21 Oct – 15 Nov 2015
I Teach year 7 and the students are looking at ways to improve the livability of their suburbs. Today I saw an exhibition at the Belconnen Arts Centre of landscape design students from the University of Canberra. The UC students produced three panel mock ups of solutions of a feature to make communities better. It was inspiring to me just to absorb the wide range of considerations that were woven into their designs so I will use their approach in teaching the students on Monday.
Their projects included some park solutions at Marulan, a park facility at Mulligans flat, a landscape response to embed the Islamic centre into the southern suburb of Monash and an art/ sculpture park at Queanbeyan. Each project was addressed by two students with different emphasis and all of them wove wider considerations into their project. The panels were huge so it is hard to put them with this post but I will include some detail shots I liked.
27 June -1 November
I love historical survey art exhibitions and “The Road to Wollongong” is a good one. It begins with indigenous leaders leading anglos down the Bulli Pass. It includes lots of wonderful paintings and drawings of the developing landscape and settlement of the region. There are some confronting industrial images, there are historical objects and heaps of insights into the life of the various peoples of the communities of the area. The exhibition includes some community campaigns for workers rights and against war.
A virtue of an exhibition like this is that it takes snapshots of the past of the region and inserts them into the present. This process confronts us with past values and ideas and some of those are uncomortable. Attitudes to race is changing and this exhibition demonstrates past approaches.. There are several other past insights. Wollongong has changed and the works I loved the most were those of Riste Andrievski which record the industrial past in charcoal bleakness.
Below are some sample pictures a web page and a flyer.
In an arcade at Parramatta the other day I had a conversation with Steven Liaros and Nimini De Silva in a Pop up gallery. They are collaborating to have conversations with the public about cities, their qualities their futures, people and their participation in their cities. It was fascinating to chat with a town planner and a water focused photographer and I bet a project like this has started lots of interesting conversations. A great idea.
Harry Seidler was a significant contributor to the built environment of Australia and especially Sydney. He was also influential in the intellectual world of architectural and design debates of the last half century or more. The current exhibition in the Museum of Sydney celebrates Seidler, his development his major work, his intellectual heroes and the many processes he went through in his creative work.
The exhibition is rich with photographs, blue prints, historical text, models, and other helpful materials to convey the importance of his contribution to architecture and to the city of Sydney. The Museum of Sydney does a continuing good job of representing the history of the built form of Sydney and this exhibition does that to a high standard.
I have never seen so many people jammed into the level three exhibition space of the Museum of Sydney when I went on Thursday. They ranged from three to eighty. They were all there because of their fascination with those ubiquitous coloured plastic bricks – Lego. Engagement, chat, fun, collaboration, creativity were all filling the air.
For me the magnet was the set of great world tower buildings created out of Lego over thousands of hours with thousands of bricks. Impressive does not get close. These towers are up to three metres tall and reflect the distinctive shapes of the towers.
I loved the information burbs supplied with the tower models. For each tower there is a brief summary of the building itself including floors, completion date, name, city and designers. Then there is a panel on the Lego model including the number of bricks used and hours taken to complete. The Shanghai Tower used 105,000 bricks and 185 hours to complete and is over three metres tall. Obviously these are not for the usual household workers to produce.
In the room people can create towers and other buildings and put them on the central table for other visitors to enjoy. The central table has offerings that reflect adventurous and mundane design, symmetry and randomness, careful colour lay out and chaotic colour choice. the most surprising one to me was one that was largely a single stack of bricks that stood over a metre tall – a testament to the exact tolerances of Lego parts.
Having spent thousands of fun filled hours of my life with Lego and children this exhibition is a great place to spend a few hours and it was marvelous to see three 20 something mates in the room constructing stuff in the midst of children, parents and grandparents.