Humanitarian Architecture week - exploring appropriate design strategies for post-disaster communities.
The fundamental purpose of architecture is to provide shelter, but in a world obsessed by novelty, development and acquisition this purpose is often subverted and obscured. Concerned with the welfare and wellbeing of individuals and communities, Humanitarian Architects utilise their problem solving capacities to address complex shelter and infrastructure challenges in vulnerable communities, at both micro and macro scales.
From Maningrida to Kabul, A Day in the Life of the Humanitarian Architect explores the practice and projects of a wide group of individuals dedicated to improving human welfare through designing shelter and infrastructure in complex post disaster and socially marginalised communities. This episode begins with RMIT students joining Yasmeen Lari (Pakistans’ first female architect) for a bamboo structure-building workshop, followed by a forum on related work by humanitarian designers from Australia and around the world.
For the first time in Australia, from Maningrida to Kabul, global humanitarian experts will explore how to provide appropriate design strategies for post-disaster communities, during a series of three RMIT ‘Humanitarian Architecture’ week events.
WORKAROUND engages with a movement of women focused on advocacy and activism within an expanded field of architecture. Each of these practitioners works towards positive change in the built environment and its surrounding cultures. Motivated by the increasing urgency of the challenges we all now face – environmental, social and professional – these women work around existing conventions, systems and structures.
Such practitioners share some common characteristics. They demonstrate agency, strategic opportunism and values-based leadership. Also, they can be defined by what they are not – they are not conventional practitioners, and they are (generally) not producing objects or working within the traditional structure of the design office. These practitioners are agile and each has developed workarounds to critically negotiate and rethink systemic limitations; circumventing entrenched professional hierarchies; managing working life and family demands, and extending the bounds of architecture and design.
Within the diverse practices of these women, gender and feminist politics play varying roles: sometimes a direct and explicit driver, sometimes an implicit and understated context.
WORKAROUND is an online broadcast and a program of live events. Fourteen Australian practitioners each present a critique, conversation, interview, workshop or performance that articulates their strategies and workarounds and reflects on their activist practice. Each of the episodes can be watched in real time as it occurs from the set at RMIT Design Hub, or viewed online via the Design Hub website.
For WORKAROUND, our curatorial intention is clear – it is to identify, assemble, create a platform for, and find new connections between a burgeoning movement of women focused on advocacy and activism within an expanded field of architecture. These fourteen broadcast episodes bring to light ways of working within, without and beside architecture as it has previously been conceived. WORKAROUND is our opportunity to learn how this extraordinary group of women articulate their particular workarounds – both personal and professional – that are necessary and urgent to effect change.
Simona Castricum; Esther Charlesworth; Pippa Dickson; Pia Ednie-Brown; Harriet Edquist; Mary Featherston; Guest, Riggs (Kate Riggs + Stephanie Guest); Amy Learmonth; Helen Norrie; OoPLA (Tania Davidge + Christine Phillips); Parlour; Sam Spurr; SueAnne Ware and XYX Lab, Monash University (led by Director Dr Nicole Kalms and the combined strengths of core members – Dr Gene Bawden, Dr Pamela Salen, Allison Edwards, Hannah Korsmeyer and Zoe Condliffe).
Websites: humanitarian-architecture-week / workaround-women-design-action