Final Reflection

I feel like my approach to space and place has changed somewhat, mainly in regards to how we memorialise and perceive places. This was due largely to the talks we had over the semester from Paul Gough and Martyn Hook. Paul Gough influenced by approach to my individual project a lot, and his speciality in sites of memorialisation helped me develop my ideas surrounding my building of choice. It certainly helped when I as having trouble finding what was interesting about Building 15 originally as a lot of the history of that building had been lost over they ears, or just not very well documented. The updated facade also made it hard to respond to it as a matter of place and history. Paul’s mention of cenotaphs and continuing memorialisation through trans-generational commemoration urged me to changed to Building 20 in the end, as the building seemed to have a stronger foothold in history.

This idea of places as representations of time really interested me and is something I built upon from past hobby work I’ve done with photography. To me Melbourne is defined by it’s anachronistic features with all the different architecture clashing, and Building 20 was a big draw for this, especially as Peter Elliot’s refurbishment work directly responds to the question of place as memory, as it shows a kind of respect to what was, and what continues to be in the form of physical places.

Martyn Hook’s talk did help somewhat with this reasoning too, though not to the extent Paul’s did. Martyn’s theories did help solidify what we mean when we talk about spaces and places, and provided a good foundation on how to treat physical locations when we talk about how they work in different contexts. I saw how this worked in parallel with the idea of history and memorialisation, as places of history are usually activated as places of memory when we treat them with historical significance and reverence.

In terms of the Virtual Tour I liked how we worked with Virtual Reality technology to help illustrate a sense of space in both Building 20 and Building 16. I feel like, for this studio, this was a very appropriate way to depict the two buildings as the panoramic images give a better idea of how each space in the buildings fits together. The fact that it gives a kind of interactive, do it yourself kind of visual adventure is even better I feel, than a simple linear progression through the buildings. While overall the website we picked – YouVisit – wasn’t always cooperative or intuitive, it was interesting to use.

This was probably the most challenging part of the course too, working with the website and with the class to create a fully fledged visual tour of both of the buildings. It required quite a lot of work to visually record both buildings with panoramas, as well as coordinating to upload, transfer, process, and finally add media to the tour platform. The final product is unique though, I’m not sure if I’d do it again, perhaps in a smaller team and a project with a smaller scope, but it has produced something that should stand out, especially as we are coupling it with the use of Google Cardboard.

For my piece however I wanted to achieve that sense of ‘out of placeness’. I’ve always admired buildings like Building 20 as architecture, and a structure that stands out as a veteran of it’s time. I found as I took photographs I enjoyed the recording of details that defined the building, and that I really enjoy working with inanimate subjects, particularly architecture, and subjects that deal with memory, space, and time. When it came to processing the images I returned to a style and aesthetic I’ve worked on previously through my own personal photography work, that is, a focus on contrast, shapeliness through lighting, restricted colour palettes, and geometry.

To use Korsakow was a bit of a no brainer, mainly because it was the only platform that would do what I needed, that is, provide an interactive photo gallery that combined sound and abstract links so a user could navigate the space in their own way. It was vital that the user be able to do this, as after some consideration, I despised the idea of creating a basic linear photo gallery. Korsakow eventually turned out to be a fantastic platform to represent the spaces as ones of memory, linked by specific details in the images, rather than just a visual map of the structure. Overall I feel as though the ideas of memory and time came through my personal project, and hopefully for others it creates the kind of mood I aimed to make; something more pensive, slow paced, and visual, rather than direct storytelling and explanation.


Readings –

  • Cresswell (introduction)

  • Hornstein

  • J.E. Malpas

  • Mason

Site Visits –

  • State Library

  • Public Records Office

  • Melbourne Museum

Guests –

  • Professor Martyn Hook (& the reading associated with his visit)

  • Professor Paul Gough

  • Abigail Belfrage

  • Jeremy Bowtell

Briefs –

  • Brief 1

  • Brief 2

  • Brief 3 (with presentation slides)

  • Brief 4

Work in progress posts

  • Individual project

  • Group project

Final Reflection (1000 words) addressing the following criteria.

Read chapter 5 of Tim Creswell’s Place an Introduction and use this to reflect on your journey throughout the semester.

Identify the aspects of the chapter that resonate most with the projects you have completed this semester and discuss how your understanding of PLACE has developed (and possibly shifted) throughout the semester.

As you are writing up this component I suggest you think about it from these perspectives.

  • what have you’ve learned?

  • what have you found most challenging in the course?

  • what have you discovered about your own creative practice?

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