FRANCIS PETER LABILLIERE,
Melvil Decimal System: Works under MDS Wording Edition. Related tags 19th century 7 20th century 4 5 Aborigines 11 architecture 8 Australia 97 Australian 10 Australian author 5 Australian history 78 biography 11 C 13 cities 9 colonial 6 D 4 D3. What is MDS? While architecture has tended to be the voice of the powerful: landowners and authorities; we would like to offer it as a medium through which marginal voices can be made visible. His design is a collection of adjacent, sometimes unrelated stories manifested in a range of material installations and buildings, fabrications of a different sort, connected by a line of unexpected landscape.
It looks towards a future that is not only more sustainable ecologically, but is a poetic reminder of a lost past.
This project sits in a broader scholarly and creative context. Creative works such as this are a type of scholarship that responds to research, grows out of it, grapples with it, yet it is a praxis that is distinct from it. Creative works necessarily take a leap sideways into the unknown and are an act of invention rather than discovery.
Research is a linear process, beginning with a hypothesis and charting a direction for discovering new knowledge that is formed into a generalization. Scholarly creative work resists anticipating where the process will lead and even the path one will take. The process, is discursive, iterative, messy; the outcome poetic, provocative, specific.
Representing this project will be done by a series of images.
The commentary will provide context as well as explicate the nature of the creative research exemplifying at times a creative response poetically:. Alongside the urban wetland, a series of watering holes are proposed.
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Mechanically: a system of pumps, filters and tanks, syphoning water from the main drain below to be purified in the wetland. About image. Socially: discursive public spaces; remembering histories and providing an outlet for the desires and dreams of a waterway, a city street and its people. The urban wetland comprises seven watering holes, these are: a reservoir, a midden, a lake, a riverbank, a cloud, a riverbed and a waterfall.
Store of memories, The reservoir weeps. Tears down its face, Wet a parched Street. The headwater of the urban wetland, the reservoir is both a store for water as well as memories. Externally, it is a sad building, its form downcast. Here, water from the underground creek is first exposed. Its hull a midden, A galley lies within.
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At its stern. Water and light meet, swirling. Their dance: project into the ship. A midden is a preserved deposit of shells often found along riverbanks. They are the archaeological remains of cooking and eating.
On the square, a series of steps form a casual watering hole — a bar in opposition to the existing temperance fountain on site. An opening at the northern end of the site exposes an underground body of water to the square above and creates a courtyard wetland for the school below. The wetland expands Waters stilling, A lake fills, light sparkling.
In the dark; The memory of a lost tree. Rivers inundate from time to time, spilling out onto their surroundings. In doing so they imbue the land with fertility and leave behind vestigial lakes.
This new public park is such a fertile land — an overflow catchment for the wetland. It is comprised of a lake, a garden and a living wall. The vegetation in the park is selected to provide food and shelter to native birds and pollinators.
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Facing Elizabeth St, the living wall forms a backdrop to St. This was also the site where a giant Red-Gum terrorised the church for so long. The same tree was also used as a bell tower when Melbourne was still called Bearbrass. This tree is remembered through a light projection against the living wall at night. The riverbank appropriates the steps of the General Post office as a performative space. Williams creek plays on the pipes here — the mood of the music based on the speed and volume of water passing through the system. Impassioned, vibrant or subdued, the creek is given a voice. The cloud is a representation of Lake Cashmore, a lake that once existed near the junction of Elizabeth and Collins Streets.
The cloud is a net sculpture shaped by the wind but pinned to the site. Its shadow, the shadow of a lake that once was. Second cloud: The fountain embodies the idea of water as being the taste of clouds. As more water is used, the LED cloud becomes smaller and smaller. Once the cloud disappears, no water is to be had until the cloud reforms — this not only allows for interaction, but acts as a safety cut-off to prevent water wastage.
The riverbed is an underpass connecting Flinders Street Station to the Elizabeth Street and Flinders street tram stop. A transit space — the underpass connects to the memory of a waterway, channelling the human current through the experience of an underground riverbed — an echo of the real creek some metres below. The jagged boulder forms are tanks for the storage and further processing of cleansed water — some glazed and illuminated to reveal these activities.
Openings along the boulder forms become spaces for buskers to perform — the hard surfaces creating a highly resonant space. The waterfall announces the junction of Williams Creek to the Yarra with a show of light, sound and water. A series of nozzles create a fine mist, refracting light and adding volume to the falls.