Azrieli Visiting Critic Winter 2019


Cathy Smith is a registered Australian architect, interior designer and Senior Lecturer in Interior Architecture at UNSW (May 2019+) where she is also the inaugural Turnbull Foundation Women in Built Environment scholar (2018-2020). She was a Richard Rogers Fellow (Harvard University GSD, Fall 2018),

For this six-week intensive design studio, titled: The Architectures of The Urban Nomad students in the Master of Architecture are currently developing speculative design and planning propositions for temporarily inhabiting transitional or short-term vacant urban buildings and infrastructures. Temporary urban occupation is an emerging and at times, contentious problem in global cities such as London resulting from the pressures of property unaffordability and housing shortages, vacant building stock and the flows of investment capital. Architects are increasingly called upon to design the infrastructures to support non-residential, live-work and residential occupations. Working initially in groups, students have identified possibilities for underutilised or redundant building types in Ottawa (and beyond); ranging from vacant car repair shops and carparks through to construction scaffolds and heritage buildings with uncertain futures — the progress work pictured here to date. Their design proposals will eventually include both management and marketing strategies, design toolkits and detail design for mobile and re-deployable interventions; encompassing not only the design of physical design elements but how these designs are produced, assembled, disassembled and redeployed by the intended inhabitants — as well the broader political, social and ethical operational context. The studio focus emerged from visiting professor Cathy Smith’s ongoing research on meanwhile uses and property guardianship as part of her Richard Rogers Fellowship (Harvard GSD) and Turnbull Foundation Scholarship (UNSW).

Watch this temporary space!

Sunday, March 17, 2019 in , ,
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