Cape Town, Gothenburg, Malaga, Nagoya, New Delhi, Pretoria, Tokyo

Cape Town, South Africa

Studio Leader: Professor Richard Tomlinson

The Travelling Studio will be hosted by CORC and SDI. The Studio is aimed at giving students direct exposure to urban informality: its historical context, its causal factors, and the role of shack dwellers in transforming cities to be more inclusive and pro-poor.

The Studio will explore property, planning and design options, the institutional and policy environment, the role of organized networks of the urban poor in deepening democracy, and the implementation of upgrading plans. Students will be required to familiarise themselves with community dynamics, institutional parameters, and in Cape Town present community-responsive projects and transfer skills to community leaders. (These projects will be revised on return to Australia based on the comments received at the presentation in Cape Town and on further research, and be prepared in a format that the revised projects can be returned to CORC, SDI, the communities concerned and desirably be included on the websites of the MSD, CORC and SDI.).

Students need to be open to the impact of informal practices on formal professional and what this implies for professionals where the poor are seen as central actors. The Studio will be “live” and applied.

Gothenburg, Sweden

Studio Leader: Qinghua Guo

One of the conservation courses offered by the Faculty: History of the Built Environment and Buildings, Conservation of heritage property and craftsmanship. This subject will run jointly with the Department of Conservation, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

This studio will comprise of:

  • Teaching in situ: Biosphere reserve Kinekulle and the Forshem church
  • Seminars on building crafts in Mariestad, and site visit: heritage buildings currently under reconstruction in Rackebyladan and S Råda
  • Workshop on adaptive reuse of religious buildings in Göteborg and site visit.

Students will travel to Gothenburg, Mariestad and Stockholm to learn a range of skills and ideas at play in the field of architectural conservation. Back to Melbourne, students will work on a local conservation project.

Malaga, Spain

Studio Leader: Ray Green

This studio will focus on adapting coastal settlements in Malaga, Spain, to the predicted impacts of climate change and in mitigating the causes of climate change through integration of technology for generating alternative, carbon free energy, sequestering carbon already in the atmosphere and various other means. Settlements located along the Malaga coast, which have been heavily impacted by tourism and associated development in the past, are particularly vulnerable to the predicted impacts of climate change - e.g. threat of increased frequency and intensity of storm events, rising sea levels, drought, etc. Other issues, such as water supply and loss of indigenous flora and fauna, will also be addressed.

The studio will be focused on exploring how these settlements can be retrofitted to be less vulnerable to climate change impacts. The overall aim is to generate design proposals that will not only make these settlements better protected from the predicted impacts of climate change, and sustainable, but also make them better places to live and holiday.

Nagoya, Japan

Studio Leader: Barrie Shelton

The Nagoya metropolitan population is twice that of Melbourne – between 7 and 11 million depending on how you measure. It lies between historic Kyoto and dynamic Tokyo and its morphology is in many ways more typical of most large Japanese cities than either the former or present capitals. Across the central part of the metropolis (essentially the City of Nagoya, pop, 2.2M) is an urban structure of planning significance – a distorted grid of ‘global’ roads and a subway system covering a similar area that give broad east-west and north-south movement. Within the grid there are a series of superblocks, which display buildings of greater height and mass about their peripheries and smaller scale almost village like qualities at their centres. Nagoya has also significant areas of multi-level infrastructure. The result is convenient cross-city and local movement.

In 2011, one such superblock provided the study focus for the first Nagoya Travelling Studio. That studio identified the superblock’s characteristics and attributes, and proposed a number of interventions for strengthening these. In 2012, a Melbourne-based Nagoya Host Studio (with students visiting from Japan) applied the ‘Nagoya attributes’ to Melbourne with a proposal for a Fitzroy-Collingwood super-block. Thus, this studio is a part of an ongoing series between Melbourne and Nagoya Universities dedicated to an understanding of a particular type of city structure and its wider implications for urban design and architecture.

New Delhi, India

Studio Leader: Hemanta Doloi

In 2014 summer semester, the New Delhi Travelling Studio aims to investigate the booming Indian construction industry, with an emphasis on the development of particular understanding on the selection of construction technologies and methods, procurement practices, site planning and labour management, construction supply chain and project management vis-a-vis the country’s traditions as well as its specific social, economic, legal and technological contexts.

Through class briefings and discussions, group assignments, individual research and site visits, subject participants will be asked to study and reflect on the characteristics of the Indian building sector, while developing an India-based case study highlighting similarities and differences of the key aspects with respect to Australian practices at different scales.

Pretoria, South Africa

Studio Leader: Dominique Hes and Elena Bondareva

Travelling studio to Pretoria looking at the opportunities in a derelict urban area for ecological and social regeneration – summer program.

Are you interested in getting your teeth into a wicked social and environmental problem? Would you like to work with a team of professionals, researchers and design students on a project aiming for radical positive change using theories of leverage, education, eco-acupuncture, rapid prototyping, learning from ecosystems, branding and regenerative development? Do you have the ability to go to Pretoria during 1-12th of February 2013 and do research over summer? Then this is a unique opportunity is for you.

Studio leaders are Dr Dominique Hes and Elena Bondareva. We will start preparatory work as soon as you are enrolled. You will get $800 towards travel expenses; we will spend half the time on site and half the time at a regenerative nature reserve. Your work will be presented to the local government.

Tokyo, Japan

Studio Leader: Dr Heike Rahmann

This travelling studio takes students to Japan, a country of great spatial and cultural richness, diversity and juxtapositions. Nowhere else are these juxtapositions more evident than in the dialogue between traditional cultural values and technological progress. The 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and subsequent Tsunami hit the country at its heart. It also exposed a need to re-evaluate the country’s confidence in technology and the Japanese inherent cultural knowledge of the natural environment.

Taking this as a starting point, the studio will explore the interconnectedness of the cultural landscape and built environment from a cross-disciplinary design research perspective.

The studio topic Shifting Ground does not only focus on geomorphological issues and the immediate consequences of the earthquake and tsunami for the coastal region of northern Japan. The topic also explores the shift in the Japanese political, economic and cultural value systems as reaction to larger social and environmental problems.

As the events in March 2011 reminded Japan of the vulnerability of the country at large, the social and environmental issues did not stay local; they were national issues and they were evidently also Tokyo’s problems. Consequently, one of the prevailing questions continues to be what will happen when the next big earthquake hits the capital city.

See all past travelling studios

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