A Guide to the Architecture and Art of RMIT University
Harriet Edquist & Elizabeth Grierson, A Skilled Hand and Cultivated Mind: A Guide to the Architecture and Art of RMIT University (2nd edition), Melbourne, RMIT Press, 2012 [1st edition 2008].
This book tells the story of RMIT University through its art and architecture from its early beginnings as the Working Men’s College in 1887 through to today 2012. Its title derives from the original motto, perita manus, mens exculta, skilled hand and cultivated (or civilised) mind. The research reveals art and design practice in action via image and text, telling the story of RMIT’s art and architecture from 1887 to 2007. The 2008 edition was written to mark the 120th anniversary of the University’s founding by focusing on art and architecture, which were among the first disciplines to be taught at the founding Working Men’s College.
Today in 2012, the same two writers were commissioned by the Vice-Chancellor to revise and enlarge the book (2nd edition) for the 125th anniversary (which runs from June 2012 to June 2013), by researching the extensive capital works programme of architectural designs and art acquisitions and commissions since 2008. Such designs in the built environment become the visual manifestation of a ’creative university’, including a 10 storey Design Hub in Melbourne for research into and through design, a separate building for the Design Archives, a new state-of-the-art academic building in Swanston Street for Business education, significant upgrades of historic buildings including Ormond’s first building in La Trobe Street, pockets of landscaping to provide green spaces in a crowded inner-city campus, and new buildings at the Bundoora and Vietnam Campuses. In the art collection there are significant extensions to the Indigenous art collection, and works by alumni and present art academics. The research presents a history of the creative productions of this University.
Writers: Professor Elizabeth Grierson and Professor Harriet Edquist
Research Fellows: Dr Tammy Hulbert and Dr Emma Barrow
Project Manager: Sally Jones