The Eye of the Fish

October 28, 2010

A Gesture to Melbourne

A quick post here, that brings me much mirth – and specifically for our Melbourne subscribers. Tonight, at RMIT, if you rush now you will be able to catch it, is a special talk, presenting the results of over 3 years research. I beseech you, someone, to go there and please report back. I need to know how to do this properly – I’ve had so much enjoyment reading it, that I’ll just quote the whole thing: ARCHITECTURE+PHILOSOPHY PRESENTS, THIS THURSDAY:

How to gesture like an architect
Inger Mewburn
6:30pm Thursday, 28 October
RMIT 8.11.68 (Bldg 8, 360 Swanston St. Level 11, lecture theatre 68, to the right of the lifts)

Inger will present findings from a 3-year observational study of architectural design teachers and students in action. The study set out to replicate Schon’s seminal architectural education from the 1980s. It became clear as the work progressed that gesture was playing a pivotal role in design activity.

Gesture has been largely ignored by design studio researchers, perhaps because it seems to operate below the threshold of conscious awareness. When studied in detail, however, ongoing design studio activity is found to rely on the intelligibility of gesture done in ‘architectural ways.’ This presentation will tease out these architectural ways of gesturing and ponder on the implications.

Despite the fact that most of the data collected explored facets of human behaviour, the findings trouble the idea of the human as being at the centre of the action by putting the bodies of teachers and students amongst a crowd of non human others who make design knowledge – and design knowing – together.

INGER MEWBURN holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne (2009), a Masters of Architecture (by research thesis) from RMIT (2005), a Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) (1997) from RMIT University. She worked in architectural practice for 8 years before becoming a full time academic, working in diverse areas including architectural design, theory, communications and research methods. Her architectural rendering and interactive digital art work has appeared in magazines and exhibitions around the world. Currently Inger is a Research Fellow in the School of Graduate Research (SGR) where she co-ordinates the On Track workshop program for research candidates, conducts research in the field of doctoral education and authors the Thesis Whisperer blog.

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And if you’re interested in finding out more about Dr Inger Mewburn, go to her website:
Which has some surprisingly amusing (if architectural academics can ever be described as amusing) entries, such as the following, which you may need to read in full to make sense of…

Top 5 ways to avoid death by email

What you need is a system.

1. Doing email is like doing the dishes

2. It’s about what you do, not who you know

3. Eat the frogs

4. Use your electronic calendar

5. Develop a terse, yet friendly email style

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I would have thought the greater research need was the compilation of a fully illustrated, bi-ligual workshop manual for the Citroen DX.

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Melbourne also has the distinction of hosting a weekly radio show on architecture. Inger was interviewed on a previous episode – you can dig through or their podcasts to find it.

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Isn’t the EoTF a written version of a weekly radio show?

Actually, perhaps we could collaborate with Starkive and produce a weekly tv / film show on architecture…. ? Although, probably not on current pickings…

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DS, Captain Stark, not DX… But we’ll let you off on that one. Presumably you drive a battered yellow Mini with a few panels missing?

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You obviously have not heard of the semi-mytthical Citroen DX…

… and I seldom drive since the Mob came and took away my Saab 96.

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Starkive, there are clearly some things my mind has rid itself of… while retaining the good ones. I’ll give you SM, XM, ID and DS, even a 2CV, Metisse, or Karin, but I wish I’d never seen the DX, Dyane, Berline, or the ZX….

But its a good idea for a future blog post. Disappointingly, when you google citroen + architect + black polo neck, you get no relevant images. What on earth is the world coming to? Don’t people perform to stereotypes any more?