The Capitol acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. We respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. We also acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.

What is This?

To close their exhibition, What is This? – Thresholds and transgressions in design, art and performance, Anastasia La Fey and Holly Durant will be joined by fellow collaborators, cinematographer Lucy Pijnenburg and sound artist Sara Retallick to host an informal artist talk in their exhibition space.

The artists will be discussing their process, works and the power of interdisciplinary collaboration.

The artists would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri, Djab Wurrung, Gunditjmara, and Gulidjan peoples of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the unceded lands and waters, on which they live, create and exhibit their work, and pay their respect to all First Nations Ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging.

Presented by The Capitol and RMIT University School of Art as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

Reactivate the World

Join Esther Anatolitis, Paul Callaghan and Elissa McMillan in exploring what it means to restart and reimagine Melbourne post-pandemic. Through an interdisciplinary conversation connection urban play, public art, tactical urbanism, community connection and societal wellbeing we ask how neighbourhoods and communities can come together to create hyperlocal urban play? Can play help us reconnect with the world after lockdown? Do we still need cities at all? Hosted by Playable City Melbourne, a project connecting music, games and fashion with public space – shaping an urban play community exploring alternate ways of being, First Peoples connection to place, and more-than-human infrastructure.

Presented by The Capitol and RMIT University School of Design as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

Designing with(in) the mess

#worldwewant is an initiative to advance a radical critique to the inequities, lack of representation and established power paradigms both within and caused through design practice, and to support initiatives that aspire to the ‘worldwewant’ through design practice.

The panel discussion “Designing with(in) the Mess” draws on intersectional and decolonial perspectives and counter narratives to explore messy histories, practices, and design discourses excluded from mainstream design history narratives. Too often, the dominant voices of design discourse, the writers of design history, and the gatekeepers of awards favour a voice that is white, male, able bodied and western. Now more than ever, individual designers, design collectives, and design communities are challenging the status quo, and asking how we can create a more inclusive landscape for design practice.

This panel discussion will explore the research and practices of four graphic designers who make space for this important shift towards a design world that is pluralistic and diverse.

Presented by The Capitol and RMIT University School of Design as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

 

 

Kerstin Thompson Architects

Moderated by Virginia Trioli, this event includes a presentation by Kerstin on her public and community focused projects exploring the theme of ‘cultural memory’ and including the award winning Broadmeadows Town Hall, and the upcoming Jewish Holocaust Centre. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Kerstin and guests from across architecture, education, visual art, local government and community members. Panellists include Leon van Schaik AO, Robbie Rowlands, Jayne Josem and Matt Wilson.

Kerstin Thompson Architects: Encompassing People & Place is published by Thames & Hudson, authored by Leon van Schaik AO, edited by Fleur Watson and designed by Stuart Geddes. Presented by RMIT School of Architecture & Urban Design and Thames & Hudson. Supported by Centre for Architecture | Open House Melbourne and The Capitol.

Presented by The Capitol, RMIT School of Architecture & Urban Design and Thames & Hudson as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

Counterfactual City

The Counterfactual City project presents a series of alternative visions for the future city that are predicated on a counterfactual notion, a singular ‘what if?’ scenario, that presents a radical alternative to the existing status quo of urban development. These propositions are not based on scenarios that are known, but ones that should, could or would have been. The Counterfactual City project seeks to operate outside of the stereotypical modes of urban planning policies and the representation of architecture. It challenges notions of civic engagement that shapes the built environment and demonstrates the importance of design-led approaches to city-making.

Presented by The Capitol and RMIT University School of Architecture & Urban Design as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

Architecture for Complexity

As the world becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, seemingly intractable problems, once thought too hard to address are now approached in a new light. By using an integrated approach, which involves various disciplines across science, technology and research working together new possibilities are emerging. Accelerating the potential of this interdisciplinary approach, the rapid emergence of high-speed computation that can process vast amounts of data in lightning speeds, heralds an exciting moment where solutions that were once hidden to humanity can now be found.

In this context, architecture as a field that is increasingly defined and enabled by data and computation is on the brink of exciting breakthroughs. Today architecture’s capacity to work with vast amounts of information and new technologies in the pursuit of fresh possibilities opens up a space where the discipline is now actively participating alongside other fields in the development of proposals that respond to increasingly complex environments.

By introducing more technology, big data, AI and cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing into the formation of buildings and cities it is possible for architecture to be more context sensitive, interconnected, responsive, acquiring new capabilities – and thus more relevant for a challenging future.

This keynote by Dr Alisa Andrasek will offer glimpses of possible futures for architecture compatible with accelerating planetary challenges. Andrasek will present conceptual designs of novel tower typologies, high density villages, life supporting architectures for Mars, and projects for the regeneration of abandoned mining sites in Australia.

In particular, Andrasek believes that ‘big data design approaches’ could breathe new life into abandoned mining sites in Australia, remnants of the outdated carbon intensive economy, with life-supporting architectures for the Post-Anthropocene. She asks ‘Can we regenerate these sites with ‘high resolution architectures’ so that they become new, awe-inspiring destinations, in resonance with the country’s deep past?’

Presented by The Capitol and RMIT University School of Architecture & Urban Design as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

Confluence

You will be asked to consider how the design community might work together to create a better, healthier future for the planet through an engagement with landscape that transcends the institutional and accepted and towards acknowledgment and understanding of Country as a world-view. The yarn will employ Storying, deep listening (through which one understands one’s own story in relation to those of others in a related group) and yarning as techniques.

Speakers:
• N’Arwee’t Dr Carolyn Briggs, AM, Boon Wurrung Foundation
• Eddy Harris, Wilcannia artist
• Woddy Harris, Wilcannia artist
• Sophia Pearce, Indigenous knowledge broker, Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation
• Christine Phillips, architect, RMIT University
• Jock Gilbert, landscape architect, RMIT University

Presented by The Capitol and RMIT University School of Architecture & Urban Design as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

Forest Dreams

Forest Dreams invites you into a critical conversation around the work of Agnes Denes through two intriguing projects from the artist’s oeuvre; Tree Mountain outside Helsinki in Finland and Forest for Australia in Altona, Melbourne. Together we will explore the universal concepts Denes sought to express through seminal works including Wheatfield in New York; ‘[the] intrusion into the citadel, a confrontation of high civilization… [but[ also Shangri-la, a small paradise, one’s childhood, a hot summer afternoon in the country, peace… simple pleasures’. The conversation will foreground the artists’ intentions and relationships between environmental art and contemporary landscape conditions.

Presented by The Capitol and RMIT University School of Architecture & Urban Design as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

Soylent Green (1973) + Green Renaissance

6.00pm Green Renaissance panel talk:
To complement the Green Renaissance exhibition running at Queen Victoria Market, this panel discussion will speculate on the future of food and farming given predictions that the world could run out of quality topsoil in 60 years time.

Topsoil is the non-renewable resource we currently rely on to grow 95 percent of our food. Intensive farming practices and anthropogenic activities are in general to blame for the diminishment of this essential material. How will we feed ourselves when it runs out?

Moderated by Dr Ollie Cotsaftis, this speculative conversation features David Holmgren, environmental designer and co-originator of the permaculture concept; University of Melbourne Associate Professor Alex Johnson, a researcher in the fields of plant nutrition and bio-fortification; and RMIT University Dr Pirjo Haikola, a designer and a researcher working on regenerative marine design projects, and whose current work Urchin Corals is exhibited at the NGV Triennial.

7.30pm Soylent Green screening:
Richard Fleischer’s dystopian classic Soylent Green was made in 1973 but set in the ever-closer year 2022, when the cumulative effects of overpopulation, pollution and climate change have caused severe worldwide shortages of food.

In a densely overpopulated, starving New York City of the future, NYPD detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) investigates the murder of an executive at rations manufacturer Soylent Industries, who control half the world’s food supply with artificially produced wafers. Only the elite can afford spacious apartments, clean water, and natural food – at inflated prices. The air is thick and green, and conscientious citizens don face masks when outside. Soylent Industries’ latest product is the nutritious ‘Soylent Green’, supposedly made from ocean plankton, but it’s in short supply, and hungry rioters take to the street, as the plot, and the air thickens.

Both film and panel ask: how will we feed ourselves in the not-too-distant future?

Past Futures curatorial notes —
What futures were past filmmakers imagining for our present world? And did those sci fi prophesies come true? All dreamers and designers start from a place of deep imagining.

In Past Futures we look at imagined dystopias and utopias that made their way into the collective conscious – into the design of now – and consider what might be in the making to come.

In our selection of sci fi visionaries, some classic, others populist, and still others perhaps idiosyncratic, we look away from the stuff of shiny space wars, and towards a survey of the social, political, technological, environmental, interpersonal and existential prophesies dreamed onto the cinema screen over the last century. To paraphrase Roger Ebert, these films offer “an arsenal of images for imagining the world.”

What worlds were filmmakers of the past envisioning for today? Which of these past-futures have materialised in shades of our lived realities? What do modern utopias and dystopias look like? Can cinema help us collectively design a world we want to see?

In curating this series my co-curator, Michelle Carey, and I considered the future worlds that filmmakers were envisioning in the past. In our selection you’ll find distinct visions from pasts that vary in length from way back to cinema’s silent beginnings, to just a moment or two ago.

The curated titles awakened a curiosity in us by way of each film’s aesthetic and philosophical design, some quixotic and wildly ambitious, others comparatively domestic while still suggesting a collective turn in consciousness or new ways of seeing and being. Our present is very much felt and reflected in these past futures.

What future visions are we projecting on screen, now?

Ghita Loebenstein
Creative Producer, The Capitol

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Presented by The Capitol as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

 

Fashion Film Awards Ceremony 2021

Join us at The Capitol for the Fashion Film Award Ceremony, where the Official Selection will be screened and Best Direction will be announced, followed by a panel discussion.

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
– Anna Cordell Fashion Film, Australia
– REPLICA, Australia
– [ LIGHTBALANCE ], Australia
– Brutal, Australia
– —-, Australia
– Modern Antiquities, Australia
– Stieglitz, Netherlands
– Genki dama, Peru
– Untilted, France
– RISQUES, France