SuperStudio 2021 encouraged participants to explore a vision of how architecture for the future may reflect the concept of evolving identity in connection to people, practice and country. Reflecting upon themselves, we wanted them to take the opportunity to rethink the future of education and practice working together.
Congratulations to the national winners of SuperStudio 2021, Angela Xu and Thomas Li from NSW, currently in their third year at The University of Sydney for their submission, Sedimentary Fabrics.
University of Canberra, 2nd year
This piece is about an emerging identity, an identity that is unmasked through a connection with architecture, both the community and the practice, and the place represented by building 7. The piece is a personal one for me, but I believe will resonate with many others and can and should be interpreted against your own experiences. Building 7 itself is at one level a metaphor for self. As a whole, a vibrant place of community and discovery and joy but with a underbelly that has been neglected and ignored. The dark unused graffitied space represents at one level an opportunity for renewal, for repurposing. It presents as a metaphor for a wider goal of reuse and sustainable architecture. For the individual it represents a darkness and place locked away that needs to be unmasked and confronted in order to develop a true self of self.
joint second place
A structure allowed to burn
Otto Reichelt and Noah Watson
University of Canberra, 4th year
Evolving Identity is constantly changing over the course of a given subjects life. From the individual to the community, we are constantly changing. However, there are essential conditions in life that remain constant and through acknowledgement of these constants we can create a more pluralist community. “what is allowed to burn be reborn” Our project supports the evolving identities of communities by allowing certain aspects of the way we live to burn and be reborn into what the emerging lives need whilst maintaining and supporting the constants that reinforce Australia’s diverse nascent identity and promote equity between all peoples. The entirety of the evolving spaces become a part of our identity and awareness as a growing nation, whilst maintaining a pluralistic community through preserving the core which embodies aspects of living and storytelling which are constants across all cultures.
joint second place
Education Through Empowerment
University of Canberra, 1st year
For hundreds of years, First Nations communities have battled marginalisation and lack of representation in a range of different contexts. Despite the inclusive considerations that are made in modern Australia traditional
custodians of the land are forced to conform to Western societal expectations. When challenged to represent the concept of evolving identity through community engagement within the architectural realm, it is important to acknowledge that the perspective and pre-conceived ideas one has coming from a non- indigenous background may not serve the First Nation identity and any model that is constructed may fall into the historically devastating narrative of European influence assuming leadership and superiority over the native population.
first place & national winner
Angela Xu and Thomas Li
University of Sydney, 3rd year
The clothes we wear are more than just pieces of fabric for keeping warm. They mould to our bodies, like skin, shaping our personal identity. It changes the world’s view of us and our view of the world. What we propose unites past and present, to invite a future that celebrates the fluidity of identity. The sites we have chosen are abandoned industrial spaces across Sydney, that have not only become a neglection of land, but also our heritage and cultural identity. Our design blends architecture with sculpture, inviting the community to bring a part of themselves, their clothes, to partake in an act of collaboration and sharing. We provide a tectonic cable-frame that occupies the husks of these existing buildings. This allows the garments to be hooked on or released by visitors. Over time, the space warps according to the collective input from the community. It becomes a process of giving and accepting, an anonymity that opens a conversation across racial divides. The celebration here lies not within your culture, but through the acceptance of another. Clothes can be expressive yet nameless, gathering to form a collage, blurring the barriers of societal categorisation, exalting the essence of the self.
Connection to place and evolving identity
Curtin University, 4th year
Identity in contemporary Australian culture lacks a deep and meaningful connection to the land and to others in our communities. Our identities are power based: what we own, how much money we have, what we’ve done, what we’ve conquered. We identify by the houses we build and the changes we’ve made, rather than by the landscape in which we live. We must change a place to be able to identify with it. My proposal is an installation of social engagement which comments on this contemporary identity, and acts as a call for reflection. When someone engages with the installation by stepping on the lever, a metal punch is brought down, making an immediate mark on the land. This mark permanently links the person with place. By engaging with the installation, the person’s impact has physically changed the place, thus the identity of the place and, in-turn, their own identity has evolved. Furthermore, the collective impacts by everyone who engages with the installation links everyone together, creating a collective identity.
Reinventing The Town Hall
Anastasija Kukić, Namrata Deol and Shivansh Shah
UNSW – Postgraduate year 2
Our proposal seeks to bring attention to the city as a place of evolving identity. By challenging the relevance of the current Townhall, we assert the urgent need to reimagine the colonial institutions within the city as catalysts to materialize Australia’s emerging identity. Rather than passively accepting the inherited form of the institution, we want to reinvent its tectonics and redefine its identity and utility. To become relevant again, the town hall needs to be a community-building for building a community inclusive of migrants and first nation’s people.
IGNIS: Liam Leblond, Kefan Ren, Sionnan Gresham and Melanie Lay
The University of Queensland, 2nd year (Liam, Kefan and Sionnan)
Queensland University of Technology, 3rd year (Melanie)
Weaving Tjukurpa aims to create an introductory guide to new migrants entering Australia through the Brisbane Airport, leading them to the second installation in Musgrave Park in the West End suburb of Brisbane. This is achieved through installations derived from Indigenous Australian traditions and by speaking directly to the migrant experience. Additionally, occupants who visit the first installation in Brisbane Airport are encouraged to take a bamboo strand from the structure with them on their guided journey to the secondary structure in Musgrave Park to add to the form.
MJML Architecture: Josh Goddard, Lucy Stefanovic, Maddi Whish-Wilson and Mishen Govender
University of Queensland, 2nd year (Josh, Lucy and Mishen)
Queensland University of Technology, 2nd year (Maddi)
The lack of racial diversity and representation in Australian sport and media was highlighted last week in a post made to Instagram by two-time Olympian and Australian basketball star Liz Cambage: “How am I meant to represent a country that doesn’t even represent me?” Upon undertaking research into the Olympic Games, a discovery of symbolism made present by the flame of the Olympic torch and that of Liz Cambage are seemingly co-existing elements that are of the contradictory – One for one, and one for all. To acknowledge such an expression through the lens of a ‘protest’, we as human beings must understand that in order for resolution, one must consider how to derive the themes of conflict, suppression, equity and diversity and empowerment for the adherence to architectural response.
Connecting to a Placeless Place
Kieran Minto, Toby Adams and Zac Jennings
Griffith University, 3rd year
Globalisation of key international cities has led to the suppression of ancestral cultural identities. These types of development have broken the physical link between people and land resulting in a placeless place. This loss in uniqueness of place leaves people feeling neglected and an overwhelming emotion of outsidesness. ʻA deep human need exists for associations with significant places. If we choose to ignore that need, and to allow the forces of placelessness to continue unchallenged, then the future can only hold an environment in which places simply do not matterʼ. ~ Edward Relph, 1976, Geographer The Gold Coast, an internationally recognised city that thrives off international tourism is continually expanding new developments with very little regard for ancestral heritage. As the traditional custodians of the land, the Yugambeh people have been cast aside to make way for concrete and steel. Celebration of the Yugambeh people through symbolic architectural story telling allows for a holistic feeling of insideness for all occupants either through direct existential insideness or empathetic insideness.
Curtin University, 3rd year
Everything in our world is now bigger and faster. Our cities are sprawling and our methods of transportation accelerating. Things are moving at such a pace we do not get the opportunity to absorb the culture and diversity of our environment that surrounds us. We intersect with such cultural diversity on a daily basis but don’t ever take advantage of these encounters. This is why we need to slow down, take the detour and notice our surroundings. The Detour is a space that forces one to decelerate and experience something culturally significant. Someone dancing, children playing, an art piece, someone cooking a meal native to their country – it contains anything and everything. The Detour goes where people and culture intersect – an airport, a footpath, a stairwell, a bridge. It goes anywhere and everywhere. Take The Detour. Not only will you still get to where you are going, you will have bolstered your connection to place and experienced something enriching along the way.
Sheet Music Box
Pui Wah (Phoebe) Tse and Bernadette Chilam YIP
University of Adelaide, Master Year One
Is identity just about citizenship? Do we understand our immigrants? Can citizenship be tested? Ways to learning a culture? Common Language? Our journey starts with the family who is currently living on Christmas Island. Through the story of the Tamil family, it led us to question what identity is and does it define by citizenship. The strong sense of community spirit for the Tamil family. Biloela (their ‘hometown’ in Queensland) residents were extremely supportive. Before getting the ‘right’ to call this place their ‘home’, they are already accepted to be part of the Team Australia. Looking into our research for becoming a citizen, the process is long-winded. The authenticity behind the citizen test has raised questions. It seems like the citizen test was to block immigrant’s “un-Australian” values1, not adding anything to their “Australianness”2. It appeared to be a one direction approach which leads to misunderstanding for locals and immigrants which causes conflicts for both parties. In order to solve the conflicts or misunderstandings, we came up with ways of empowerment through music. Music is a universal language that binds people together. In music, they can understand each other without speaking the same language or share the same beliefs. In this music box, the program is suitable for all ages. It is designed for people to learn through interacting with others by ‘take, give, share’.
Angelica SuJANA, Chin Jun Ren and William Tan
University of Tasmania, 2nd year
Culture is but a mosaic, the representation of wholeness from fragments, a collage made from various pieces, assembled from fragments of one’s own culture with aspects often learned from other cultures and experiences. Fragments of identity is represented as circles that converge into a pattern of interconnected ring, which is then extracted to the skylight. The Mosaic pavilion is meant to cast light on Malaysia’s diversity and the harmony of cultures in Australia. Abstracted pieces from significant cultural symbols in Malaysia are curated, crafted into delicate pieces of the mosaic.
Colorful refraction of the mosaic shifts throughout the day as the sun passes, reflecting our collective identities. During the night, the pavilion lights up from the inner core, revealing the silhouette of people within. Colorful spotlights illuminate the core to create animated shadows that symbolize an individual’s multidimensional identity. As a collective, the space is experienced as a harmony of overlapping reflections. The vibrant space in the pavilion encourages exploration and interaction within the community, forging a stronger sense of belonging and cohesion. The fragments of the cultural objects shine the light on Malaysia’s multicultural identity in Australia. The Mosaic Pavilion represents the collection of our respective identities through fragmentations of color and light.
Pei Kai Tan and Xing Ting Ng
University of Tasmania, 2nd year
How often do we really look at ourselves and wonder, how our ancestors once fought hard wars, to gain independence, to gain identity, to make us who we are right now? As international students from Malaysia, we thought about our multicultural country and how our ancestors once worked hard for identity, laying the foundation for our peaceful lives today. However, there are still some countries fighting for their identities till this moment. Our team recalled to the Hong Kong protests in recent years. Millions of people marched the streets. Protests, fights broke out, and tear gas, rubber shots fired by authorities in attempt to disperse the crowd. For once we witnessed by our own eyes how tragic and hard it was to fight for and gain identity. As the protests reduced due to the pandemic, the fight came to a break. And with streets becoming silent and the city healing, we begin to question how can we grieve those who were lost during the protest, and create a moment of peace to the chaos before. Thus, we propose a memorial in attempt to both address Hong Kong’s climate issues, and raise awareness and appreciation towards identities. This acts as a call for a better future, identically and environmentally.
Quade Helm, Meka Rahkmat and Martin Diesendorf
University of Tasmania, 2nd year
This proposal challenges conventions of architectural practice in an attempt to make the cultural shift towards reconciliation to First Nations people. It does this through the proposal of a new declaration.
The Collective Middle
Nithya Ranasinghe (Level 8), Caleb Lee (Level 7)
We challenge the facades’ communal role in the identity of our streetscapes and inverse this narrative to find potential in the insignificant middle as the communal identity. Our proposition is of dialectical nature – Hard and soft, mandatory yet participatory. A twofold project with one existing within the other. Rather than institutions for the preservation of collective significance within a nation, we challenge this through the redefining of land covenants. We are all tenants of the land, and we must treat it as thus. Each successive tenant co-authors a covenant – a mechanism in which each person must leave behind an object or architectural element of cultural or personal importance for perpetuity. Participation is exemplified through the interaction with a tactile Herbs and Spices cabinet. Itself and its inventory is passed down from one tenant to another upon the same property. We posit ourselves between the collective culture and the individual identity – oscillating between the macro to micro. It actively rejects the notion of Terra Nullius and facilitates a lens in hopes that not only see but participate in rich cultural and personal history on the land, which reflects us in the present and in the future collectively.
Who becomes the ScapeGoat?
Chenxi (Aurora) Wang and Zonglei (Ollie) Mao
University of Melbourne, Year level 3
The framing proposition is to through the establishment of a series of interactive installation (Creating a stimulus performance model which shows two-way feedback system by shifting the panels) and multiple perceptions in the architectural space. The design pursues an ambition of reverse projection of the scapegoat’s mentality, which is the transfer of frustration and the tendency to aggression, within the Australian multiculturalist identity.
Country’s Tapestries in Street
Benjamin Chatfield, JAmes nixon, Jessica Hordern and Sofya Savenkova
Monash University, 3rd year
The idea behind our concept is that Melbourne is a stagnant and isolated society in terms of its connection to multiculturalism. Australians are sceptical and suspicious of Migrant and First Nation cultures, and thus a disconnection within their collective community is apparent throughout all groups. Through a discussion and research into the values that create the identities of the heritage groups, we developed a system that would be used to ensure that not just First Nation and Indigenous heritage is represented within the site, but Colonial history and Migrant cultures as well. Our proposal is to develop the main streets of each suburb, providing specific community spaces that are for and of the community and site.
Evolving Identity of the Canning River Weir
Liza Mathews (5th year) and Rozhan Taha (4th year)
Beeliar and Beeloo Nyoongars are believed to have considered the Canning Weir section of the Canning River as part of their territory. Whilst focusing on this specific area of importance we explore a future vision of how an evolving identity may be reflected in social/cultural and learning spaces in connection to people, practice, and country. Rethinking the future of educational practices in conjunction with First Nations and Indigenous cultural practices, ideas of belonging, unity, and diversity mesh together to create a dynamic and symbiotic relationship. The Many-flowered Fringe Lily (Thysanotus multiflorus) is a native plant found around the Kent St Weir.
Sara Muna’am, Pranav Gaud and Reyan Adine
Curtin University Final year Masters
Police brutality, the rising homeless crisis, xenophobia, exclusion, and the underlying layer of racism are issues that plague our society today. Our built environment facilitates majority these issues, be it the heavily guarded urban centers, pristine buildings that only serve the rich or the anti homeless spikes to repulse rough sleepers. However, there are certain spaces that are inclusive to everyone and show empathy rather than excluding people. A train pole is one such example as it comforts anyone and everyone that requires its support. It is a play place for children to play on a mundane train journey, a dancing pole for drunk teenagers on a night out, a place for a cripple to hold onto, and a support to every worker commuter in the rush hour back home.