Assessment Task Three: Collaborative Group Publication Communication professional strand: Design Group member names and student numbers: Ayesha Khara (3285943) Adriana Vacirca (3286018) Jesse Hughes (3284373) Lim Chai Wen Joanne (3230950)
Artefact one: L’OREAL Melbourne Fashion Festival The L’OREAL Melbourne Fashion Festival has bought creativity and stimulation to the streets of Melbourne and the Australian fashion industry since 1997. It is now regarded as Australia’s leading fashion event bringing new talent to Australia and helping our local designers succeed in international markets. It has become a vital resource to the fashion industry within the realms of marketing, promotion and exchanging of ideas. The L’OREAL Fashion Festival strives to support local and national designers and create strong partnerships with these designers to generate more promotion and exposure. With the help and support of L’OREAL, the worlds largest cosmetic company, Australian designers have been given the opportunity to put their designs on the World stage at the L’OREAL Paris Runway. This opportunity has helped Australian designers achieve commercial success internationally and has created greater recognition for Australia in the fashion industry. This exposes the strong interconnecting relationships between urban fashion capitals all around the World. Cities such as Milan, Paris, New York, London, Tokyo and increasingly Melbourne and Sydney, strive to highlight their differences while also becoming increasingly interconnected within an urban global network. Iwabuchi (2004) provides an example of how this link between cities is particularly prominent in Asia –Pacific countries where traditional clothing has been largely replaced by Western style designs, hence dismissing the importance of ones country and highlighting the importance of Cities. This interconnection and link has become more important than
national frameworks in terms of demonstrating the cities cultural significance, in this case its design. One of the highlights of the L’OREAL Melbourne Fashion Festival is the runways that are held in different spaces around Melbourne. These free fashion displays are used to promote the festival and generate curiosity and attention towards the Melbourne CBD and Fashion industry. Spaces such as Federation Square, Melbourne Central and distinct laneways were used as fashion runways where public space became commercial landmarks and the general public were given free and easy access to creative inspiration and runways that are often seemingly exclusive. As Weller (2007 p.1) explains, holding runways in these spaces identifies ‘the sites at which diverse specialisations meet to concentrate and amplify mutually reinforcing circuits of value’. It is a space where people converge to coordinate different fashion beliefs and ideas to create fashion markets in order to improve the value of diverse fashion commodities. Not only does the commercial runways promote Melbourne’s fashion and retailers it also draws people into the city just as the Melbourne City Council ‘Postcode 3000’ strategy in 2002 intended to do by hosting more events within the city grid. This strategy was implemented to increase inner-city residential living and was also successful in developing the cities nightlife and breathing more culture into city laneways and various events. For a city that is striving to become more noted in the urban global network, these developments, along with the L’OREAL Melbourne Fashion Festival have come together to create a significant asset to the city. Marketing Melbourne as an appealing and truly iconic experience both nationally and internationally. Importantly it has helped to transform Melbourne into a World city and build stronger connections with fashion capitals.
References: Fung, P 2006, ‘The Seduction of the Laneways: Making Melbourne a ‘World City’, Crossings, viewed 26 May 2010, <http://www.inasa.org/crossings/11_2/index.php?apply=fung>
Iwabuchi, K & Muecke, S & Thomas, M 2004, ‘Fashion Shows, Fashion Flows: The Asian Pacific Meets in Hong Kong’, [in] Skov, L, Rogue Flows, Trans-Asian Cultural Traffic, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, viewed 16 April 2010, <http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=eIcccZ_TeqYC&oi=fnd&pg=PA221 &dq=fashion+week+australia&ots=Ra09xoNfng&sig=338w5DLDyqFqMvsHzUmH4sAgyM#v=onepage&q=fashion%20week%20australia&f=false>
McDowell, C 1985, ‘From Salon to Street’, [in] McDowell’s Directory of Twentieth Century Fashion, Originally published by Blond and White Ltd, published by Prentice Hall Press, New York, 51-58.
Tucker, M & Anderson, L & Webster, K 2010, L’OREAL Melbourne Fashion Festival 14-21 March 2010, pp. 3.
Weller, S 2007, ‘Beyond “Global Production Networks”: Australian Fashion Week’s Trans-sectoral Synergies’, [in] Beyond “Global Production Networks”: Australian Fashion Week’s Trans-sectoral Synergies’, 33rd edn, Victoria University, Melbourne, viewed 10 April 2010, <http://www.cfses.com/documents/wp33.pdf>
Artefact two: ‘The Travellers’ ‘The Travellers’- a series of ten abstract sculptures- metaphorically depict Melbourne’s inhabitance of Aboriginals and migration waves. (Melbourne City Counsel, n.d.) ‘The Travellers’ “defines and is defined by space” (Scheepers, 2004); it is a product of its location’s historical significance but also contributes to strengthening Melbourne’s local identities and establishing imagined geographies. In essence, ‘The Travellers’ can be decoded to reveal Melbourne’s identity, image and social relations. ‘The Traveller’s’ is subject to its location’s historical background. Adams raises this idea suggesting that public art is “determined almost entirely by its site” (Adams et al, 1989); its history, pre-existing perceptions and usages. Historically, Sandridge Bridge- ‘The Travellers’ location- was a sacred Indigenous congregational centre and part of the course travelled by global immigrants. (Melbourne City Counsel, n.d.) This influenced artist Nadim Karam to chronologically align the series of sculptures across the bridge, reflecting each migration wave. (Melbourne City Counsel, n.d.) Occasionally, the sculptures transcend across the bridge, physically altering the landscape of Melbourne and in effect, replicating the immigrant’s travels and highlighting their social, economical and physical impacts upon Melbourne. Furthermore, while each sculpture portrays a narrative within itself, the sculptures visual coherence (i.e. colour and size) and physical connection propounds the importance of perceiving them collectively as a chain of events; each migration movement has equally shaped modern Melbourne. Furthermore, the bridge functions as a visual metaphor for the sense of transition experienced by Melbourne’s past migrations and current dwellers. As an integrated aspect in the urban environment, ‘The Travellers’, reinforces Melbourne’s image. As McCarthy (2006, p. 246) explains, “Local identities are socially constructed, and produced and reproduced as a communicative process”. This is evident, as Melbourne’s theatrical and artistic identity is reinforced by it’s visually embellished artefacts such as ‘The Traveller’s’, it’s graffiti, laneways and annual events. Additionally, Melbourne’s image as a ‘cultural hub’ is further strengthened by the sculptures subject
matter, which portrays different culture’s and migration waves. Primarily, the regeneration and devlopment of Melbourne’s local identities can be attributed to the integration of its design artefacts. Furthermore, ‘The Traveller’s’ “transforms spaces into places” (Adams et al, 1989). Firstly, by endowing historical meaning, ‘The Travellers’ establishes the bridge as a ‘landmark’. By establishing landmarks, we too develop the “city’s legibility” (McCarthy, 2006). This explores the perception of the city as a ‘message system’ (Carrington, 2009) or ‘text’ (Carrington, 2009) which can be decoded to instil greater meaning; a concept explored by Scheepers (2004) who defines the city as an “assemblage of different beats…and voices”. Furthermore, public art promotes a sense of community and interaction, by engaging the masses and encouraging communication. Indeed, currently the Sandridge Bridge not only functions as a pedestrian passage but a meeting place for city dwellers and tourists. This concept of creating imagined communities extends beyond sculptural landmarks to include all forms of design artefacts such as: graffiti, fashion events and laneways. Carrington (2009, p.417), for example, describes graffiti as a way to “connect people to public space and…interact with other people”. Indeed, design artefacts function to establish imagined geographies. As a form of public art, ‘The Traveller’s’ contributes to revitalising Melbourne’s history and local identity. It too, functions as a ‘text’ within the city’s landscape, which engages and encourages public interaction. Public art, indeed, plays a significant role in urban cities, like Melbourne.
References: Adams H, Burton R, Cork R, Ghosh A, Miles M, Steyn J, Stone A, Vines L, 1989, Art for Public Spaces: critical essays, 1st edn, Winchester School of Arts Press, Hampshire Carrington V, 2009, ‘I write, therefore I am: texts in the city’, Visual Communication, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 409 – 425, viewed 1st April 2010, SAGE full text McCarthy J, 2006, ‘Regeneration of Cultural Quarters: Public Art for Place Image or Place Identity? Journal of Urban Design, Vol. 11, no.2, pp. 243-262, viewed 14th April 2010, EBSCOhost Melbourne City Counsel, n.d., The Travellers Fact Sheet, Victorian Government, viewed Saturday 3rd April 2010, <http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/AboutMelbourne/ProjectsandInitiatives/MajorProject s/Documents/The_Travellers_Factsheet1804.pdf> Scheepers H, 2004, ‘Graffiti and Urban space’, Honours Thesis, University of Sydney, Australia
Artefact three: Laneways Laneways are a vital part of Melbourne’s urbanity, providing a means of escape from the frantic main streets they are placed between. Whilst they were not originally included in Hoddle’s city grid plan, the inclusion of laneways in Melbourne has been marked a largely important decision, serving just as vital function as the main streets in expressing Melbourne’s raw identity. Over time, we have seen the development of laneways to a point in which they have evolved from being a space, merely used for servicing the shops which they ran behind, to becoming a place which provide a vast range of social, physical and cultural possibilities; aspects which add interest to Melbourne as a city. Harrisson (2008) discusses the evolution of Laneways and their construction in becoming the “jewel of life and culture in the city” in the way that they communicate the intimacy and laid back nature in contrast to the often frantic, commercial cityscape of Melbourne, as originally catered for by Hoddle’s city grid. The spaces in which laneways occupy have been developed over time to communicate the real, unrefined subcultures of Melbourne. These subcultures include different social backgrounds, religions, political views and lifestyles. They are expressed both through legitimate means (such as cafés and galleries) as well as illegitimate means including graffiti. Melbourne’s laneways serve many practical uses to those who explore them. Harrisson (2008) highlights the practical uses of laneways as a place to engage in activities such as shopping, socialising, eating and navigate the city streets more efficiently. Furthermore, laneways function as a canvas for people to express their values and political views in relation to the city, in the form of street art. Street art and commissioned lane way projects in particular, play a large role when discussing the space of laneways as a canvas for sub culture’s to communicate their values and views. This all plays a part in creating Melbourne’s unique identity. Laneways in Melbourne, in particular Hosier Lane, communicates with its users the importance of
free expression and creativity within Melbourne (Case 2009). This value of individualism and creative expression is something Melbourne is widely known for. This is further evident as the government continually commissions street art for Melbourne’s laneways. Furthermore, the laneways are home to ‘Until Never’; a gallery showcasing emerging works for artists around Australia, further demonstrating the importance we play on creative freedom and expression in Melbourne. Through design, Melbourne’s laneways have also been transformed into a public forum, which communicates the city’s rich history. A clear example of this, is Canadian artist, Cathy Busby’s ‘We are sorry’ piece, which was commissioned by the government to act as a memorial for the ‘Stolen Generation’. Jacobs (1998) discusses the way in which memorials communicate historical events and political change. This is important as it illustrates what has shaped the city we know today including previous cultures and traditions which indeed have all play a part in shaping the identity of a city.
References: Case, H, 2009, ‘Hosier lane’, Laneway Magazine, Accessed on Sunday 28th March 2010, <http://lanewaymagazine.com.au/hosier-lane> Harrisson, F, 2008 ‘Melbourne Laneways’, Landscape Architecture Australia, no.117, Feb 2008: 41-42. Accessed: <http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/fullText;dn=200802418;res=APA FT> Jacobs, J, 1998, ‘Staging Difference’ in Cities of Difference, Ed. R Fincher and J Jacobs, Guilford Press, New York, pp. 252-278.
Artifact four: Graffiti
Melbourne’s notorious graffiti and street art has become an incredible tourist attraction and a landmark that draws people into the cities laneways and other public and private spaces. The City of Melbourne has put a huge amount of energy and money into preserving and promoting the cities street art and they continue to protect their investment. (Street art and ‘authority’ 2009). There has always been a clash between graffiti artists and authority, which is why the city council has worked hard to provide areas where artists can express themselves in the street and feel a sense of reward without a potential criminal record. Graffiti art, as an idea, has always existed alongside other artistic endeavors, the difference being that it is a mode of self-expression using methods that are seen as criminal or outside the conventional art world, rather than specifically sanctioned or commissioned art. The street is a unique and powerful platform on which artists can express themselves, transmitting their personal visions directly to the public at the same level as official messages. The issue of free expression or claiming of public space is a new kind of language, public space has been converted into a private area for self expression. ‘Communication’ has become a modern mantra; hence graffiti artists often push the form and styles with new techniques in form of words and colorful composition to reach out to the public (Street art and ‘Authority’, 2009). Generally graffiti artists have a firm feeling of existing and speaking out to many out of the anonymity and isolation of urban surroundings. This has broken down barriers within the interpellation of social structures and hierarchies. All graffiti art has become part of our environment creating imagined communities. As it becomes absorbed into the city walls and as we discover them, they become part of our experience; they become, ultimately, part of us. The images found in the mass media and the spaces that shape urban life serve as the raw, art historical material of graffiti writers. (Manco T 2009) Graffiti adds a bright dimension and excitement to urban landscapes that are often drab
and drained of life. Graffiti is a perfect fit in the blooming of Union Lane as part of a cultural and tourism development. This form of street art has its own strong culture as a uniquely criminalised art form and in some ways this is what gives it its edge. The audience of this form of street art, people walking around the city/streets/laneways can feel a part of something; which is both personal and subversive.(pp. 13-15) We are then invited to experience, to feel, to carry out emotions as we explore a particular space within an urban setting According to Bruner and Kelso (1980), to write graffiti is to communicate as an essential social act. Indeed, along with the benefits of anonymity, graffitists explicitly posit that visibility is a key attraction. An insight of this historical in-text serves as a useful guide to the artist’s mindset, beliefs, ideas and protocols. (Nyman, 2005) The visual filled content is indicative of its target audience, that being individuals “ interested in street art, design and contemporary popular culture” that roam within the cities grid.
References: Bruner, E & Kelso J, 1980, ‘Gender differences in graffiti: A semiotic perspective’ Women's Studies International Quarterly, 3, 239-252, viewed 26 May. Manco T, 2002, ‘Stencil Graffiti’, ‘Thames&Hudson’, High Holburn, London, pp. 7-15, viewed 26 May Nyman C & Smallman J, 2005, ‘Stencil Graffiti Capital: Melbourne’, 1st edn, Mark Batty Publisher, New York, viewed 26 May Rodriguez A & Clair R.P, 1999, ‘Graffiti as communication: Exploring the discursive tensions of anonymous texts’, South Communication Journal, Rotledge, Taylors& Francis Group, pp. 1-15, viewed 26 May