning spaces are being transformed to suit a range of learning modalities from lectures and seminars to individual and small group work and project work but most budgets do not yet recognise the importance of learning outside the timetable. Libraries have been changing from quiet refuges into resource centres where students can work, collaborate and research in a range of ways. But is this enough? Could universities and schools do more to support the substantial learning occurring outside the formal timetable?

See all past travelling studios

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