Studio leaders: Ellen Terrill and Ronan Reid
This studio investigates how mixed modes of the creative, making and production industry, can be artfully be woven within an adaptive reuse the fringe of Melbourne’s CBD to create an alternative model of ‘co-working/co-leisure/ co-dwelling space.
The cultural reawakening of tinkering, and hustling, within Melbourne has been influenced by various influences. These include the decline of local manufacturing industry, a rise in independent workers and freelancers, innovation in technologies and a growing disinterest in consumption of mass-produced materials. It is predicted the merging of technologies with real world products and experiences, fed by ideas, productivity and share-founded economies, will be the catalyst for significant cultural shifts and economic growth. On a local, neighborhood scale this has seen the slow emergence of (usually) inner-city or suburban workshops, incubator hubs and maker spaces. Whilst large scale innovation hubs and mass co-working spaces have started dotting our urban landscape at the institutional or commercial end of the spectrum.
This interest in innovation and making is a global phenomenon that on a local scale coincides with a socio-cultural shift in residential housing stock in Melbourne. A typology that is starting to diversify to offer alternative living models founded in social and environmental sustainability, adaptability, diverse amenity and ageing in place. These simultaneous systems and complex constructs are to be co-housed within a heritage rich precinct on the boroughs of the CBD, where the stirrings of urban rejuvenation can be felt.
This iterative-based studio operates in two segments.
- The first segment of ‘Making and Living’ focuses on the latent histories and complexities of the nominated West Melbourne site and it’s symbiotic exchanges with the commercial hub of the city. Students focus on research led understandings of context-founded opportunity, and on their own observations, to inform an urban founded position. Supported by social and commercial collateral. In parallel the class explores an intimate scaled and reflective trajectory, using their own making modes to explore where phenomenology meets the digital. During this first half of the studio students are producing and presenting their work on a weekly basis.
- The micro and macro studies undertaken start to culminate into a sophisticated architectural proposition to the contemporary urban challenge of living, making and working in the second segment of the studio. Current socio-urban and technological influences are deeply considered in order to inform a new mixed-use typology of making workplace supported by dwelling, learning and event space. During this time students explore the dualities and inter-dependencies of creating and expressing, labour and living, technology and craft and public vs private realm.