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Interior Urban Activism Design Studio Semester 1 2010 Sophia Burns


Lying on the street was an activity we did to test the public’s reactions. We tested lying on a bench first and then lay on the ground and found that a lot more people looked while I lay on the ground. I felt so uncomfor -table that I borrowed my friend’s jacket and put it over my head.


The Homeless Shelter

This was a project where we found materials around the area to create a shelter for the homeless on Swanston St around RMIT University. This project helped us to make use of found materials and to work spontaneously, without any prior thinking and planning. We never know exactly how the public will respond to projects within public space, so this was practise for our future projects, where we might have had to improvise and change our projects if they didn’t work out as planned.


Chair Walk In this activity we played with taking an object that belonged to classrooms (a chair) and using it in a different context. Rather than using the chair at a desk we played a game with the chairs by carrying ours from the back of the line to the front which was how we moved from Bowen Lane to The State Library. This was a way of having fun in public space with minimal equipment. It was a way of using public space in a different, more amusing way, entertaining the public as well as ourselves. It was also a way of inviting the public to have a conversation with us.


A Collection of Receipts collecting and using discarded everyday objects While walking around Brunswick I found that I was drawn to objects we might see everyday such as electrical equipment that were in a different context. They were unused and were outside on the nature-strip, to be thrown out. As my project was going to be based in the city, I thought of the receipt as site-specific to the city. I then began a project in which the public could contribute to and realised how easy it was for people to give away their receipts and that people were willing to give them away. I began to wonder what the point was of printing out every receipt if so many people don’t want them, but end up finding them in their wallet.


remote control found on a nature strip in Brunswick

some of the receipts collected were found in the owner’s wallet


many small contributions = one large collection Hi, I’m collecting receipts for a uni project..

Are you? o.k yeah, what project are you doing? Oh wow, where will it be viewed? Well if i see it, I’ll know I contributed to it.

I stood outside Coles in Melbourne Central with a clear plastic bag containing the receipts I had collected and asked people if I could have their receipt. Everyone except one person gave me theirs, some even put theirs in the bag without me having to ask.

People were able to see how they contributed by visiting a blog and by a poster containing a photo of the collection. The blog address was included at the bottom of the posters.


This box was left in front of the lifts on level 2 in Building 8 at RMIT University for a couple of weeks until it disappeared. I wrote on the lid of the box ‘Please donate any receipts you have so I can make something with them.’

I asked a waitress if I could have these receipts and she said she was going to throw them out. Before I left she gave me a few more.

This is what a hairdresser had collected for me.


Personal Attachment


displaying the receipts in different ways

I did this at an early stage in the project and needed to collect a lot more receipts so people would notice it

I had arranged the receipts in order of size and stuck them them on a curb in Little La Trobe St, next to Melbourne Artist Supplies. I displayed receipt/s close to where I had collected most of them; RMIT University and some at Coles, Melbourne Central. It would have been interesting to know how long it took the person to remove them. Attaching them to the environment suggests that a receipt might be something you see quite often.


Enlarging Receipts The large amount of paper used represents the large amount of paper that is wasted to print receipts. By enlarging a receipt and sticking it to a wall you are inviting people to look at what is written on the receipt. It might feel unusual to look at someone else’s receipt to see what they bought, what time they were there, where they bought it and how much they spent.


enlarging pointless receipts I emphasised pointless receipts by enlarging those that had little or no total.


I liked the bag, I wasn’t going to return it, it was only $20. I just found it amusing to watch her write out a receipt for me. Nice hand writing.


within the city The receipt below is from a chocolate lounge in Melbourne Central and is also a representation of the many chocolate lounges within the city.


out of context Brunetti in a Laneway


people were able to see how they contributed to the project


the receipts formed as one and transformed in different ways...


Sophia Burns - Portfolio  

Studio: Interior Urban Activism