The Agency of Information – Discourse Series 2015

RMIT Architecture & Urban Design Discourse Series 2015

Tags Ben MilbourneDiscourseFleur WatsonKristin GreenLeon van SchaikMartyn HookVicky Lam

The result of the emergence of a new relationship between architecture and the way in which people meet, connect and ‘share’ using extended networks through social media and digital is what Prof Leon van Schaik describes, in his introduction to PAVILIONS, POP-UPS AND PARASOLS (AD May/June 2015), “a fairground assemblage, impelled by an initial wonderment at the emergence of seemingly new forms in an ancient lineage, forms that can be seen to be set in train by the ways in which people currently connect with other people. Brought together here are reflections on this phenomenon, a small swarming of minds around the idea. And indeed, within this collection it is clear that something new is afoot.”

The overarching context for “these manifestations of un-programmed architecture are not the picturesque instrument that is the folly”, but postcapitalism….

“Postcapitalism is possible because of three major changes information technology has brought about in the past 25 years.

First, it has reduced the need for work, blurred the edges between work and free time and loosened the relationship between work and wages.

Second, information is corroding the market’s ability to form prices correctly. That is because markets are based on scarcity while information is abundant.

Third, we’re seeing the spontaneous rise of collaborative production: goods, services and organisations are appearing that no longer respond to the dictates of the market and the managerial hierarchy.”

_Paul Mason, Postcapitalism, 2015, Allen Lane, London


…platforms for change (that)…make visible the ritual life of citizens… the (postcapitalist) engines of our existence…release and distil the creative energy of all…

_Leon van Schaik, Pavilions Pop Ups and Parasols (AD May/June 2015)


Convenors: Leon van Schaik & Fleur Watson

Moderator: Leon van Schaik

Panel: Martyn Hook, Vicky Lam, Ben Milbourne, Kristin Green