Architecture+Philosophy has presented an inspiring diversity of thinkers, makers, collaborators and speakers across 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. In 2009 the series took a short break, presenting:




School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University
with sponsoring partners:
Faculty of Design, Swinburne University,
VESKI (Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation), and
Design Victoria


Form in Thought:
New insights at the core of Design Thinking

6:00pm Thursday 19 November, 2009
RMIT Lecture Theatre 8.11.68
Building 8, Level 11, Room 68
360 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Form is central to how we comprehend experience, yet there has been little attention paid to the role form plays in purposeful thought and designing. How formative thought generates identity, meaning, and closure to facilitate recall, the communication of information, and interaction with the external world will be suggested. The situated reflective nature of the interpretation, synthesis, and expression of form and how inputs from different sources are blended and compressed to a human scale will be outlined. A new approach to form that is more appropriate to how the mind works is proposed. An agency capable of interpreting and expressing percepts, meanings, messages and other artifacts is described. The central role of form in cognition, interactive media, and communication is explained.

DR CHARLES BURNETTE (USA) specialises in design management, design systems, ecological design, sustainability and construction and transport (see www.idesignthinking.com). Formerly Dean, School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin, Director of the Graduate Program in Industrial Design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, and Chairman of its Industrial Design Department. Burnette was a consultant on the practical arts to the groundbreaking Edison Project; twice a juror for the IDEA awards; he served for 10 years on the International Advisory Board, University of Art and Design UIAH, Helsinki; he has been a frequent speaker in European design schools and at the European Union’s Cumulus Program on Design Education; and he is widely published on topics such as design management, design systems, ecological design and design education. He has led workshops and studios in Canada, Finland, Taiwan, Sweden, Germany and Slovenia and chaired several conferences. He is now writing a book about the design model, its foundations in cognitive science and its application.




Professor Jane Rendell
To and Fro: A Site Writing

Friday 18 September, 2009, 6.00pm
RMIT Lecture Hall 8.11.68 (Building 8, Level 11, Room 68)

Bar 8.11.01
Free event - no bookings required

To and Fro: A Site-Writing
Referencing Didier Anzieu’s work on the skin-ego, while also drawing on the differing spatial relations between conscious, preconscious and unconscious, and ego, id and superego, in Sigmund Freud’s first and second topographies, To and Fro explores movement across boundaries between private and public, inside and outside. Materially present in artworks by Nathan Coley and Jananne Al-Ani, screens and veils are considered to separate and join critic and artwork. Sited at particular positions in relation to the artworks, the texts play with a changing fluctuation of 'I', 'you' and ‘s/he’ to and fro across the threshold. Referencing the repetitive play of fort/da, one piece of site-writing returns in another, to be re-worked finally in a two-part text installation: An Embellishment: Purdah (2006).

PROFESSOR JANE RENDELL BA (Hons), Dip Arch, MSc, PhD, is Director of Architectural Research at the Bartlett, UCL. An architectural designer and historian, art critic and writer, her work has explored various interdisciplinary intersections: feminist theory and architectural history, fine art and architectural design, autobiographical writing and criticism. She is author of Site-Writing: The Architecture of Art Criticism (forthcoming 2009), Art and Architecture (2006), The Pursuit of Pleasure (2002) and co-editor of Pattern (2007), Critical Architecture (2007), Spatial Imagination (2005), The Unknown City (2001), Intersections (2000), Gender Space Architecture (1999) and Strangely Familiar (1995).

She is on the Editorial Board for ARQ (Architectural Research Quarterly), Haecceity, The Happy Hypocrite, The Issues and the Journal of Visual Culture in Britain, a member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2004–2008) and chair of the RIBA President’s Awards for Research (2005–2007). In 2006 she was a research fellow at CRASSH (Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) at the University of Cambridge and received an honorary degree from the University College of the Creative Arts, and in 2008 she was awarded Research Leave from the AHRC to complete her site-writing book.

She has been invited to write about artists such as Jananne Al Ani, Daniel Arsham, Bik Van Der Pol, Nathan Coley, Janet Hodgson, Jane Prophet, Tracey Moffatt, Adriana Verajao, Richard Wentworth, and the Estonian Pipe Line project exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2008. Her talks and texts have been commissioned by galleries, for example, the Baltic, Gallerie Emmanuel Perotin, the Hayward, the Kunstmuseet Koge Skitsesamling, Kunstmuseum Thon, the Serpentine, the Tate, the Wapping Project and the Whitechapel.

Assembled in 2007, Urban Interior investigates the relation between people and the urban condition. As the number of people living in urban areas begins to exceed those in rural areas, a paradigm shift must be actuated to accommodate new social relations borne out of innovative technological, sensory, physiological, environmental and material dimensions. Urban Interior investigates how the aesthetics of the spatial + temporal dimensions of design contribute to, and engage with, this emerging social condition. What might be the contribution of design disciplines in this new mode of urban inhabitation? 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? As a research group, {UI} is composed of a range of disciplines including fashion, art, landscape architecture, sound, interior design, architecture, and industrial design. 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 acronym {UI} is also suggestive of the focus of our research; there is an attention to both the individual and collective nature of the habitation of environments: you and I.

Urban Interior is part of the Customising Space research stream at the Design Research Institute in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University. It receives funding from the Design Research Institute and the School’s Research Committee. UI members: Suzie Attiwill ¦ Kate Church ¦ Mick Douglas ¦ Michael Fowler ¦ Robyn Healy ¦ Rochus Urban Hinkel ¦ Roger Kemp ¦ Mick Peel ¦ Malte Wagenfeld ¦



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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. Co-curator Dr Hélène Frichot is on study leave in Germany for the first half of 2009. New to the series as guest curator in 2008 was Chelle Macnaughtan. about the curators


Summer 2005 Past MSCP Sessions