>>>> Conference Papers
Catherin Bull FAILA
University of Melbourne
“Space, Time - and Culture:
architecture as an agent of acculturation in the postmodern world?”
New Conversations with an Old Landscape: landscape architecture
in contemporary Australia (2002, Images Publishing) argued that
through their practice, landscape architects aid or abet the
process of acculturation. That argument was built on the premise
that their capacity to converse with and interpret the particularities
of each site and locale, empowers landscape architects to demonstrate
how Australians might better adapt to the physical and cultural
characteristics of their continent rather than always looking
elsewhere for what are, often, ill-suited models. Thus landscape
architects are inextricably linked to their cultural context – both
local and global.
Given the modern era’s pre-occupations with space and
particularly time (ergo Gideon’s axiomatic Space,
Time and Architecture), propositions like these that locate cultural
agency and acculturation within landscape architecture’s
professional ethos, root the profession in Australia in the postmodern,
rather than modern era, an era characterised by spatial and temporal
compression and global culture. Localised or place-based practice
is posited as a much-needed counterbalance to the dominant trends
towards technical standardisation and spatial homogenisation. Indeed
New Conversations … promoted the value of such practice
to the region and the world.
This paper, however, critically reviews this position with its
focus on cultural and physical specificities. Is it effective
in the broader cultural context of globalisation? Should it really
have wider currency in the region?
The review suggests the urgent need for the profession to develop
additional capacities to effect positive change in its global
and regional context, particularly the rapidly developing eastern
region whose fate during the next century will seal the fate
of the world’s landscapes. Rather than focussing, as it
has, on the local, landscape architecture must also embrace the
theory and practice of the global - enhancing its capacity to
contribute to the process of acculturation and adaptation at
all the scales that characterise our era. It must be a
master of both.
Alun Chapman FAILA
Managing Principal HASSELL Melbourne
The Urban Design
Framework Plan– good
idea, bad outcome?
“ Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the shadow.” (T.S. Eliot)
As a design tool the Framework Plan has been much vaunted as one
of the major advances in the application of urban design theory of
the past 20 years, and a number of Governments have grasped its potential
as a means of initiating change at a relatively low initial cost.
In Victoria it was seen as a welcome improvement on previous Master
Planning approaches as it offered a more holistic approach to problem
solving – one that attempted to draw together a range of professionals
and their individual skill-sets to investigate the many and complex
issues that make up a ‘place’ In particular there was
a more pronounced emphasis on design, on people as the end-user and,
long overdue, an acknowledgement that the effects of time had to
be taken into account.
To some it smacked of social engineering, but
to others it was a welcome innovation that had the potential
to generate real outcomes in areas of need. To all, however,
it was accepted that good design was to be the underlying ‘driver’.
Such visioning inspired many to passion, and some very interesting
ideas were developed but, unfortunately, this initial emphasis
on design was to soon lose headway under the inexorable weight
of the Victorian planning machine. An entrenched reluctance to
place too great a dependence on conceptual design and a bureaucratic
obsession to maximise the procedural output, has resulted in
a gradual devaluing of the usefulness of the Framework Plan.
there a future for Framework Plans? Yes, but only if we firstly
acknowledge the primacy of design in the process. Then we need
to engage directly with our ultimate client, the public, and
undertake real and honest consultation. Governments need to provide
adequate funding to allow the ideas that have been generated
to actually be built and our public servants need to understand
that they are obliged to use the Framework Plan as a design tool
from which they should make design decisions, and not simply
use Framework Plans as ‘pattern
books’ written by others, for their convenience.
Industrial Designer, Design and Culture, Urban Design,
City of Melbourne.
The Changing Design Canvas of our Cities
Project Manager, City Projects City of Sydney
In a joint effort and in reflection of the ongoing communication
between the design management offices of Australia’s two
major capital cities, representatives from the City of Sydney
and Melbourne City Council propose to present a brief snapshot
of the past, present and future design challenges with a focus
on the public realm.
The speaker from each City will:
- Reflect on past key impetuses such as major political agendas
and significant events which have catalytically shaped the
understanding, ethos and treatment of each Council’s
- Focus on the current design direction, philosophy and immediate
pressures the Councils are facing in the design of their city's
streets and parks through a review of feature projects; and
- Highlight future challenges and needs through an illustrative
glimpse at the pitfalls which need to be avoided and opportunities
which may be embraced.
The review of the design approach by these two Cities will highlight
opportunities to compare lessons learnt and possibilities realised
with the effluxion of time. It will explore each City’s
own interpretation of design and the mentoring strength this
has on each of the other Councils.
This paper will be a unique opportunity to portray the ramifications
time has had on the design canvas within the local government
public realm and the direction of landscape architecture in Australia’s
two largest cities.
This poster paper addresses the Conference's sub-themes Time
as Catalyst and Designing with Time.
Mark Fuller FAILA
Principal/Vice President EDAW
AILA National President (2005-2007)
Anzac Cove: A landscape frozen in time or forever changing?
Anzac Cove and the surrounding Anzac battlefields are names that
resonate throughout Australia and New Zealand’s relatively
short histories. After over half a century of benign neglect
and peaceful anonymity, visitor numbers to the battlefields are increasing.
Once again this fragile landscape is being asked to accommodate the
infrastructure associated with servicing this many people.
Decisions have to be made to respond to these pressures, but how
are they to be made? It is Turkish sovereign land but subject to
the vaguely worded Treaty of Lausanne. The area was steeped in Turkish
history, and even ancient Greek history, well before 1915. Many Turkish
people feel passionately that the battlefields should be returned
to the original Red Pine and Oak forest that once covered the country.
In fact since 1964 much was replanted, but then destroyed in bushfires
of 1994, resulting in the open landscape of today. Regrowth
and new planting threaten to dramatically change this character.
However it is the intangible qualities and open nature of the existing
landscape that is so powerfully evocative of the stories of Anzac
campaign, the tenacity of the troops and the difficulties they faced.
Little interpretation exists on site today but extensive detail
of every aspect of the campaign is known. The challenge is to determine
how we bring this history and dynamic landscape together in a sustainable
way that reflects its cultural importance and provides future generations
with the ability to learn from this tragic place.
The 2005 commemoration of the landing at Anzac Cove highlighted
recent engineering works that appeared to be of an unsympathetic
nature to the cultural importance of the site. A review of the work
to date has led to a number of recommendations and suggested management
This paper will outline the story to date and the challenges for
East Darling Harbour ~ present + past + future
Speakers Jane Irwin AAILA and Philip Thalis
Two members of the winning team for the East Darling Harbour
Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects (Australia)
Paul Berkemeier Architects (Australia)
Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture (Australia)
Urban design, and design of the public domain must engage with
time. A plan for a new piece of the city, designed in the
present, must accommodate the potential for change – cities
grow and flex to suit changes in the way we live and work. A
good plan will also recognise and value those elements of the
past that define a particular place.
The competition winning plan for East Darling Harbour will create
a great public legacy for Sydney, addressing the needs of present
and future generations, as well as addressing the heritage of
the site (time past).
The design will:
- Bring the city back into contact with the harbour
- Make a generous new public realm that completes the layout
of the city, creating multiple connections and linkages
- Form a new relationship between the city centre, a public
foreshore and the water’s edge, creating a vibrant new
place for Sydney
- Provide new harbour front parklands, with multiple places,
landscapes and opportunities to engage with the water
- Give Sydney a great new street that complements Macquarie
Street; defining the western edge of the city and ensuring
that parklands will remain as inalienable public lands in perpetuity
- Create public places and public rooms, to bring vitality
and equity for all the people of Sydney, as well as special
intimate spaces that engage with local neighbourhoods
- Generate a vibrant new city quarter, accommodating working,
living, commerce and recreation within a generous and dignified
Mary Padua, ASLA. CLARB, RLA
University of Hong Kong
Faculty of Architecture
Department of Architecture
Modernity and transformation: Framing
the park in post-Mao Chinese cities
During the last decade, a
movement to create new landmark public parks has emerged among
mid-sized cities in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). These
parks represent an important departure from prior approaches
to the design of public space in China. There
are indications that a new design aesthetic may be developing
that incorporates traditional elements of Chinese garden design,
concepts from international park design, and distinctive features
of the local environment. This is helping to give the
idea of traditional Chinese garden design a new reality that
is detached from the actual history of design in China.
of the distinctive features of these new parks is the effort
to incorporate design elements drawn from traditional Chinese
gardens into designs that are contemporary and show strong global
influences. These designs are not traditional in any literal
sense; they appropriate elements from traditional garden design
and transform them into references to past traditions. In
the process, they are helping to give “traditional” design
in China a new popular meaning – as a set of symbolic references
rather than something embedded in history.
The process that has
created this non-historical version of Chinese tradition grows
out of the 20th century history of the nation. Parks
were built widely in the period that began with the establishment
of the Republic of China at the beginning of the twentieth century. This
took place largely in response to international movements rather
than domestic conditions. That era ended in the chaos of
the Japanese invasion and the Second World War, and the communist
revolution subsequently created a radical shift away from the
earlier modernizing, international approach to open space. Parks
acquired a distinctly utilitarian identity during the revolutionary
period, sometimes doubling as agricultural grounds. This
resulted in a thirty year hiatus when neither traditional nor
international influence was ideologically palatable.
ended in the 1980’s with reforms instituted
under Deng Xiaopeng. Important changes in attitudes toward
leisure occurred in this period. The Maoist principle that
leisure must serve to promote political harmony and social hygiene
was relaxed and spare time became the property of individuals. Urban
parks were transformed from purely utilitarian spaces to places
that serve as emblems of local identity and destinations for
outsiders. This helped to spur new approaches to park design
that draw on both stylized concepts of Chinese garden design
and international movements in the usage and design of parks.
paper frames the context within which this new paradigm for contemporary
park design is developing. It also examines the transformation
of the concept of the public urban park in Chinese cities during
the twentieth century. I begin with
a brief overview of the concept of modernity and its application
to the history of Chinese parks. This framework provides
a basis for analyzing the interplay of different social, economic,
political and cultural factors that has yielded a new approach
to contemporary Chinese open space design. The recent history
of park design in China provides an unusual opportunity to understand
the ways that a de-contextualized set of historical traditions
can be transformed into the symbolic representation of the park
as a form of alternative modernity and an emblem of China’s
urban transition in the late twentieth century.