Melbourne Now countdown – day 48

Following on from last week’s post, the Sampling the City team assembled on site at the NGV Australia  with the six invited ‘studio’ architects to focus on the third space within this four-part project – the Incubator Room. The Incubator is conceived as a ‘room of ideas’; a concentrated white cube space that sits in tension with the adjacent and immersive, ‘black box’ Projection Room.

Six architecture studios – March Studio, Kokkugia/Studio Roland Snooks, Make Architecture, Cassandra Fahey, Studio Bird and Muir Mendes – have been identified as being at the forefront of future practice in Melbourne. Each has been commissioned to contribute a purpose-designed installation within the Incubator Room to provide an insight into their practice and reveal their design process.

As curator, I’ve asked each studio to respond to the following criteria:

–       Identify a series of ideas and/or a project from their practice that identifies clearly with one of the exhibition’s five themes: Representation and the City; Craftsmanship and Materiality; Art Engaged Practice; Stitching The City (Public Space); Bio–Futures / Advanced Architecture

–       Drawing on the notion of a ‘tableau vivant’ (living picture) each practice will occupy a designated wall of the Incubator Room with a purpose-designed installation that represents the process that occurs within their studio.

–       Using the hand drawn Incubator wall ’grid’ as a starting point – a reference to scale and the architectural drawing and a nod to artist Sol LeWitt  – each practice must produce a series of images/drawings/short texts/models and/or artefacts that communicate their design process and, reflects upon their position within contemporary architectural practice in Melbourne.

The curatorial team worked closely with each studio – measuring, constructing tests and working through their individual installations – all of which are in the final stages of design. Ideas being explored by the Incubator practices include an interactive game; an unfolded full-sale object; a series of hand crafted material tests and 3-D printed models and a hand-drawn, large-scale artwork.

The Incubator Room provides an intimate view into the material that passes through the hands of the architect during their design process and, in doing so, reveals how ideas-driven design significantly contributes to the quality of our built environment and to our everyday lives.

Next post, I’ll speak to contributing artist Matthew Sleeth, about his video work I Don’t See God Up Here, 2010 – this compelling artwork forms the fourth part of Sampling The City, sited within the Inter-filament ‘Viewing Room’.

Sampling the City is supported by the Hugh D. T. Williamson Foundation.