What will life in the era of the metropolis look like?
By 2050 it is estimated that 70 per cent of the world’s population will be urban, with Australia’s major cities expected to nearly double in size.
A new exhibition at RMIT’s Design Hub provides ideas and answers to this and other questions of how we will meet the challenges of life in the modern metropolis.
Running to Saturday 24 September, Occupied, brings together local and international practitioners – from artists to architects – to showcase proposals for housing more with less, retrofitting, adapting and repurposing existing structures and environments.
Co-curator Fleur Watson said that we don’t yet know where or how this growing population will be housed, as most of the buildings that will make up these cities have already been built.
“The city is occupied not just by buildings but also by the political and economic structures that dictate the use of those buildings, and which, at present, hinder sufficient and equitable access to housing,” she said.
It’s clear that the transformative ideas of our time will not be sweeping and grandiose visions.
“Unlike the great architects of the 20th Century – who wishfully imagined the city as a tabula rasa or accepted exile on the urban fringe – today’s creative thinkers must find space for an ever-growing populace within a finite and decaying urban fabric,” Watson said.
“The ideas that thrive in this context will be small-scale, contingent and combinatory, operating at the margins or the in-between, within bureaucratic grey-zones or emerging economies.”
Ranging from the pragmatic to the utopian, the research-driven to the purely speculative, Occupied anticipates the critical design approaches, ideas and strategies of the imminent future.
Students will have the opportunity to book and occupy Supershared – a shared loft-like space projecting out and into Design Hub’s Project Room 1 gallery space throughout the duration of the exhibition.
The project speaks to the dexterity and responsiveness of the shared economy and explores where the boundaries between private and public space are blurred.
Occupied exhibitors include: 5th Studio, all(zone), Ash Keating, Atlanta Eke, Baracco + Wright Architects, Black Kosloff Knott Architects and Monash Arts Projects (MAP), Breathe Architecture, Callum Morton and Toby Reed, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism & MAIO, Flores Prats Architects, Jack Self, Lacaton & Vassal and Frédéric Druot Architecture, Liam Young, Lyons Architecture, Harrison and White, Maddison Architects, MvS Architects, NMBW Architecture Studio, MAPA, Office for Political Innovation, Otherothers, Spacemarket, Stefano Boeri Studio with The BlinkFish, TOMA!, Vokes and Peters. Supershared is created by Jacqui Alexander and Sibling.
Occupied is curated by Grace Mortlock, David Neustein, Fleur Watson. Exhibition design is by Otherothers. Graphic design isby Sean Hogan, Trampoline. The exhibition is supported by BOOM Studios.
Story: Kate Riggs