February 7
from 6:00pm
Prof Richard Blythe Questions of space: of architecture and philosophy FedSq
BMW Edge
March 20
from 6:00pm
Susanne Hofmann Atmosphere as a Design Strategy of Participation
BMW Edge
April 17
from 6:30pm
Alex Selenitch sets/series/suites RMIT 8.11.68
May 15
from 6:00pm
Dr Michael Fowler Teimu (the garden of dreams): aural and aesthetic attributes of Japanese gardens as models for spatial environments
BMW Edge
June 5
with drinks from 6:00pm
Ashley Shafer
Co-presented with the RMIT Design Research Institute
Urban Matters: moving beyond indeterminism vs. determinism RMIT 8.11.68

June 9
from 6:30pm

Tony Fry

Making Time : Design and the Materialisation of Ethics in the Age of Unsettlement RMIT 8.11.68
30 June -
5 July at RMIT Storey Hall
International Association for Philosophy and Literature conference: presented by RMIT & Latrobe Universities
July 24
from 6:30pm
State of Design Festival Satellite Program copresentation Architecture on Paper: a panel featuring editors of architecture magazines RMIT 8.11.68
August 14
from 6:30pm
Maggie McCormick The Transient City: mapping urban consciousness through contemporary art RMIT 8.11.68
September 11
from 6:30pm
Urban Interior Discussing an urban interior occupation RMIT 8.11.68
24 Septmber - 12 October The Age 2008 Melbourne Fringe Festival
October 16
from 6:30pm
Julieanna Preston Furnishing, Fields, Matter RMIT 8.11.68
November 13
from 6:00pm
Lauren Brown and Nella Themelios Curating in the public space FedSq
BMW Edge

The 2008 program was presented by RMIT Architecture and Design and Federation Square.

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Professor in Architecture and Head of the School of Architecture + Design at RMIT

6:00pm Thursday, 7 February at the BMW Edge, Federation Square

This talk will discuss the collaboration between architects and philosophers in writing the book Terroir: Cosmopolitan Ground (DAB Documents 2007). The process involved a series of workshops, exchanges and symposia over a period of two and a half years in which the authors explored themes of convergent interest in the disciplines of philosophy and architecture. The talk will consider the productive moments from an architectural perspective.

RICHARD BLYTHE is a founding director of the architecture practice Terroir. The work of Terroir has been recognised through exhibition and publication nationally and internationally and their first book Terroir: Cosmopolitan Ground was published in August 2007 by DAB Documents, UTS Sydney. Richard is currently serving his second term as Chair of the National Education Committee of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

Richard’s academic passion is in exploring research in the medium of design. Prior to taking up his position at RMIT Richard had lectured at the University of Tasmania for 14 years where he served as Deputy Head of the School of Architecture until mid 2007. Richard gained a B.EnvDes and B.Arch from the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology and an M.Arch (research) specializing in Australian architectural history from the University of Melbourne. Richard served one term as President of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand.

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6:00pm Thursday, 20 March at the BMW Edge, Federation Square

The "Baupiloten" investigate the spatial desires of potential users in terms of atmospheric qualities. Out of the imaginations of such potential users, and out of the visible and invisible spatial moods, they evolve a palpable architecture that triggers communication and acts as a social catalyst.

As the starting point for their own design in several Berlin projects the "Baupiloten" used children's architectural ideas: these projects are intended to be on such a scale that would allow them to impact upon the surroundings and help improve the quality of life in disadvantaged districts of Berlin.

Architect SUSANNE HOFMANN is Visiting Scholar in the Program of Interior Design, RMIT School of Architecture and Design, and Head of Die Baupiloten - bridging education, practice and research.

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Senior Lecturer in Architecture, the University of Melbourne

6:30pm Thursday, 17 April at RMIT 8.11.68

Many artists produce compositions consisting of a group of works, where each piece is a separate work as well as a contributor to the composition of the group. Analysis of such compositions from various disciplines, and the complementary invention of creative works by the candidate have been combined to reveal three distinct strategies in such compositions: SETS (where works share explicit criteria); SERIES (where works exhibit a predictable difference) and SUITES (where works provoke complementary differences).

In this study, the three strategies are articulated through the following methods and formats:

Firstly, each strategy is discussed through an essay which deals with origins and derivations, that strategy’s formal properties and its individual compositional procedures. The essays use examples of multiple works from a wide range of disciplines: literature, printmaking, painting, sculpture, and music. These examples are presented as relatively pure versions of each strategy.

Secondly, the properties uncovered in the essays are summarised as a Matrix, which provides a means of both comparing and separating the three strategies. The matrix is intended to apply to all creative disciplines and to be used as both an analytic tool and a creative checklist.

Thirdly, a number of well-known architectural works are analysed through the properties outlined in the Matrix. The works range from complex single buildings to groups of buildings. The analyses show how SETS, SERIES and SUITES can be mixed in a multiple composition.

Fourthly, three architectural projects by the candidate show how the strategies of SETS, SERIES and SUITES can be applied as a project proceeds, as a planning tool for a multiple work, and as formal control. The projects are presented as individual reports.

Fifthly, commentaries on these projects from the point of view of the three strategies are presented as essays; these also include related comments on the nature of architectural design practice.

Sixthly, analyses of the SET, SERIES and SUITE characteristics of the candidate’s three architectural projects are presented as matrix charts and Venn diagrams.

To widen the discussion, the common strategy of theme and variation is redefined using the principles uncovered in examining the strategy of sets. Related effects of multiplicity such as translation, metaphor and performance are also noted, and to widen the context of compositional activity still further, the perennial problem of the multiplicity and unity of the arts is discussed in the light of the three strategies.

The study concludes with observations on the diffuse nature of the methodology, on the potential of the Matrix for both art and non-art situations, and on potential future works.

SINCE GRADUATING AS AN ARCHITECT IN 1969, DR ALEX SELENITSCH has taught architectural design, theory and history at Deakin University, RMIT and The University of Melbourne. He currently teaches architectural design. His PhD on narrative descriptions of architecture is in progress. He writes essays and criticism on architectural design, sculpture, painting and literature. His essay 'The Bell Mandala' appears in The Life Work of Guilford Bell, Architect 1912–92. He was the guest editor for the June 1999 issue of Imprint, the journal of the Print Council of Australia, on the theme of artists' books. He also makes and exhibits sculpture and furniture, sometimes in collaboration with Hamish Hill. He is a member of the Public Art Committee of the Melbourne City Council.

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Dr Michael Fowler
with Lawrence Harvey Director, SIAL Sound Studios

6:00pm Thursday, 15 May at the BMW Edge, Federation Square

Traditional Japanese garden design has greatly influenced both twentieth-century Western landscape designers and composers of Western art music. By investigating the aural and aesthetic attributes of five renowned Japanese gardens through mapping techniques that include the capture of spatial auditory recordings, RMIT and University of Melbourne researchers have worked over the past two years on strategies for the representation, 3-space modelling and auralisation of large environmental invariant data-sets. Lawrence Harvey and Dr. Michael Fowler will present research to date on the project, and explore the potential of the work to inform future design processes in architecture, installation and urban sound design.

MICHAEL FOWLER is Research Fellow at RMIT SIAL Sound and a performing musician specialising in the electro-acoustic avant-garde. LAWRENCE HARVEY is Director of RMIT SIAL Sound, lecturer, practicing composer and sound designer. Michael and Lawrence will present research to date on the Teimu project, which is being undertaken through an ARC Discovery Grant with RMIT and Melbourne University researchers.

To offer a proposal for one of the remaining 2008 presentation opportunities, please email us with your abstract and short bio.

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1. URBAN MATTERS: moving beyond indeterminism vs. determinism
6.30pm Thursday, 5th June in RMIT 8.11.68
DRINKS from 6.00pm at Building 8 Level 11 Bar
Sponsored by:
RMIT University Design Research Institute

The double meaning of "Urban Matters" refers to the relevance of urbanism for architecture and reciprocally to the effect of the materials that comprise the contemporary urban condition (only one of which is architecture) on the city. This talk will focus on the interplay between the urban as a site for architecture and the impact of architecture on those sites.

Most urgently, though, cities are faced with issues of a magnitude never before experienced. How can we condsider architecture's ability to effect change when the materials that structure our contemporary cities such as zoning plans, infrastructure, finance, and real estate legislation often escape aesthetic consideration. How can architects direct the various invisible forces which give form to the world around us? The rise of landscape urbanism in the last ten years has provided one means for the architect to be effective through collaboration with landcape architects. Virtually all of these projects remain unbuilt, however, as they are vast in size and scope. Are there other, more immediate ways of operating effectively outside of this model?

ASHLEY SCHAFER is co-founder and co-editor of the journal, PRAXIS. Under her direction, the journal has received critical acclaim as well as numerous awards and honors, including an ID award in 2003, and was twice awarded the largest grant in design from the National Endowment for the Arts.

A writer, designer, and practicing architect, Schafer has lectured and been published internationally. Schafer currently is associate professor, head of Architecture, and director of the Master of Architectural Studies in Criticism program at the Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture. She previously held an appointment as associate professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Schafer holds a BS Arch from the University of Virginia and her M Arch from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

2. MAKING TIME: Design and the Materialisation of Ethics in the Age of Unsettlement
6.30pm Monday, 9th June in RMIT 8.11.68

In the emergent epoch much has to change by design. The aim of this presentation is to explore how it is possible to make sense of this plural moment and then how ‘futuring actions’ can be viewed, and constituted as, ‘ethical things’ able to ‘make time.’ A number of the key implications of the perspective adopted will be outlined for architectural practice.

TONY FRY is a designer, design theorist, cultural theorist and educator. He is a director of sustainability consultancy Team D/E/S, Adjunct Professor, Griffith University, Queensland College of Art, an independent scholar and a contributing editor of the e-journal Design Philosophy Papers and the e-zine Design Philosophy Politics. He is also a farm forester who lives at and works from his and his partner’s farm at Ravensbourne, in the ranges of South East Queensland.

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Co-presented with the State of Design Festival

Thursday, 24 July, 6:30pm at RMIT 8.11.68


State of Design Festival 2008 Design for Everyone

State of Design Festival 2008 Design for Everyone

A design industry forum on publishing and architecture

This July Architecture+Philosophy looks at architecture publishing from the point of view of the architectural ideas themselves. What can be expressed on paper – in text, in image, in diagram, in drawing – that can't be expressed in construction or the built environment? What decisions are made about what architecture is, or what architectural ideas are, from the perspective of the editor and art director? What contribution does architecture publishing make to design discourses in Melbourne, nationally, internationally? What's possible on paper that's not possible elsewhere?

Speakers include
• Dean Boothroyd, architect, Lab architecture studio and editor, Subaud
• Mark Raggatt, architect, ARM and editor, Issue
• Stuart Geddes, co-designer, Is Not Magazine and former art director, Monument
in conversation with Fleur Watson, curator, Design For Everyone, Architecture+Philosophy’s Hélène Frichot and Esther Anatolitis, and you.

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The Transient City: mapping urban consciousness through contemporary art
6.30pm Thursday, 14 August in RMIT 8.11.68

Transience, art and China are drawn together in an inquiry into contemporary urban consciousness. New urban concepts have emerged from the everyday experience of the first Urban Century that cross current cultural boundaries and question ruling paradigms. By focusing on two urban phenomena that have specific presence in contemporary art – the proliferation of Biennales and the China Phenomenon – this presentation investigates altering dimensions of cultural scale and cultural fakeness. These, it is claimed, challenge established definitions of place-specific-belonging and frame a new urban state of mind: urbaness.

MAGGIE McCORMICK is currently undertaking a PhD at the Faculty of Architecture, The University of Melbourne, Australia, following on from an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) at RMIT University. Text and image are integrated in her research.

McCormick is an artist and independent curator who has exhibited and curated projects in Australia, Europe and Asia and lectures in Art in Public Space, the School of Art, RMIT University, Melbourne. In 2006 she undertook a Red Gate Gallery art residency and exhibited in the 798 Art District, Beijing P.R. China as part of her research. Other research exhibitions were held at Palais Porcia, Vienna 2006 and Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne 2007.

Other recent exhibitions of her artwork include 'Wandering Between the Worlds – 10 Artists Between Austria and Australia', Kunstlerhaus, Vienna 2005, 'Siemens Fine Art Scholarships' selected exhibition (shortlisted), RMIT Gallery, RMIT University, Melbourne 2004 and 'Nu Horizons – Australian Women Artists in China', Hangzou Academy of Fine Art and Donghua University Shanghai, 2002.

Recent curatorial work includes 'Global Fusion Close Up' 2005/2006 staged in Melbourne and Vienna incorporating twenty pairs of artists from across the world and 'melbourneconnectionasia' 2003/2004, linking eight cities and forty artists in the Asian region.

A Curriculum Vitae and curatorial projects can be viewed on line:
Artwork from 2006 at
Artwork to 2005 at
Curatorial projects at

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by representatives of the Urban Interior Research Group
6:30pm Thursday, 11 September at RMIT 8.11.68

As the number of people living in urban areas begins to exceed those in rural areas, a genuine cultural paradigm shift must be actuated to accommodate new social relations borne out of innovative technological, sensory, physiological, environmental and material dimensions. What might be the role that the spatial disciplines have in this new model of urban inhabitation? What kinds of inter-relationships between creative spatial practices demonstrate qualities that enable engagement in and sustainable inhabitation of the urban condition?
Urban Interior is a creative research group based at RMIT University investigating how the aesthetics of the spatial + temporal dimensions of design contribute to and engage with this emerging social condition. How can temporary inter-related design actions in urban conditions reveal the kinds of qualities needed to sustain and enrich the increasing inhabitation of urban areas?

In September 2008, Urban Interior will occupy Craft Victoria, Flinders Lane Melbourne. The gallery spaces and surroundings will become a research laboratory to explore the spatial and temporal dimensions of the inhabited, urban environment. Questioning/ignoring the conventional 10am to 5pm opening hours and white cube display of artefacts, Urban Interior takes over Craft Victoria through performances, actions, changes, sound, smell, thoughts, image, discussions, presentations, night and day; redistributing and enfolding outside and insides, individuals and collectives. Craft Victoria will be arranged by acts of crafting as distinct from craft artefacts, by process rather than outcomes. UI – you and I – will encounter, experience and experiment with relational conditions in the urban environment of Melbourne.

Image from ‘Visualising Air’, Malte Wagenfeld

UI is composed of individuals from a range of disciplines including fashion, sound, interior design, architecture, industrial design and art. As a collective, individual research trajectories cover a breadth of practices, scales and concerns from the intimacy of bodies to events within the public realm.

The lecture will co-incide with a ‘Visualising Air’ event led by Malte Wagenfeld happening in the Craft Victoria Occupation. At 7:30pm all are invited to travel down to Craft Victoria to occupy the event.

Tuesday 9 September – Saturday 20 September 2008
Craft Victoria 31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Urban Interior Research Group includes:
Suzie Attiwill, Mick Douglas, Michael Fowler, Robyn Healy, Rochus Urban Hinkel (with Ian de Gruchy and Ramesh Ayyar), Roger Kemp, Mick Peel, and Malte Wagenfeld.

Urban Interior is part of Customising Space research stream at RMIT Design Research Institute. This project is supported by RMIT’s Design Research Institute and the School of Architecture and Design.

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Julieanna Preston, Victoria University of Wellington

6:30pm Thursday, 16 October in RMIT 8.11.68

Furnishing, Fields, Matter migrates between discussions of furniture, décor, inhabitation and comfort to construct a conceptual lens through which interiors are explored as spatial fields of relational surfaces. The artful selection and arrangement of artefacts and objects, interior design’s most conservative and historic purpose, is probed as a philosophic condition of furnishing, a proposition that is fuelled by an analysis of Matisse’s 1911 painting L’ atelier rouge (The Red Studio).

JULIEANNA PRESTON’s practice as an architectural designer, academic researcher and spatial artist continues to oscillate amongst material affirmation and critical reflection. Her recent works are most notably INTIMUS: Interior Design Theory Reader (co-edited with Mark Taylor, Wiley, 2006), Interior Atmospheres (Architectural Design, Wiley Academy, 2008) and Wedges and Shims: Levering a Feminist Interior Practice (Interior Tools, Interior Tactic Conference, Edinburgh, 2008). Julieanna is a senior academic at Victoria University of Wellington and a PhD candidate at RMIT University.

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Lauren Brown and Nella Themelios

6:00pm Thursday, 13 November at the BMW Edge, FedSq

Join artist Lauren Brown and craft and design curator Nella Themelios, discussing current and future collaborations in conversation with Esther Anatolitis this Thursday evening at Federation Square.

Lauren Brown is developing research and an arts practice around the role of experience (and occupation) in space and the public/politic. How can reclaiming an ownership, a personal moment, a intimate relationship – how can knowing a place/public place – translate into a collective care, responsibility for and engagement with public place, life and systems? That is, (a) politics (of public space)?

Lauren's work in two current exhibitions (Making Sense at Craft Victoria, and My World is 15 x 15 at 374 Gallery) relate to this spatial experience directly, by touching it: through measurement and patterning, process and documentation. This practice seeks to extend from this confined process to a wider, public engagement with one's space(s), based on (an) intimate experience.

The work at Craft Victoria is the beginning of a collaboration with curator Nella Themelios, investigating the dynamics and roles of artists and curators within public institutions, public space and politics.

LAUREN BROWN is currently exhibiting work in the Craft Victoria exhibition Making Sense (30 October - 29 November), curated by NELLA THEMELIOS, Craft Victoria's Coordinating Curator.

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New to the series as guest curator in 2008 was Chelle Macnaughtan. Chelle first studied at the Elder Conservatorium of Music before completing degrees in interior design and later architecture with first class honours. Prior to commencing her own practice in 2002, Chelle had worked in other architecture and interior design offices since 1994. She is currently concluding a PhD in Architecture by Project in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT, with a topic involving composer John Cage’s indeterminacy and certain theory of Jacques Derrida and Umberto Eco. Since commencing the PhD, Chelle has been the recipient of a Bailleu Research Scholarship, an Australian Postgraduate Award, and in 2005, she became the inaugural RAIA Lysaght Scholar, which has enabled her to undertake various invitational work in France, Toronto, and Belfast. Her PhD project work is being completed with a speculative architectural proposal of multi-configurable transportable performance spaces for French theatre master Compagnie Philippe Genty, for whom she was invited to prepare a collection of architectural chance based choreographic scores for performance in 2006.

2014 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011/ 2010 / 2009 / 2008 / 2007 / 2006 / 2005 / CURATORS


PAST YEARS' PROGRAMS 2014 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011/ 2010 / 2009 / 2008 / 2007 / 2006 / 2005 / CURATORS

Architecture + Philosophy provides a unique opportunity for a space of exchange between the two disciplines. While what we provide is a local space – Melbourne practitioners on Melbourne issues – Architecture + Philosophy welcomes speakers from any discipline to engage with questions of contemporary urbanism, planning, technology, space, system, design, distribution and other issues in the productive overlap between the two disciplines. We curate a diverse range of presentations, from research students and established academics to architecture and planning practitioners, policy makers, public artists and those working in the world between theory, buildings and the city.

For all enquiries, contact Esther Anatolitis.
about the curators


Summer 2005 Past MSCP Sessions