News ยป POSTED 28.05.2019


The Pracice Research Symposium (PRS) is a twice-yearly gathering of research candidates enrolled at RMIT in disciplines associated with Architecture and Design.

Please note there will be no late entries after the examination start times.

Thursday 6 June

Paul Loh
Digital material practice: the agency of making
10am – 12pm
Audience to arrive by 9:45am. Strictly no entry after 10am

Project Room 1, Level 2, Design Hub
Examiners: Prof Marc Aurel Schnabel, Dr Dermott McMeel
Chair: A/Prof Charles Anderson
Supervisors: Dr Malte Wagenfeld, Prof Jane Burry

Advanced digital fabrication has coupled virtual design modelling and material prototyping in new ways. This has permeated the discourse of architectural teaching, research and practice. A complicated relationship between the production of architecture and digital technology emerges especially when examined through the medium of making. Making is typically seen as an activity that is a means to an end: to achieve a built outcome. I have researched whether the activity of making can be a generative design process in its own right; a knowledge-generating activity.

In this research, I reconsider the relationship between contemporary tectonic culture and digital fabrication in what I call a ‘digital material practice’. This is a model of practice that employs the act of making and digital fabrication as drivers for its generative design process. The fabrication workflow, prototypes and tools emerge as critical agents. These agents have an agentive capacity to deliver what I call affordances for design. Affordances produce emergent aesthetic values that contribute to the formulation and negotiate architectural design intentions through a continuous feedback process. These values are uncovered during and after the act of making.

Gyungju Chyon
The Attentive Maker: forwarding the interrelationality of thing, material, environment and maker
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Audience to arrive by 2:15am. Strictly no entry after 2:30pm

Project Room 2, Level 2, Design Hub
Examiners: Dr Janine Randerson, Dr Ainslie Murray
Chair: A/Prof Mick Douglas
Supervisors: A/Prof Charles Anderson, Dr Scott Mitchell, Prof Pia Ednie-Brown

The Attentive Maker investigates the ways in which a designer may approach the making of things in consonance with the inherent aliveness of materials. Between things, materials, environments and makers, there forms a relational field where the dynamic interplay between all of these entities emerges.

Materials and things are open to interrelations with their environment, producing spatiotemporal qualities. Heightening this openness means allowing materials, environments, and the maker to come in and out of their relational field, and in turn, making and re-making relationships between them. To do this, rather than controlling materials, the maker needs to be precise in setting up the conditions for this relationship to play out and be attuned to the ways in which this complex interplay is manifested. At the same time, vagueness is important so as not to close up the emerging interrelationality. This is what it means for the maker to be attentive to the interrelationality of things.

The research gives a detailed account of the experience of making and observing things after they are made through design projects utilising a wide range of materials from ceramic to algae, textiles to sunlight, paper to bacteria, and digital sensors to fog.

Friday 7 June

John de Manincor
Surface and the Spaces Between: an exploration of surface – space relationships in architecture through the work of AO: The Architecture Office
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Audience to arrive by 2:15am. Strictly no entry after 2:30pm

Project Room 2, Level 2, Design Hub
Examiners: Dr Christopher Pierce, Dr Stephen Neille
Chair: A/Prof Paul Minifie
Supervisors: Prof Martyn Hook, A/Prof Richard Black

This inquiry explores surface as a boundary condition in the conception, construction and consumption of architecture through the work of AO: The Architecture Office.

A key outcome of this research casts surface as the simultaneous limit of material and boundary of space. I have come to understand surface as a “multifarious condition”. The ‘multifarious surface’ is neither explicitly cladding nor structure, rather it is simply the conceptual construct that brings them into existence. The dual roles of the ‘multifarious surface’ move away from existing notions in the discipline whereby surface is first and foremost a material condition (from surface as cladding or skin, patterned or otherwise) to surface as the conceptual state of the boundary. It is simultaneously passive and active, implied as both material and immaterial, affective and effective.

The ‘multifarious surface’ rejects material authenticity as a default position in pursuit of conceptual autonomy, yet acknowledges the constraints of physics and economics in a process that oscillates between ideas about buildings and buildings about ideas. To think of surface in this manner is a potentially liberating way of conceiving and perceiving architecture, whereby idea, volume and form might be continually decoupled and recoupled from questions of material and construction – each through the lens of surface.

Ben Milbourne
MUTATIONS: Experiments in typology, process and the instrumentality of recognition
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Audience to arrive by 2:15am. Strictly no entry after 2:30pm

Project Room 1, Level 2, Design Hub
Examiners: Prof Sarah McGann, Prof Alan Pert
Chair: Prof Leon van Schaik
Supervisors: Prof Vivian Mitsogianni, A/Prof Roland Snooks, Dr Leanne Zilka

This research is a reflection on the creative practice of Ben Milbourne, investigating the criteria used and the judgement of their application in the development of architectural and design works. The focus of this PhD has been on exploring processes of transformation, or mutation, of typological information embedded within existing built environments in response to changes in what we require of buildings and the evolving ways in which they are realised. In the context of this research, ‘Mutate’ is related to its etymological root in Latin, meaning ‘to change’ reflecting an interest in the transition from one configuration to another of architectural traits (formal, spatial, surface and others), while remaining recognisably related to the original or base condition. Investigations documented include an examination of the way in which this practice seeks to engage with existing built environments, articulating a distinction between urban ‘data’ manifestation within a particular place and typological ‘information’ identifiable through the examination of multiple objects or environments of the same type. Through this research I describe a projective typological approach for new design works that carry this typological information for insertions within existing built environments. I also explore design strategies for accommodating programmatic volatility that privileges indeterminacy and investigates the implications of the adoption of advanced fabrication on the design outputs and the organisations of my practice.