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DIY URBANISM

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LEGEND

COLLECTION I

PARK/PARK

CHALK

LUCID

WALKINGTHE CITY IS MORE FUN

REINCARNATED MCMANSION [UN]VISIBLE [RE]PUBLIC

Curated by Joni Taylor

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Designed by Magic Bag Productions S

BOTANIC GARDEN EXTENSION

MOBILETEA HOUSE YURT EMPIRE MILLERS POINT SKATEPARK

WHEELIE BIN SOUND SYSTEM

FOOD FORTHOUGHT

URBAN ISLANDS

PENCIL POD

UNTITLED

ULTIMO DREAM

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Project Title:

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Team:

MICHAEL LEWARNE & THOMAS RIVARD

Realised:

Staged Intermittently since August 2009

Location:

Migratory

Project Description:

Food for Thought is a migratory, experiential event, designed to generate activity, stimulate discussion and project the future of civic space, through Sydney and beyond. A mysterious, multi-faceted kiosk ritualistically locates in an urban space, roosting in conjunction with other activities. Hybrid progeny of hot-dog stand, ticket booth, puppet theatre and Dalek. Food For Thought is an active presence, attracting passersby with the prospect of free soup. Interested individuals submit a reply to a query posed for that place; essentially an open invitation for ideas. The suggestion is logged, the contributor receives soup. Thus, Food for Thought. Propositions submitted are disseminated via projections from the kiosk, the website and Twitter, and printed on cups for future servings. Remotely linked locations, local media and partner websites also broadcast the ideas. As an extension of the collaborative, consultative nature of the project, notable figures in the community serve the soup: activists, performers, artists, architects, community leaders and public figures For each install, a nearby restaurant contributes the soup, further promoting the deeply local nature of each event.

Reasonings:

The sharing of food is a primordial human act. The exchange of ideas is central to the vitality of cities. By bringing these two acts together, each Food for Thought event acts as a catalyst for congregation and an opportunity for members of the community to contribute in a deliberate and constructive manner. The ideas received may be functional or fantastical, demanding or magnanimous; they will all, however, be unexpected and authentic. Food for Thought will work with major civic institutions and exhibition venues to establish presentations and celebrations of the developed ideas at regular stages throughout the project; we’ll also establish creative links with local organizations to disseminate the content to the communities in which we stage the event. Long term, the project is intended to exist well beyond Sydney, travelling through suburban centres and regional towns, as well as international sites, promoting the process of engagement and information gathering (not to mention conviviality). The Food for Thought team will also work with local institutions, community groups, businesses and residents to explore constructive methodologies by which the more fertile and provocative ideas collected can be supported and continue to be developed by the communities from which they originated.

Hurdles/Constraints:

As a primarily self-funded operation, FFT has had some difficulty in convincing interested parties that there are significant operating costs to the project. Beyond establishing operational parameters, we have found that the nefarious combination of commercialisation of public space combined

with an over-zealous regulatory regime renders much public space in accessible - more a licensed commodity than community resource. Permissions and associated suspicions contribute to a non-spontaneous inhabitation of public space.

Budget:

$3,000 per “install�. Capital costs invested to date:$40,000.


Project Title:

LUCID Team:

AFIA IRAM

Unrealised Locations:

Barangaroo Sydney Park’s Brickworks walls, Wall at ramp to Sydney Harbour Bridge at Milsons Point, CarriageWorks, Angel Place, and many other sites.

Project Description:

Lucid is a lightweight, modular, sustainable and flexible 21st Century commercial initiative for Sydney and beyond. Inspired by the traditional high vaulted bazaars of the Middle East and the lighting effects created by coloured lanterns, Lucid responds to the increasingly complex task of managing our city’s economic and population growth whilst preserving and celebrating our culture, our unique surroundings and our planet. Lucid can be installed in a multitude of locations and creates a unique dialogue with each as it is designed to lightly ‘touch’ the natural or built locations in which it is placed. The glass panels allow coloured light to project onto its carrier’s surface bringing new perspective and conversation about Sydney’s landscape. These panel contain photovoltaic cells which generate energy to illuminate the panels at night and meet the energy demands of the structure itself. Lucid also uses energy saving materials in its construction including lightweight eco/drywall panels and recycled coconut panel flooring.

Reasonings:

The inspiration for Lucid’s high vaulted interior streaming with coloured light comes from the study of traditional Middle Eastern bazaars and glasshouse conservatories. The traditional bazaar is the quintessential retail interior typology. Lucid is a modern version of the traditional bazaar whose vaulted interior provides surface area on the exterior to capture the sun’s energy. Lucid’s individual cellular vendor stalls can stand alone or join with other vendor stalls to form a flexible commercial organism capable of thriving in many sites throughout Sydney’s urban environment. Lucid would physically interface with the contours of Sydney’s natural landscape and built environment in a parasitic manner becoming an active participant in Sydney’s existing economic and cultural urban ecologies. This interface is beneficial to Sydney as the urban carrier host: Lucid would celebrate Sydney’s sites of historic significance and natural beauty by increasing their appeal as a destination. Aligning Lucid’s vendor stalls against walls at Sydney’s existing pedestrian circulations would provide convenient shopping for Sydney residents and excellent potential sales for the vendors.

Hurdles/Constraints:

Lucid would require a detail for snapping together the structural members and roof/wall panels. Lucid’s suction type attachment to the cut rock face wall would need to be engineered by working with technical partners.

Budget:

NA


Project Title:

PARK/PARK

for International PARK(ing) Day Team:

Presented by &company. Installation designed by Harriet Watts, Sarah Spackman and Marion Gelbart Assisted by: Anna Lise De Lorenzo and Ben Elbourne

Realised Location(s):

Sydney CBD - Castlereagh Street, Martin Place, Macquarie Street, Hyde Park, past the Sydney Town Hall, Clarence Street and Gaffa Gallery

Project Description:

Park(ing) Day is an international day of action and fun that explores how we choose to make use of public spaces. It is based on the premise that by feeding money into a parking meter, one is leasing that space and can use it as they please. &company - a design studio that presents opportunities for emerging designers to create and share new work - took to the streets to present PARK/PARK on Park(ing) Day on September 17, 2010. The interactive cardboard installation established a tangible representation of the PARK(ing) Day ethos: put your coins in the meter and make your choice – how will you make use of this space? Punters were invited to enter into our cardboard world: Do you want to park, or do you want a park? PARK/PARK popped up across Sydney’s CBD, attracting many strange looks, entertaining conversations, lots of laughs – and strangely no animosity at all from Sydney Drivers! Our route ended at Gaffa Gallery where it was installed for 2 weeks at The exhibition PARK/PARK: PARK(ing) Day Revisited.

Reasonings:

In 2010, Object: Australian Centre for Craft and Design promoted the event to Sydneysiders who were mostly unaware of the movement, from it’s 2005 inception by Rebar in San Fransisco to the new manifestations popping up across the globe. It offered an opportunity to get out into the community, initiate direct conversations about design and the city, experiment in new platforms, and see what happens when “art” is taken beyond the gallery walls. As the day is relatively new to Sydney (with the exception of ARUP’s participation since 2008), the designers’ sought to create an engaging installation that clearly invited interaction, and that provided a parking-space-sized representation of the conundrum: do you sit under the tree in the public “green” space, or pay your way to sit in the private confines of the car. By designing the structures to pop up and flat-pack, we were able to move around the city with ease, occupying several parking spaces and attracting the attention of a significantly higher proportion of the city than if we had remained static.

Hurdles/Constraints:

Object initially set out to officially host the event only to discover that the official local council process to acquire permission to run this small-scale guerilla activity required the same paperwork and resources demanded for city-wide major festivals. According to the City of Sydney, there is nothing unlawful about the activity in regards to the Road Rules and other traffic legislation, provided participants don’t sell anything, perform theatre, amplify music or swing goods on a hoist. Being a guerilla activity, there is no safeguard against trouble with rangers or police. Safety of location and the installation are the primary concern, and minimising negative disruptions to traffic or local businesses: establishing relationships with sympathetic shop-fronts or businesses was recommended. PARKing on high-traffic roads and near bus-lanes was not.

Budget:

$120 TOTAL: $50 materials $50 lunches $20 parking meter funds


Project Title:

[un]Visible [re]Public Team:

Ian Robertson

Unrealised Location:

Above Cahill Expressway, between CBD and Wooloomooloo

Project Description:

The [un]Visible [re]Public is a bridge over the Cahill Expressway, providing both parking for the city (~700 cars which never need to enter the CBD), and forming a continuous link between the Botanical Gardens and the Domain, between the CBD and Woolloomooloo. The metaphorical model of the bridge’s ‘deck’ is that of a Cargo Ship, where the entire habitable landscape can change along with the needs of those who are there. The path of the Cahill Expressway is the same as the primary pedestrian link between the CBD and Woolloomooloo as seen on maps from the 1880s, which show a pedestrian city which no longer exists. It is because of conditions like the expressway that it CAN not exist. Sydney’s climate is wonderful, and because its distances are sufficiently small to be walk-able, only itself stands in the way of its own success. By recreating this path, the city gains the civic ‘elbow room’ it needs for pedestrians to regain ownership of their surroundings. The [un]Visible [re]Public provides a public place for restaurants and artists and life away from the CBD’s regimented mindset – an urban release valve to escape the City and find home.

Reasonings:

To save the city we must first kill the City. The urban environment has been moulded by the bloated demands of each motor’s endless thirst – thirst for space, thirst for power, thirst for attention. I propose an early intervention – let us not wait passive, chained by the steel cage around our heads – to reclaim the space denied us for so long. Situated in the middle of the view it creates, with wide-open eyes to see the world’s spectacular. Space protects and emboldens, not every space may be a house, but all house life, not every space is necessary, but each is essential. The key is to find space for our imagination – to open up the view to the unvisible. To do this requires us to search out the spaces that we’ve lost in plain sight, space long ago ceded to other uses by those whose vested interests were elsewhere. By building a habitable living bridge over the Cahill Expressway, the CBD’s green twin space will again be complete – providing a verdant link for all to the waterfront. It will re-link the city to Woolloomooloo – once a heavily travelled path that has become an inhospitable cacophonous gash in the landscape – and will provide a public promenade for restaurants and artists and life. Dead space returned to a living city ... the [un]Visible [re]Public.

Hurdles/Constraints:

Part of the expressway would have to be lowered somewhat to accommodate the structure above, but most is already deep enough to cover.

Budget: NA


Project Title:

The Ultimo Dream: Local Ideas to Revitalise a Dead Zone Team: Ultimo locals Jesse Adams Stein (words), Liam Ryan (graphic realization), Cesar Albarran Torres (photogrpahs), Kitty Ray, Erin Riley, Maria Gabriela MuNoz.

Unrealised

But a dream, to provoke discussion and move us beyond a rigid planning mindset

Location:

Harris St, Ultimo, between Fig St and Ultimo Rd

Project Description:

Ultimo residents need to reclaim their “Main Street” - Harris Street. Transform Harris Street from a 5-lane road to a 2-lane Main Street, with wide plaza-style pedestrian footpaths, specific ground-floor retail zoning, a 40km p/h speed limit, pedestrian crossings, and a two-way cycleway. Genuine priority must be given to pedestrians, to local businesses and to cyclists. Harris Street is a key traffic artery, moving vehicles from the Anzac Bridge into Regent Street, and from the CBD into the Western Suburbs. Most traffic in Ultimo is not local and car use and ownership is very low. Add to this the fact that Ultimo has relatively low-income households in high-density living, and we have the perfect ingredients for a sustainable suburb. The 501 bus route would continue to run along Harris, while through-traffic would be re-routed through a non-residential area. Wide footpaths would allow for businesses to apply for Footway Usage Approvals, and give the embattled trees along Harris Street space to breathe. These would also be the home to new garden spaces, seating areas, market stalls, and on-street parking (to facilitate the growth of local retail businesses), parking that does not convert to clearways at peak hour.

Reasonings:

The chief blight on Ultimo is its role as a major Sydney traffic funnel and it is full of fast-moving vehicles. They zoom past, producing a disjointed suburb with little street-life, narrow footpaths, underdeveloped retail activity and unsafe spaces to walk and cycle in. Since the 1990s, freeways have carved through the middle of Ultimo, overshadowing its terraces and industrial heritage, creating bleak concrete black-spots and poor pedestrian amenity.

Hurdles / Constraints:

Where does all the traffic go? Small-scale roadworks could produce a traffic diversion that re-routes traffic around Ultimo, via Allen Street and Pyrmont Street, onto the under-utilised Darling Drive (see map). Darling Drive runs around the back of the Sydney Entertainment Centre alongside the tram tracks, and hence increased traffic in this area will not adversely impact residents or businesses (as none exist here). Traffic can then rejoin the final block of Harris Street at Ultimo Road, and we suggest increasing the number of left-turn lanes from Ultimo Road into Harris Street. We know this proposal makes life a little harder for drivers, but frankly, creating a few discouragements to driving in Sydney is fair play, in these days of congestion and carbon awareness. We expect traffic engineers will suggest that connecting to Darling Drive is unworkable. However, in these days of extensive intersecting ramps and tunnels, we feel this challenge is manageable. We envisage a ramp from Pyrmont Street onto Darling Drive, which would also include a pedestrian / cycle path, thereby improving residents’ and workers’ thoroughfare between Ultimo and the CBD.

Budget:

As an idea to throw out for discussion and debate, the budget is nil. As an actual project – calculations would have to be made by the RTA and/or Council.


Project Title:

MOBILE TEA HOUSE Team:

JASON WORKMAN

Unrealised Location:

Sydney, in any hospitable location of the inner city or its periphery

Project Description:

Beneath the canopy of a leafy tree, on no particular Sydney street, a small architecture appears for an hour or two - three stools, a bench, a few tea implements and a portable stove. A passerby may sit, and if so, they will be offered tea. After a time the implements will be repacked, the custom furniture collapsed, the load reassembled on my back, and I shall walk. As inclination falls to another location, the portable teahouse will again see the kettle brought gently to boil, a small sign placed at my feet as invitation to the curious. Tea may be sipped, in conversation or simply between stretches of silence.This could happen for a number of days.

Reasonings: Simply free tea.

Hurdles/Constraints:

Inclement weather.

Budget:

N/A (salvaged materials)


Project Title:

COLLECTION I Team:

JASON WORKMAN

Unrealised:

Location:

Repeat this step on any day in which you can find time. Perhaps refrain form studying the contents of the bin, at least too often; its growth will be slow. At some stage, begin to look into possible construction methods for an earthen structure. You may require form-work (temporary molds into which a material is poured); city skips should provide ample material for this. Empty sacks filled with earth, stacked and layered can form structural walls.

Project Description:

When you estimate that you have enough material for a dome in which you could comfortably dwell, begin construction.

2003*/2011 – A version of this work was published in Para City: Non-standard Uses for the Urban Center, Jason Workman, Everyday Press, 2003 (artist book, edition 55)

A construction site. A flat roofed building

Time frame: 18-30 months (30 minutes per day for a one/two person dome). Locate a construction site within a comfortable distance. Secure a large container, a brush and pan, a backpack (or something to shoulder a weight). At the end of each day’s construction, make your way to the chosen construction site. Sweep the fallen earth; soil and clay - into piles. Transfer these piles into your container; proceed to the rooftop (ideally of the building in which you live). You have already prepared a large storage bin, with three sides, abutting the parapet of the building; a hinged lid attached to one side to ensure the bin is weather proof. The contents of your effort are placed in this bin and perhaps therefore you will remove every last granule of earth from your container with a dry rag.

You will find this structure sensitive to light, heat, air, to hand and breath.

Reasonings:

A roof over one’s head.

Hurdles / Constraint:

Time, energy, regulations.

Budget: N/A


Project Title:

BOTANIC GARDEN XTENSION Team:

THE REMnANT EMERGENCY ARTLAB www.reMNantartlab.com Unrealised Location:

Barangaroo Headland

Project Description:

A proposed extension to the Sydney Botanical Gardens at the Barangaroo Headlands Development Site - designed as a possible future location site for flying foxes who currently roost in the Gardens.

Reasonings:

The Botanic Garden Xtension was developed during a team residency in November 2010 in Sydney. It engages the Federal Government approved plan to permanently relocate the Grey Headed Flying Foxes from the Sydney Botanic Gardens in May 2011, using industrial noise to scare them away from their longterm roosting site. The project asks a series of questions. Why are the flying foxes choosing to roost in the middle of the city; What are the implications of the “relocation� for this vulnerable species; How can we re-imagine the relationship between humans and non humans in urban environments? What options can we imagine that extend the benefit of the Botanical Gardens throughout Sydney and extend and increase biodiversity?

Hurdles/Constraints:

A federal injunction that allows the flying foxes to be moved on - but no guarantee where they might ten choose to go.

Budget:

$10,000 for this phase. Entire relocation NA.


Project Title:

WHEELIE BIN SOUND SYSTEM

Team: Greg Archer (art direction and construction) Mat Flax (Component manufacture and 12v sound system specialist) and Peter Strong (Web, promotion and art direction)

Realised Location(s):

Sydney Streets eg Reclaim the Lanes, Neighborhood centres, Bondi Promenade.

Project description:

Wheelie Bin Sound Systems (WBSS) have been a much loved creation in the streets of Sydney, first created by John Jacobs a decade ago by putting a car stereo in a bin and posting a website explaining how to make your own. They were born from the spirit of community protest actions and have re-emerged in a sudden spectacular fashion with new bins being made to cater for the growing demand in small to medium sized outdoor gatherings, festivals, picnics and more. The low brow mobile sound systems bring a smile to many as everyone relates to a rubbish bin and the devices seem to cross societies social strata bringing the various elements together in the great outdoors. This recycling and blending of social scenes and variant age groups happens by bringing a miniature dance party environment to the street where a more diverse representation of wider society is more likely to lurk then in traditional venues and pubs.

Reasonings:

For the first time in human history we are free to party anywhere from the mountains to the streets, beaches and beyond with high volume, high fidelity sound without the restrictions of having to connect to mains power or lug heavy generators to your party location. There is no more need for generators or blagging a power outlet and if you need to move its not difficult. It used to be difficult to bring music to the streets before we pushed the 12v envelope and having the sound mobile is a good thing.

Hurdles/Constraints:

Difficult to work out the right sort of battery to use and to source the correct solar panels that fit exactly to the lid. Also as the unit moves, wires and connections are loosened so we’ve had to be pedantic in ensuring strong connections and good components. Its been hard to find a mixer that will allow a microphone to be used with music and on its own. Much research and development has ocurred to come up with one that will allow more interactivity with the bin eg karaoke and mixing two music sources.

Budget:

$600 to $800 for parts.


Project Title:

WALKING THE CITY IS MORE FUN Team:

RAHUL NATH

Unrealised Location:

Taylor Square, Sydney

Project Description:

This design changes the existing push button pedestrian light system into an interactive game. The push button is replaced with a handle that when cranked, gives audio and visual feedback. When enough people crank the handles fast enough, the pedestrian lights change from red to green. Energy could be collected from the cranking action and used to power the installation. The outcome is that walking the city becomes more fun and pedestrians are empowered, creating a safer, more enjoyable city.

Reasonings:

No-one likes to wait for the lights, especially once we press the pedestrian button and receive no feedback as to when the lights will change or if our pressing has even registered. Many people repeatedly press the button hoping to make the lights change or just cross on the red. What if we could make waiting for the lights fun? What if we could create a game that keeps us entertained and gave us feedback? What if we could control the changing lights!

Hurdles/Constraints:

This project needs partnerships with local councils for permission and technical support.

Budget:

NA: To realize this project the cost cannot be accurately calculated without consultation with the City of Sydney / Roads and Traffic Authority / roads infrastructure organizations.


Project Title:

Millers Point Skatepark Team:

F BEAT PRODUCTIONS - CHAD FORD, STEVE TIERNEY, MICK YUEN, MICHAEL “DAVO” DAVIDSON AND SHAUN GLADWELL

Unrealised Location:

Western Distributor Underpass

Project Description:

The designer has assembled a steering committee of skateboarders and artists that developed a truly inspiring design that looks spectacular to the passing public and has long term benefits for the skatepark users. The design of this skatepark facility should be seen as an opportunity for urban renewal. The proposed area is a forgotten part of the city that does not have a name or appear on maps. It has only ever been used as a pedestrian corridor and an impromptu homeless shelter and the areas nominated for use do not impact on the pedestrian corridor. Although it is landscaped with green and seating it has never felt welcoming and therefore does not fulfill its purpose The opportunity this project offers should not be reduced to “just another skatepark”. Time should be invested in the design process to guarantee the final result is equally as impressive as any urban renewal, public art or beautification project.

Reasonings:

There has been a pressing need for a skatepark in the northern CBD since the mid 1970s. It has taken continual campaigning to get to this point and still we are not yet there. The opportunity to redevelop this area in line with various policy proposals put forward in the City East Local Action Plan, Public Spaces – Public Life Sydney 2007 (Gehl Report) and the Sustainable Sydney 2030 Report is substantial. Skateboarding is more than just a physical pursuit and this facility and its location offers an incredible opportunity for urban renewal, public art, interactive public space, green space, youth active areas, multi generational interaction and a skatepark. Youth, creativity and physical pursuits need just as much space to flourish as property values.

Hurdles/Constraints:

Project was started in early 2010. It was then promptly stopped due to key resident/voter influence.

Budget: $1,200,000


Project Title:

PENCIL POD Team:

Mano Ponnambalam of MANOARCHITECTS

Unrealised Location: Surry Hills

Project Description:

A four level and roof garden dwelling on land 2.4 Metres by 15 Metres. An inner city urban insertion on ‘left over’ parcels of land to provide affordable habitation, and to consolidate and increase urban density for the SUSTAINABLE EVOLUTION of the city.

Reasonings:

Increasing urban density for the SUSTAINABLE EVOLUTION of the city will...... Better utilise public infrastructure e.g. public transport, parks, public facilities; when planned well will improve and add to the aesthetic richness of the urban fabric; provide designers a unique challenge (a canvas for innovative solutions); offer economical solutions to Sydney’s spiralling cost of habitation which is resulting in unsustainable urban sprawl. This further creates wasteful resources and social isolation in many outer suburbs. Chalk – there should be capital letters at the beginning of Camperdown Memorial Park.

Constraints/Hurdles:

Current planning laws prohibit such developments resulting in lost opportunities. For example look at other high density cities e.g. Tokyo - a great example where high density works and the land is fully utilised. One should question current planning laws - are they providing opportunities and solutions for a SUSTAINABLE EVOLUTION of the city?

Budget:

$200,000 or less (building cost)


Project Title:

UNTITLED 2011 Team:

Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski

Unrealised Location:

Sydney Harbour

Project Description:

Sydney Harbour is beautiful. Gorgeous blue water, glittering city skyline, exclusive ‘dress circle’ suburbs, lovely fresh ocean air. However commercial fishing has been banned in Sydney harbour because the marine life is considered toxic. Recreational fishing is extensive, but fish caught on the Western side of the Harbour Bridge have been found to have high levels of dioxins and other carcinogens. The water is considered so toxic that it is recommended that people eat only one harbour fish a year. Part of the continuing problem is caused by runoff from stormwater into the Harbour. Our untitled animation proposes a conceptual solution: which is to take all the areas of the harbour shoreline that have been filled in, and redistribute that land, combining it all to make a new island in the harbour. This would leave the shoreline available to be re-colonised by reed beds, mangroves and seagrass.

Reasonings:

Before the city was built the bay was protected by organic systems such as mangroves and sea grass that filtered runoff water as it entered the harbour. But now that much of the shoreline around the harbour has been extended out into the water, filled in and built upon, this no longer happens. Stormwater runoff is polluting the harbour with heavy metals and other toxic residues, much of it from sources like car & truck tyres & brakes, this is contemporary pollution that we all contribute to daily as we drive about, not toxic waste from previous industrial eras. This problem needs to be addressed. We think that the current ‘owners’ of these foreshore encroachments might be happy with these proposed changes, after all trading a slice of White Bay for an island off Kirribilli would surely be a ‘good deal’. OK. Kind of stupid huh? Well perhaps there are more practical alternatives. You figure it out.

Hurdles/Constraints: NA

Budget: NA


Project Title:

URBAN ISLANDS Team:

Olivia Hyde, Thomas Rivard and Mark Szczerbicki, with 3 teams of international guests

Realised Location:

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour

Project Description:

Urban Islands is an independent, cross-university program that brings renowned emerging practitioners from around the world to Sydney’s Cockatoo Island to run intensive workshops and engage in a process of inhabitation and insinuation on and about the Island, and the nature of placemaking in a mediated world. Since 2006,it has hosted emerging architects and firms from Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, England, India, Japan, Peru and the USA. Urban Islands is designed to be an inclusive, expansive and, ultimately, transformative experience for those who take part, and a continuing series of investigative events in cities around the world, dedicated to exploring the relationships between the places we find ourselves in and the manners in which we inhabit them.

Hurdles/Constraints:

Running an independent (and ongoing) project without administrative or institutional support demands nearly a complete re-presentation of the logistical parameters of the project every two years, as the contact personnel in associated universities continuously changes. Additionally, material support from professional bodies is highly limited. Beyond the purely logistical, continuing development includes building relationships with collaborators, supporters and institutions overseas to create Urban Islands programs around the world. Ultimately, Urban Islands succeeds through the endeavours of its coordinators, the generosity of sponsors (including BVN, TTW, Steensen Varming and PP-A), the commitment of our guests and the passionate diligence of all the students who choose to immerse themselves in the program.

Budget: $45,000

Reasonings:

Urban Islands was formed to broaden the range of learning experiences available and develop novel discourses on challenging urban conditions. Cities contain myriad disused sites, functionally vacant and culturally distinct. The unique conditions of these sites demand responses more expansive and flexible than conventional urban redevelopment and regeneration. Cockatoo Island is such a place. Its physical character is open to interpretation, as the site has been continuously inhabited, altered and reinhabited throughout its history: from brutal prison and girls’ reformatory,through to orphans’ training facility, naval shipbuilding complex and now, site of cultural experimentation. The Island presents an ideal site for investigations both phenomenological and conceptual, as a site both vacant and full, near and far, real and imaginary. The Urban Islands programme was conceived with contradictions in mind; between the intensity of the urban and the utopian of the island. We aim to create a learning environment that will have a political as well as a physical context, ideological as well as programmatic content and continuity outside the short life of the two week term of the Studio.


Project Title:

Reincarnated McMansion Team:

Mathieu Gallois (Artist/Project Conception); Peter Smith (Architect/Planning); Jason Veale (Environmental Consultant), Tone Wheeler, Jan O’Connor (Architects); Environa Studio (Environmental Architects)

Unrealised: Seeking Funding

Location: Sydney

Project Description:

The Reincarnated McMansion project proposes to audit, dismantle and rebuild a single McMansion dwelling. An unsustainable large home will be reincarnated into two or three best practice, zero emission smaller green homes using the existing McMansion building materials. We seek to emphasise both the project’s quantitative architectural and environmental value as well as its symbolic and cultural significance as a work of art.

Reasonings:

The Reincarnated McMansion project, within a simple bad to good premise, seeks to draw mass attention to unsustainable residential building practices in Australia. The project is not just about McMansions, it is about every poorly designed, unsustainable home. Australia now has the largest houses of any nation on earth - new houses in NSW are a staggering 100 square metres bigger than they were in 1984. Similarly, our green house gas emissions per capita are the highest of all developed OECD nations. The need for decisive action and bold projects that capture the imagination of the general public hasnever been greater.

Hurdles/Constraints: Funding

Budget:

The cost of purchasing, auditing, dismantling and rebuilding a McMansion has been estimated to be approximately $1.2 million. We estimate that the project can make a profit: the project therefore seeks investors rather than donors.


Project Title:

CHALK Team:

Melody Williams

Realised Location:

Camperdown Memorial Park and the Wilkinson building of the University of Sydney.

Project Description:

These timber copies of paper packaging are secured in public places and regularly refilled with chalk to provide anyone using the space with some tools for contributing their own non-permanent graphics.

Reasonings:

I want to propagate infrastructure for surprising, playful and empowering encounters in the public domain that encourage anyone to be a creator of playful encounters whenever the whim takes them.

Hurdles/Constraints:

Eventually most of the boxes are removed. It does take some tact to choose a spot that has some room for drawing and can be seen easily but won’t be considered vandalism.

Budget:

I used timber scraps and two $4 packets of hinges for the boxes and spent about $20 on refilling chalk before this set was removed.


Project Title:

THE YURT EMPIRE Team:

A range of art workers from Sydney engaged in site based works, public space interventions, permaculture, and performance. Key organising collective: Bill+George

Unrealised Location:

A Wasteland in Sydney

Project Description:

Yurt Empire is an attempt to ART-ifically graft an artist’s colony and economy onto an apparent ‘wasteland’. It is also a live art work containing a growing number of sustainable and unsustainable situations; A durational performance based installation about housing and living, about the cultural commons, about urban wastelands and the embroidery of decay; An embedded platform for ephemeral conversations. A demonstration in art-living and art-making through art-doing. For 3 months we intend to build 12 yurts on a vacant site in the City of Sydney and enact a series of community and cultural interventions. The site we have prioritised is North Eveleigh, adjacent to the existing CarriageWorks contemporary art centre. The process of building the Yurts will be directed by 12 key artists who will each work in collaboration with one another to complete the set of 12 Yurts on site. They will then live in the Yurts for a period of 8-10 weeks. During this time any number of creative engagements and iterations may happen on the site ranging from a performative storytelling project to community workshops and collaborative investigations about site and for site.

Reasonings: Housing affordability has reached a crisis point in the city, and with a shift to creative precincts in City Planning, there are a number of a contradictions emerging for the future occupation of artists in this city. There is a growing risk averse culture dictating the imagi nation of art workers, and suffocating the ordinary everyday expression of culture in the city. Existing stories and oral histories of the past, in particular indigenous perspectives are claimed by heritage tourism and ‘disappeared’ from the smooth homogenising surfaces of rapid inner city gentrification. Land rights and contest over ownership and democratic control of resources remains paramount to a sustainable (and possible) future.Yurt Empire wants to: • Highlight disappearing artist habitat in the city and expose the difficulties and contradictions of for artist run adventures in the global city economy. • Activate significant Indigenous and Labour history within vacant ‘wasteland’ sites. • Stake a claim on creative soil and bring together artist run spaces and initiatives in a common venture. • Experiment in community negotiation and bring together ‘land values’ and ‘art values’ in an adversarial manner. • Intercept in the accelerated process of urban renewal and gentrification. • Articulate solutions for long term perpetually affordable housing. • To demonstrate actual and playful experiments in ‘accommodating’ artists within the city. Hurdles/Constraints:

Planning legislation around issues of temporary land uses; contest over jurisdiction and sale of wasteland site; 3 unsuccessful funding bids; TIME.


D.I.Y Urbanism - Right to the City