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School of Interior Design

URBAN INTERIOR ACTIVISM http://www.urbaninterior.net/interiorurbanactivism/

Published by Truc Vo

2010

YOUR ACTION IS BEING RECORDED ! ( let turn around )

Photo by Ceri

‘Urban Interior Activism’ Studio School of Architecture and Design RMIT University Semester 1- 2010 Studio leader design: RochusHinkel Technology: Ceri Hann Students: Burns, Sophia /Chong, ‘Kevin’/ Cao, Thu-Ha Thuy /Cheekhooree, Vritti/ Chrimes, Danielle / Delalande, Fiona / Lacroix, Maya / Nguyen, Hoang Nancy / Owen,Juliet /

Seven, Selin / Tjahjana, ‘Joy’ / Vo, Truc Thanh / Voravarn na Ayuthaya, Katikakorn / Bergman, Simon / Mohd Yusof, Alia / Obliubek, Alistair / Valk, Kerli And in collaboration with Lachlan McDowall, Centre for Cultural Partnerships, Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Music (VCA), The University of Melbourne.


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March 2010

STUDIO CONTEXT ‘Urban interior activism’ is a design studio in interior design at the school of architecture and design,RMIT, Melbourne, Australia. Our context and space of investigation is the public space of the city. Within this studio we explore the role design could play in setting up new relationships between people and spaces, and people and people. We undertake

world. the studio ask you to forget almost all the conventions you have learned about design and understand design as a process and an activity, rather than a product and a static outcome. The final outcome of the design studio will be to ‘design’ another ‘action / activity’ for and in public space. You will need to be actively

different actions, including the creation of an encounter through conversation, the active occupation of a space through play, the creation of a disturbance through installation, how we can interact with people in public space. Through those actions we develop an understanding of public space and people through ‘action research’ or as i like to call it ‘active design’. This mode of explorations puts us right in the center of activities, testing ideas in real life conditions. We learn as much about others as we learn about ourself being in the

engaged with space and/or people, in order to change the atmosphere of this public space. The atmospheric aspect of the design studio is what makes this rather dubious studio a design studio in interior design. Interior designers are spatial practitioners, we shift our field of operation from the interior into the exterior and focus on that space that is most relevant to us, but unfortunately often neglected, the public space, the place we share with others in public. By Rochus Hinkel

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Truc Vo


March 2010

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ACTIONS within the studio we spend the first half of the semester developing and testing different approaches in public space. 1-Our first action was to create an encounter with strangers along swanston street in the city. Students had to develop strategies on how to approach people in public space and create an encounter, hopefully leading to an interesting conversation. 2-The second action did ask students to occupy and to activate public imagination: “as kids you might have played on the streets, in parks or driveways, it seemed quite normal to take advantage of the space we share with

others. through play we mark a territory in public space. On one hand we isolate ourselfs from the others, on the other hand we might be open for people to join in.” 3-The third action was an installation asking students to install an object/space in public space on or around rmit city campus using found objects and materials. 4- A highlight was the fourth project, a collaboration with postgrad students from the centre for cultural partnerships at the victorian college of art (VCA), Melbourne Uni.

‘Pancake Breakfast’ by Kerli and Maya Photo by Truc Vo

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Truc Vo


Tuesday, 9th March 2010

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The Encounter - VCA Campus ‘Encounter’ is the first project that I learned and experienced the situations in public through conversation. By communicate with strange people, we can get different reaction and receive information from different types of people. In a way, we are the one who create the encounter and start the conversation so we can control the amount of information that we are given, or we can lead the conversation to the point that we want. They are not all succeed conversations but we are still in an active position to decide who we want to talk

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with or who we will drift off the conversation, so we control the public. We ourselves are making action as an object that interrupts public space and people. Creating conversations with almost tourists, I’ve got some interesting reaction and information of different cultures, different ideas about Melbourne, opinion about life and so forth. The project is the first step of building the way of researching/investigating public space, which is by communication, I find interesting to develop more in later projects.

Truc Vo


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Saturday, 13th March 2010

THE GAMES HAPPENED AT FOOTSCRAY The second action asked us to design and play 3 games in Footscray, 1 hour for each game.To be in group of 3 with Korn and Kevin, we chose 3 games : 1- ‘Express your feeling’ : we set up a paper with questions on it and let people write or draw to answer the question follow their feeling. We did 2 papers aim on 2 different targets are kid and adult. The question for kid is “ What is your sky color?” and for adult is “ How does breakfast make you feel today?” 2- ‘Snake and Ladder’ : using a board game but we drew the board on the floor at the site and start to play together to attract people join in. 3- ‘Poker game’ : choosing a site that is kind of half public and half private, the hall of a residental building , we decided to play the card game, Poker so it’s more suitable to the context of the site.

Occupation

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Drawing always makes kid happy

Truc Vo


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Saturday, 13th March 2010

The site - Open air walk way

The game Occupation

EXPRESS YOUR FEELING

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Truc Vo


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Saturday, 13th March 2010

SNAKE AND LADDERS

Occupation The result we got after 3 hours playing around in Footscray is the occupation thereis quite friendly and they react with our games in a nice way either they join with us or not. In different sites we chose, we got different reaction and occupation but overall we enjoyed the project and got so much experienced from public. The team : Kevin, Truc, Korn. http://www.urbaninterior.net/interiorurbanactivism/

Truc Vo


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Saturday, 13th March 2010

POKER GAME The last game is inside an apartment bulding so we didn’t get much occupation join in the game. But to investigate a different site with the others gave us an understanding of public and private space as well as the mixture between them.

Occupation Being refused

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Truc Vo


Friday, 19th March 2010

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Have you ever design a shelter for homeless people? To start designing something for public, you need to understand public carefully. That is what I learned from the third project ‘Installation’. The process of designing a shelter for homeless people started with experience how a homeless people sleeping/ living in public condition. We actually lied on the pavement of RMIT, closed our eyes to feel the noise, the movement, the wind, light and people reaction... from public space that a homeless have to stand. It is interesting to discover that feeling of a homeless and understanding the spatial condition of public environment. Then we started to collect recycled material to build the shelter. My group with Korn,Kevin, Alia and me chose State Library to be our site and poster and milk grant are our material. The process happened in 1 and a half hour included building the shelter and recorded, documented public reaction. Mostly people were staring or looking at me being inside the shelter, some were just passing by and asking “How much is the rent?”, some laugh at us and some just no reaction . After the project I got the idea of creating a private space within public and realize how public nowadays accept more and more private activities and private space than before.

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Truc Vo


Friday, 19th March 2010

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THE DESIGN Location : In front of State Library Group Work : Alia, Truc, Korn, Kevin

Experience / testing

Detail : functional to keep their stuffs

It can fit 2 people

Public reaction

Overall view

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Inside out view

Truc Vo


Thursday, 8th April 2010

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The Signs

In corporate with VCA student in this project, we are asked to investigate Southbank. We started with researching and walking around the space to get the idea of Southbank public space. After that the idea of using sign to catch public attention came up and in order to disturb public a liltle bit more, we printed the signs in reverse way and letters. The signs have been put in different places in Southbank and received REVERSE SIGNS IN different SOUTHBANK reactions from people. Some people stopped their routine and tried to figure out what the words are, then walk away, but some people they really did what the signs tell after understand the words, and some they ripped the paper off and stick to other places.

1st Site

2nd Site

3rd Site http://www.urbaninterior.net/interiorurbanactivism/

Truc Vo


Thursday, 8th April 2010

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They really sat down at the sign “ ereh tis esaelp”

‘What are you doing with these words?’ ‘I can read it’ ‘Do we have to follow this?’

‘ What is this ?’

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Truc Vo


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Friday, 23rd April, 2010

DISCOVERIES ABOUT PUBLIC

People in Footscray

PEOPLE AND SPACE There were many things that I discovered when interacting with people in public space. By communicate with strange people in most projects, I understand more about how people think and behave in different public space. I had a 30 minutes conversation with a couple from Holland but just an apologise and refuse from a local office gentlemen in front of VCA campus. In Brunswick or Footscray, people try to avoid in their ways when I start the conversation or eye contact. But in

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Southbank, some people even come and talk to me first about what am I doing there. So they all give me the idea of people reaction and behavior might be different, depends on different places or spaces they are being. You might be happy to talk with anyone in the place that you are visiting or travelling, but you might feel annoyed and disturbed when someone try to talk to you in the crowded market, station or some spaces you know it is dangerous to have encounter with strange people.

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Friday, 23rd April, 2010

PRIVATE OR PUBLIC? I normally don’t like public space where we have to share the environment and spatial condition of the space as well as limit ourselves the action we can make within that social environment, but after doing all the projects I think public space plays a more important role and less authority nowadays. The distance between public and private space now is reduced and somehow confuse me whether the space is public or private. Think of public space some people may think that is a space authority limit your activities, for me I think it is true but not as much as before. Going out to join in public, such as RMIT Bowen lane, State Library, Southbank, Footscray where is

always crowed and people tend to pay more attention to what are you doing there, I realize even in those spaces I still can do the things that people just do in private space. Bringing the class chair out of RMIT and sitting along the Bowen Lane or State Library, sleeping on the pavement or create our own private shelter within the public space, we caught people attention and reaction more than doing something that normal. And no one stop us doing those just because that is public space or even when they are disturbed but they just walk away. So where is the border of private and public space? And why do we need to hide or limit ourselves in public space? For me I found it was great experience to enjoy the public condition and do something that you never thought of.

Bowen Lane,RMIT Campus

State Library

Swanton Str. and La Trobe St.

Outdoor class with indoor chair http://www.urbaninterior.net/interiorurbanactivism/

Truc Vo


Friday, 23rd April, 2010

LEARNING HOW TO TALK I found it was interesting through all the projects when we created a situation in public space, to get involved and experienced. The interest I discovered myself in these projects is the process of myself has been changed in public. I prefer doing than talking, and I seldom talk with people even who I know, so going out there and making conversation with strange people is an impossible thing for myself before. And that is the reason I found hard when first doing the ‘Encounter’ project by myself, I don’t know how to start or don’t know what should I talk, nervous and feel uncomfortable to stop anyone walking to talk

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with them. But after receiving some interesting conversations with tourists or students, I found my way to improve my communication and have more experience how to create a situation to start the encounter with people in public. After building up myself in public, the later projects I found much more easy to ‘say hello’ to random people, successful in persuading them to join with us and further more is confident to express myself to people I don’t even know. And I think as a design student, communication is a skill that I really need to improve so as to understand more public needs and ideas to develop in my design. The studio gave me great chance to do it and to know where i am and what I need to do now.

Footscray Activities

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Truc Vo


Sunday, 2nd May, 2010

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PRIVATE or PUBLIC?

After first half semester with all the projects I’ve done and the self- reflection in public space. I decided to undertake my discovery about private and public space, how they merge into each other. Come from the totally different culture background, I feel it is really interesting when I have chance explore the public space in Melbourne, there are so much things happening around. In stead of my city, public space is somewhere that dangerous, dirty and boring and people don’t like to hang out around. We don’t have street performance, don’t have a lot street furniture, there are no

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community space, no graffiti and just a few parks. And also about behaviour and action in public space in here is also much more free than my city. People can kiss each other on the street, can lie on the grass to read books or listen to music, they can dance, can sing or do whatever they want. So to investigate that interest idea about the limitation and the boundary of private and public space, I designed to make installation and action in public but contain the private domain meaning to see how far I can push private and public together.

Truc Vo


Sunday, 2nd May, 2010

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The first step of my individual project is making an installation of my own private space by bringing all the stuff that I have in my bedroom includes pillow,teddy bears, photo album, speakers, toothbrush and tooth paste, cup. The first site I explore is Southbank and the process happened for 2 hours from 3.30 to 5.30pm. The first hour I left the installation by itself there and quite lots people , I guess they are tourists, taking photos of my work. The second half of the time I sat down there and read books, talking on the phone or lying down in order to put more actions in to attract people and hope I can get more interesting reactions. But the plan is not really sucessful , people just looking at me and my work while they walking passby. Noone really stop to talk with me or to look carefully on my installation. I think it is because of the site I choose is Southbank, a n office place and a bit of a high class and bussiness people so they wont care or dont have time to care about this litle thing. But it is the first starting of my project so it is quite helpful for me to understand my own project by undertake the action.

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Truc Vo


Monday, 10th May, 2010

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?

is it where you live ... development Developed from the first installation, I picked the other site to test the idea, Bourke Street Mall, and I also chose the evening time so as to relate with the concept of the installation when it is dark. The process was same with the previous work, half time of installation by itself and half time of action within the installation. But to adjust the action from the sooner work, I really lied there to sleep for the whole time and record people reactions by video. The feedback I’ve got is 3 people started to talk with me and a lot people stopped by and wondering to their partner or friends what I am doing there, what happening there.

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Truc Vo


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Monday, 10th May, 2010

Public reaction

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Truc Vo


Monday, 10th May, 2010

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A gentleman stopped by , sat down and started a conversation with me. It was an interesting encounter I’ve got .

Man : “ Hello, is it where you live? “ Me : “ Do you think so?” Man : “ I don’t know. Seems like you have your living stuffs here and you are sleeping.” Me : “ I’m not living here but I’m kind of bringing my private domain into public. So what do you think about this? “ Man :” oh....I don’t know. I just passed by and saw you were lying here. I thought you don’t have any places to live, or i don’t know you are upset or something? “ Me : “ I’m doing a design project about how private and public space merge into each other, so I create this installation like a private

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space in a public space, then see how ppl react to this.” Man : “ That’s interesting. So you mean you ‘r doing something like make your own private space in public like when people have a picnic or I usually lie on the grass and read book in the park, is that right? “ Me : “ Yes it is. But from those things I push the boundary of private and public space merge into each other further by bringing something or doing something more personal in public.” Man : “ Well that’s great. I think those stuffs are good to represent your personal space......”

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Tuesday, 25th May, 2010

on the tram , Flinder St. tram stop

brush teeth, shower in public? After receiving feedback and reaction for my installation, Im thinking of making more private action in public space rather than just set up installation, to understand more of the context and the power of representation of personal objects. I decided to hold my personal objects: toothbrush,towel and a cup and walk along the street or get on the tram to join in the public. The second time, to develop that idea more I brought more things like shampoo, shower gel,toothbrush and tooth paste. Being inside public and doing the same thing with people but just by holding those objects as like I’m going to brush my teeth or shower in public, I catched people attention more.

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Truc Vo


Tuesday, 25th May, 2010

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2D + 3D INSTALLATION

After experienced the action in public and understanding the personal objects,how it represent in public, I developed my concept further by creating a combination of 2d + 3d installtion, less objects than my previuos installation but stronger show the idea of a private domain. The installation objects are toothbrush, tooth paste, slipper and towel. Quite a big amount of people stopped to look at my installation or stared at it while they passing by. The site I investigate this time is North Melbourne.

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Truc Vo


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Sunday, 6th June, 2010

2D + 3D INSTALLATION

development Quite successful with the idea of 2d + 3d installation, I decided to push it further more for my process. I redo the sticky tape house but give more perspective and image of a house. The objects are still same plus a book named “Sensual Home” and a note book, pen with a sign “Please help! Give me some words” aside so that I can get response and feedback from people. The result is quite interesting that people actually really sat down to write comment, some is curioused by what other people wrote there, but then also there are some bad people just wrote

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some crap things.The most successfull that people understand my concept and they are not disgreed with the idea of creating a private domain within public space which is shared by everyone . Looking back the whole process that I did, I did understand the objects that I used, how it worked in public and the improvement of my design from the whole stage of a bedroom, a personal domain to just few objects together with 2d image but strongly represent the concept of the mixture between private and public space.

Truc Vo


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Sunday, 6th June, 2010

P U B L I C F E E D B A C K

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Truc Vo


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Sunday, 6th June, 2010

Public feedback

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Truc Vo


Friday, 30th April, 2010

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TECHNICAL - THE WAY WE COMMUNICATE IDEA WITH PUBLIC

Improvisation Sculpture in Public

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Truc Vo


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Friday, 30th April, 2010

In technical class, we learn how to communicate our idea with public, and how to document the moment, the feedback and reaction from public in different ways.

have you seen me?

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Truc Vo


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Friday, 30th April, 2010

I can see the whole city...

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Truc Vo


Friday, 7th May, 2010

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For your safety, you are being recorded...

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