ADR18: Annual Design Research Conference
University of Sydney 27-28 September 2018

Interior Architecture lecturers Campbell Drake, Christina Deluchi, Jorge Valiente and Gonzalo Valiente selected to present at the Annual Design Research Conference at the University of Sydney.

The Annual Design Research Conference for 2018 (ADR18) is devoted to design research in built environment fields (architecture, landscape, interior, and urban design), it will consist of plenary sessions and a curated exhibition for design works.

ADR18 will be held at the University of Sydney Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning in association with the Tin Sheds Gallery on 27-28 September 2018.

Performance and Discipline in Architecture by Campbell Drake

This design research examines how site-specific performance can activate engagement with the spatial politics of contested Australian landscapes. The research has been carried out through a series of iterative performances situated within a variety of contested spatial contexts, each centered on the semiotic potential of pianos as cultural artefacts of European origins. Emerging from the iterative project work are a series of four operations that include Spatial Inversions, Instrumentalising, Spatial Tuning, Cultural Burning. Synthesized as a concluding performance within the decommissioned Pentridge Prison, the research offers this combined set of operations as a methodological contribution to the field of critical spatial practice, with capacity to activate new spatio-political formations and critical engagement in the spatial politics of contested landscapes

Design-Research in Nine Acts by Christina Deluchi & Gonzalo Valiente

The Indo-Pacific Atlas is a 10-meter-long collage of 4000 images and a sound piece, a series-of-maps that explores the role of architecture in rapidly transforming urban environments. The artefact is a compilation of four researches that are linked by post-traumatic conditions, capital flows, gentrification and media. It was first exhibited at the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, 2015.

Through a description of the methodology for its conception and production, this paper demonstrates the Indo-Pacific Atlas’ ability to intensify the production of collective research. The artefact’s configuration as an ‘atomised’ cloud of detachable objects and images, encourages researchers to permanently re-negotiate the narrative structures. The simultaneous display of each element that constructs the artefact allows researchers to visualise the adjacent, parallel, colliding, and intersecting connections between complex and multi-layered narrative sequences.

Calling on vast assortments of field and desktop research, this paper interrogates how the process of making, re-making, packing, installing, exhibiting and publishing have generated competing modes of enquiry. Finally, the paper provides a critical commentary on the role of the artefact as a perpetual working document, or, final product, and asks: what is the value in making public experimental and makeshift research?

NEW GEOGRAPHIES OF VIOLENCE by Jorge Valiente Oriol, Amaia Sanchez-Velasco and Gonzalo Valiente

This paper will examine the design research methodologies of Studio Grandeza by interrogating the material and discursive qualities of their two last design research projects. Situated within the field of critical spatial practice, these projects stage, perform and debate current geographies of violence of late-capitalism territories.

In recent years, architectural discourse has shown an increasing interest in tackling global issues that go beyond the traditional scale of the built environment. Centred on two performative installations designed by Studio Grandeza in 2017, The Plant and Post-Liberal Valparaiso, this research interrogates the role of performative strategies in critical spatial practice, while debating what does it mean to live together on a global fast-changing world.

The Plant, exhibited at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery in 2017, interrogates the forces that have re-shaped contemporary Australian agricultural landscapes. Established as a ‘travelling parliament’ through a combination of found, adapted and designed objects, The Plant incorporates human and non-human actors into the decision making process for the future management of the Travelling Stock Routes.

Post-Liberal Valparaiso was exhibited at the XX Chilean Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. The installation challenges the incapacity of liberal bureaucratic institutions to recognise and incorporate cultural heterogeneity and otherness into the production and transformation of urban landscapes. The installation enacts an electoral process in which 272 political proposals, subject to public scrutiny, imagine the transformation of Valparaiso into a Post-Liberal urban prototype.

Questioning the passivity of cultural consumerism and challenging the binary relationships between audience and artwork, the two installations move beyond traditional forms of architectural representation and invite the audience to become active participants that inhabit and interact with (and within) the works.

The practice-based research methodologies employed by Studio Grandeza seek to provide new knowledge to the field of critical spatial practice by a close reading of these projects.