Review: Experimental Practice exhibition at RMIT Design Hub

By Penny Craswell

A desolate landscape with a long stretch of road. Two cold war era cars pull up and a man gets out of each car. Both men wear the cliched clothes of a cold war era spy. Solemnly, they exchange a suitcase and files before sobbing, getting back in the car and driving away, all filmed with a slow, meditative quality. This is the scenario in London artist Noam Toran’s video work “If We Never Meet Again” which features what the artist calls an “exchange of things by men”. The work explores design as an event and is one of a number of works exploring the limits of design in “Experimental Practice: Provocations In and Out of Design”.

Curated by UNSW’s Katherine Moline (my Masters supervisor), and RMIT’s Brad Haylock and Laurene Vaughan, the exhibition just finished its run at the RMIT Design Hub in Melbourne as part of the 2015 Melbourne International Design Festival and explores what Katherine refers to as “design gone feral”. Rather than showing design as a finished object divorced from its process, the exhibition seeks out work that is in progress,explores works that push the boundaries of design and art, showing process, design thinking and other experimental modes. By doing so, Katherine seeks to: “shift perceptions that works of art and design ‘arrive’ from nowhere both conceptually and materially as fully formed” and in the process provides a series of works that are about change. Read more

Video: Bjarke Ingels on architecture as fiction

“If documentary is to document our world as it already is, fiction is to fantasise about what it could be. In that sense, architecture is the fiction of the real world. Turning dreams into concrete reality with bricks and mortar. Architecture is the canvas for the stories of our lives.”

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG has created an engaging and inventive video sharing some of his ideas about how architecture allows fantasies about the future to become reality. I like the mountain apartments in particular which create a pyramid-like stepping structure so you can have your garden apartment with views in a multi-storey residential tower. And the drawings are fun and well done.

Check out the video on archdaily.


Review of design at Ventura Lambrate during the Milan Furniture Fair

Treasure Island by Noelle Mulder
Treasure Island by Noelle Mulder

“While there is much that is innovative at the fair itself, some of the more experimental work happens in other design districts. Ventura Lambrate is a wide-ranging series of exhibitions located in Milan’s Lambrate precinct. It began in 2009 when Dutch curators Margriet Vollenberg and Margo Konings teamed up with architect and entrepreneur Mariano Pichler to provide a new space for design talent during Milan Design Week.

“Growing each year in size and quality, this year Ventura Lambrate showed a lot of the best emerging and unknown talent, both Dutch and international. The strength of the work is due to the exhibition’s careful curation by Vollenberg and Konings, with strict judging criteria applied to each project.”

Thanks to editor Peter Salhani for publishing my review of Ventura Lambrate on