The Politics of Public Space, Volume 03: Public Lectures in Contentious Places

Office (Editor); Tony Birch; Andy Fergus; Brighid Sammon; Nicole Kalms; Kate Shaw; Sarah Lynn Rees; Phillip Brophy

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The Politics of Public Space is a quarterly publication of transcripts that speak directly to the city and the way we read it. The publication is edited and published by not for profit, design and research practice, OFFICE. Beginning in 2018 at OFFICE curated a series of informal lectures within contentious public places around Melbourne. Every Wednesday evening via an Instagram tip-off, students and members of the general public would meet for the discussions. The theme for the series was the Politics of Public Space, and it only seemed fitting for this to occur in situ. Thirty-one speakers have contributed to this discourse so far with backgrounds in; architecture, landscape architecture, planning, law, criminology, activism, urban design, public housing, sociology and public art, all with varying readings of the city. Each issue draws out new forms of investigation between the individual practices and the content gathered from the discussions.In July, Melbourne experienced a second wave of the virus and the introduction of further restrictions forced the city to a standstill. Workplaces, student accommodation and universities remained empty as local businesses were also required to close their premises. The structures of the state, city and its residents were again laid bare. This volume addresses many of these issues by gathering talks held prior to the pandemic alongside recent interviews. Kate Shaw shows how the recent lockdown of the housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne reveals the government's underlying attitude towards public housing tenants. Tony Birch used the Shrine of Remembrance as the site for his talk on the Indigenous protest movement Camp Sovereignty and the significance of monuments in shaping collective values. Nicole Kalms outlines the experiences of women in Melbourne's public spaces through data gathered by XYX Lab. Sarah Lynn Rees discusses the complexities of engaging and working respectfully with Traditional Owners when intervening in the built environment. Andy Fergus & Brighid Sammon expose the failings of planning in the modern development of Melbourne, and Philip Brophy declares the general failings of the built environment profession at large.

ISBN: 9780648770220
Publication Date: 04-Dec-2020
Publisher: Office AU Limited