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Zone: Speculare
A design studio imposing a zone of radical urbanism in Melbourne
RMIT Master of Landscape Architecture Design Studio
Melbourne, Victoria
Role: Studio Lead

Zone Speculare interrogated the methods utopian urbanists to develop an approach to radical urban propositions for contemporary Melbourne. Students worked both individually and in 'collectives' to combine and appropriate theory, data, and communication methods toward a subjective and radical urban agenda. This design intent was then applied to the design of small interventions within a 'Zone of Urban Speculation' in the inner-north Melbourne suburb of Kensington.

Methods taught through the design work include:

  • diagrammatic analysis of literature (manifestos)

  • data visualisation through infographic

  • architectural collage

  • typological studies through axonometric drawings

  • brief forming through considered articulation of design intent

  • strategic, provocative communication techniques and formats

The studio tested various methods to distribute and collectivise the design studio experience, including:

  • communally organised meals in class

  • staged reconciliation of individual design intent to form collective agendas and positioning

  • iterative transfer and development of design drawings between individuals and collectives

  • experimental review formats, requiring iterative presentations during a single session

  • fostering consolidation and sharing of discrete knowledge sets through allocation of theoretical readings unique to each member of a collective

  • integration of individual design interventions explored through a collective set of radical design theses

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