Coordinator: Sidh Sintusingha. Studio Leaders: Ziming Xie, Sidh Sintusingha
Designers are facing challenges that extend far beyond the traditional definitions of the professions. Uncertain economic times, unprecedented ecological challenges and a growing unrest at the privatisation of public life – and now a global pandemic – have fueled anxiety over urbanisation. The era of the grand design vision implemented by forward thinking government is over. This studio challenged students to engage with the politics of design. Design can no longer be framed as a standalone vision but instead must respond and contend to a broader politic. The economic consequences of COVID will be long lasting, yet offer a valuable pause from market driven development to explore new ways for funding and conceiving open space and ecological systems.
The subject is the culmination of each student’s studies in Master of Landscape Architecture. Working more autonomously, students undertake studios or independent thesis which provides scope for an original approach to design synthesis in landscape architecture, based on research and critical thinking. Students demonstrate mastery of design resolution, conceptual engagement and aesthetic expression. Working under exceptional conditions of a dual-delivery studio and being scattered at different locations overseas and in Melbourne, students had to cope with additional challenges but also had opportunities to meaningfully reflect on and explore practices in-between cultural landscapes.