The RMIT Design Archives is involved in a range of grant applications related to its collections.
Archiving Digital Architectural Records
Title of grant: Securing and enabling access to knowledge for the future: archiving digital architectural records
Professor Harriet Edquist is a member of a transdisciplinary project team that was successful in securing an RTIS grant of $36,800 from the University of South Australia for 2015-2016. Associate Professor Christine Garnaut, Director of the Architecture Museum, UniSA, is lead CI on the project which concerns itself with issues faced by the Architecture Museum and the RMIT Design Archives around the management of digital architectural archives.
The project addresses the challenge of archiving and collecting records that are produced in digital environments, specifically in the field of architecture, in order to secure and enable their future access to practitioners and researchers. The emergence of digital technology has had a significant impact on the way in which buildings are designed and constructed. From being regarded initially as a tool to aid design, the computer is now commonly considered as integral to the design process. The digital environment in which an architectural project is developed involves computer hardware and software and digital files. The records of the process of designing a building cover a broad spectrum. They include virtual and physical models that explore its potential shape and form, sketches, plans, renderings, correspondence and other documents like photographs, emails, faxes, specifications and contracts.
Australian collecting institutions are yet to systematically interrogate the challenges of born digital architectural records but investigations are underway overseas. The project adapts one approach, the ‘archaeology of the digital’, in progress at the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
ARC Discovery Project: DP160103820 2016-2018
Title of grant: Bauhaus Australia: Transforming Education in Art, Architecture and Design
An under-examined but profound influence on Australian cultural history was the forced migration of émigré and refugee modernists from Germany and central Europe, who transformed art, architectural and design education from the 1930s to the 1970s. German and central European training, inspired by the Bauhaus, centred on systematic approaches to pictorial method and design, colour theory and art education, all underwritten by an all-encompassing social ambition. This project will provide a new cross-disciplinary history of modernism in Australia that shifts focus from solo contributions to the networks of education, where modernism’s impact was most public, widespread and influential.
Central to generations of children, students and practitioners educated in art, architecture and design from the 1930s to the 1970s was the influence of Bauhaus-inspired émigrés from Germany and central Europe, who transformed Australian cultural life. This project will bring to public attention - via publication, digital media, exhibitions and public events - a new chapter in Australia’s migration history. It will chart, for the first time, the profound impact of modernism through education.
- Professor Philip Goad, CI, University of Melbourne
- Professor Andrew McNamara, CI, QUT
- Dr Ann Stephen, CI, University of Sydney
- Professor Harriet Edquist, CI, RMIT University
- Professor Dr Isabel Wunsche, PI, Jacobs University, Bremen