Master of Architecture Design Studio, 2015



Tags BioIan NazarethMasters Design Studio

A Meme is a uniquely identifiable unit of architecture: a structure, a form, a program and typology. It is a gesture and cell, through which formal operations might occur: extrusions, duplication, multiplication, mutation, and hybridisation. The Meme is a model to prototype urban form through architectural operations. It may well be an embedded cultural analogue, defining a new public realm.

The complex processes through which metropolitan regions develop implies that they can no longer be understood holistically, but rather as aggregates and an assembly of urban projects. The city and hence its form is dynamic and kinetic. The studio is premised on urban form and the potential to explore new structures and strategies for urban intensification within densely packed cities.

Existing domestic typologies, whether ‘generic’ apartments, capsules, units etc., or informal housing developments and spontaneous ‘pop-up’ cities, require scrutiny. While such units begin as discrete entities, the clustering and collection of programs within the city engenders an urbanism. Using the residential and mixed-use typology as a ground for speculation, the studio will investigate and develop fresh narratives for urban habitation. Projects will be located in Melbourne’s CBD and its fringe, considering both infill strategies and incremental growth. The brief is to deploy the ‘residence’ as a means to rigorously test processes, patterns and logics for growth and diversification.

Cycling through themes of imitation, replication, hybridisation, transformation, etc., projects will operate at multiple resolutions: unit, cluster, city block, precinct, and various scales: domestic, neighbourhood, city etc. The work will also address cultural traits and social-economic issues that accompany urban architecture.