Landscape Materialities

Coordinator: Dr Alessandro Liuti

Since 9/11, attention has turned to the security of our public spaces. The 2017 Bourke St Mall attack in Melbourne has changed the physical and psychological spaces of the city, with designers, engineers and government now called upon to deliver a public domain safe from random attacks. The initial responses were quickly conceived, manifesting in the scattering of concrete blobs throughout the streets.  Is there a way to rethink this problem? Are these countermeasures really necessary, or could security be embedded in our cities by more integrated design practices? This studio will explore how landscape architecture can  ‘design’  for an increased security of urban spaces,  aiming to test a  range of performative (i.e. climatic, sensorial, functional), material (i.e. concrete, timber, synthetic materials)  and formal possibilities (i.e. design of bespoke elements vs morular/repeatable elements).

This topic raises many questions to explore. For example  “Can security factors inform design during early design stages?”  “What is the difference between a place that is simply crowded and a place for events?”  “How do designers account for different levels of risk (i.e. the likelihood of a terrorist attack vs an  accident)?”  Working in partnership with Arup ‐ an international leader in engineering and design ‐ this elective will explore a range of different spatial security scenarios within the city of Melbourne. Students will develop a security-conscious design response, with a focus on materiality and construction – as well as a multi‐objective design performance, which addresses security, micro‐climate, sensory experience,  and functionality. Can we design safety without just fortifying places?

Landscape Architecture 2020_winter