Thursday 6 August 2009, 7.00pm :. The art of architecture in making community, presented by Silvia Acosta
At RMIT bldg 50, Orr St (off Victoria St), Carlton
Silvia Acosta, architect and professor at the Rhode Island School of Design in the USA, is a visiting academic at Monash University's Department of Art + Design in August. She finds opportunities for student engagement in practice-based projects, and values a “hands-on” approach as a way of doing. Investigation topics are often developed in relation to issues of community and the public realm. Silvia has undertaken community-based design-build projects in Mexico, Costa Rica, Japan and the USA.
"Collaborative efforts often outweigh work conceived from a singular or individual point of view; working jointly on a project is one way of forming “community.” In making community, everyone involved leaves marks without being concerned about whose handprints are in the work. Collective decisions are made through different points of view, yet these diverse outlooks share a common ambition to make something contributing to the greater good.
Architectural practice is often collaborative—involving many minds and hands, an ongoing exchange of ideas and crafts. While a kind of art form, architecture is not an isolated art; it is bound to a multitude of intersecting circumstances. Part of one large human art, it tries to understand the physical world, shape it and make room for living in it.
Our quest as artists and architects is to discover and articulate what we value. We seek out situations where a contribution might be made in an attempt to improve the lives of individuals, or the qualities of a place in some way. The work we make as architects comes from us, mirrors our reflections and longings, and yet, it is never ours; when finished, it is given away to others. So, how can we propose guidelines for a work of architecture that induces active exchange among its makers—a sense of community among the people it serves?"
Entry by gold coin donation, refreshments provided.
(Images from Silvia's community-based work in Mexico, Japan and the USA)