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Unlimited: Designing for the Asia Pacific – In Review – Day 1

October 5, 2010

So, what did I get to during the week-long program of events, workshops, exhibitions, seminars and launches during Unlimited: Designing for the Asia Pacific, Australia’s inaugural Design Triennial? Well, as much as I could!

Asia Pacific Design Library Launch

The Asia Pacific Design Library (APDL) is situated within the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) and as Queensland State Librarian, Lea Giles-Peters reminded us at the launch, the Donovan Hill designed building is a catalyst for change, with the building and the collection continually evolving. The library specialises in curated collections, aiming to have the best collection in the Asia Pacific region! The APDL incorporates the Design Lounge, a movable, multi-modal, comfortable space and features Constellation, a site-specific lighting installation by Kent Gration (pictured below and photographed by TobiasTitz). The APDL collections include: Public Realm/Public Places, Better Living, Communication (Graphics), Design Thinking (Business) and Fashion. Library users can provide feedback on what they like and want via the website and register for updates on the collection and program with Design Online.

Critical Alternatives: the counter-culture of publishing in design and architecture

Naomi Stead, UQ Architecture, Research Fellow facilitated a dialogue about design publishing and criticism with a panel including Carl Lindgren from Map Magazine, Jeremy Staples, Zine author and Fleur Watson, Senior Curator for Unlimited. In summary, the panel discussed, the role of alternative publications within main-stream media, zine culture, the effect of internet media on printed publications (to which Carl advocated for print media saying “good content is never dead”), and the role of the editor as ‘curator’ of content.

World Architecture Day Talk: Human Urban Habitat

Facilitated by Dr Martyn Hook, Associate Professor, School/Work Unit, Architecture & Design, RMIT the World Architecture Day Talk panel included CJ Lim, Director, Studio 8 Architects, Sir Peter Cook, CRAB Studio, Dr Esther Charlesworth, Executive Director, Architects Without Frontiers and Timothy Hill, Director, Donovan Hill and they examined the opportunities for our urban future and how architecture can assist us navigate the road ahead.

Martyn kicked off by asking “How can cities provide more than they do as the Asia Pacific expands?” and “How can architecture be provocative, do good and provide better places?” Two speaker’s comments stood out to me… CJ Lim responded that in the future there will be a rise in population and a fall in food production, so rather than relying on importing, we need to incorporate urban farming into our cities. He said, “we need to expand our notion of wealth to include: air, green space, nutrition, social inclusion, after all, don’t we want THIS to be our legacy?” Sir Peter Cook pointed out that architecture is still using the same architectural typologies as our predecessors”, which leads us to ask “what role will Unlimited play in addressing these questions?”

Unlimited: Official Opening

Unlimited was officially launched on the SLQ Queensland Terrace (one of my favourite Brisbane event venues) after the World Architecture Day Talk. A very enthusiastic crowd, looking forward to participating in what the following week would bring charged their glasses as Ewan McEoin, Creative Director for Unlimited set the scene for the program ahead…

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