News » POSTED 17.06.2015

Postgraduate Research Symposium (PRS) June 2015

The Practice Research Symposium (PRS) is a twice-yearly gathering of research candidates enrolled at RMIT in disciplines associated with Architecture and Design. The PRS’s prime purpose is to be the tangible focus of a learning community - its home so to speak. As we all know, people learn more from each other than they do from abstract structures, and the PRS is first and foremost a gathering of peers.

The PRS is run in June and October each year.

Serial Individualities: At the Junction of Special Occasion Micro-design Practice and Sustainability, 2010 - 2015

Supervisors: Associate Professor Soumitri Varadarajan and Dr Jessica Bugg

Contemporarily, special occasion dresses are staged in settings such as the “red carpet” arrival at an awards ceremony, or sitting “front row” at a fashion parade. Such settings are complex ecosystems in which many actors contribute to the construction of effects including fascination or derision. Against the backdrop of this popular culture context is a making practice concerned with the construction of one dress for one person using techniques of co-design, made-to-measure and craft-based making. It is also a design practice concerned with sustainability, which is addressed through a material lens of garment making as well as through exploring the socially-grounded potential of occasion dresses. This creative practice research demonstrates that practicing sustainable fashion within the one-off context involves teasing out tensions: between the pragmatic priorities of sustainability and the poetic impulses of fashion design, or between the material preoccupations of the designer, and the social nature of the occasion stakeholder network.

Wind Analysis in the Early Design Stage: An Empirical Study of Wind Visualisation Techniques for Architects, 2011 - 2015

Supervisors: Associate Professor Jane Burry, Professor Mark Burry, Professor Simon Watkins and Dr Yan Ding

This research develops a study about wind analysis techniques for rapid wind visualisation in the early design stage (EDS). The aim is to investigate, through empirical studies and architectural explorations of windbreaks, the CFD-PST (computational fluid dynamics-performance sketch tool) and other techniques for rapid wind visualisation, in order to evaluate their support for architects’ practice in the EDS. The results of this study present an evaluation of these wind visualisation technologies as a clear hierarchy for rapid feedback, regarding requirements of visualisation complexity and extension of generation process. In addition, the study suggests architectural protocols for rapid visualisation and feedback in design process workflows. Finally, this research examines design rules of aerodynamic features, through rapid wind visualisation, to improve architectural exploration of windbreak design, for outdoor microclimatic control.

Bruegelage – Interrogations Into Nine Concurrent Creative Practices, 2009 - 2015

Supervisors: Professor Richard Blythe and Dr Marcelo Stamm

This research examines an experimental architectural practice and uncovers nine sub-practices within: design through explicit re-working of the propositions of other architects; design through less explicit re-working; design through implicit reference to everyday objects; design through intuition and explicit strategy; design through chunking and interrupting chunking; design through a deliberate pursuit of discomfort; design through abrogation of the author; advocacy as a design process; and a practice titled ‘fake-it until you make-it’.

The knowledge uncovered takes the form of: the idea that a selected community of peers can have influence over a creative practice by virtue of the knowledge of the existence of the peers; finding that the complexity of the intertwined nature of motivations, contexts, communities, collaborators, clients and random sources is an integral part of creative practice; the method of being able to become aware of this complexity without dismantling it; and the observation that any legitimate claim to authorship is placed amidst a conglomeration of legitimate claims by others.

Photography: courtesy of RMIT, School of Architecture & Design

Ears in Motion: Designs for the Sounds of Sport, 2011 - 2015

Supervisors: Associate Professor Lawrence Harvey and Mr Andrew Burrow

Athletes hear many different sounds while playing sport: the sounds of teammates, crowds, equipment, their own body, and their mind. This PhD outlines the design of a new “toolkit” for describing, recording, and representing this richly varied terrain. This toolkit has two components. The first is a notation system for describing the auditory experiences of athletes. The second is a wearable microphone system for capturing the sounds of an athlete’s body and equipment. While existing microphone systems often capture sound from the side-lines, this new system has been designed from the “ground up,” integrating new circuit designs and 3D printed microphone enclosures. Both the creative and diagnostic possibilities of this new “toolkit” have been explored by the author and other athletes, offering new insights into the auditory experience of athletes and a new framework integrating sport, media and sound studies.