The Agency of Site – Discourse Series 2015

RMIT Architecture & Urban Design Discourse Series 2015

Tags Amy MuirDean BoothroydDiscourseGraham CristHelen DuongRichard Black

One of the first defining characteristics of an architectural work is its location; its relation to a site. Yet the term site remains highly contested, and our relation to it far from natural. The Agency of SITE will debate the positioning of that relationship, and consider site as a much wider discourse than a prosaic boundary.


Site is an idea that is invented in the design process, whether this might be a landscape generating architectural form; or a constructed city forming that position. At RMIT there has been a sustained investigation into the particular location we find ourselves in; a trajectory running through Edmond and Corrigan’s suburban sites, and which offers a counter-position to the landscape defined culture sold as Australian. The recent debate of the Mongrel Rapture publication turned its attention to our location versus anywhere else, as speakers asked: `What is it like to not be the global city?’ Acute observation of an environment might be a way into that question. The design studies of the metropolitan periphery in Jacques and Boothroyd’s studios for example, take a counter-position to the clichés of planning policy or of consolidated urbanism; just as Black or Muir’s attention to the ground under us, resists the indifference to where we are located. These discourses in the Agency of Site need to be tested also, against the proposition that site is of little relevance to contemporary design.

Convenors: Graham Crist & Richard Black
Moderator: Graham Crist
Panel: Amy Muir, Helen Duong, Dean Boothroyd, Richard Black