Vol. 08 Presence
Inflection Volume 08 Presence poses the question: How is the power of ‘presence’ shaping architecture and place-making today?
Black Summer (2019-2020) illuminated the phenomenon of the Australian bushfire as a violent, destructive and uncontrollable presence on the global media stage. Fire in Australia has become synonymous with trauma, for its immediately perceivable harmful effects on animals, humans and the built environment. However, Black Summer has also catalysed important discussions on the rich and ancient history of fire as an ecological tool, wielded as a promoter of biological diversity and flourishing ecosystems. Catastrophe can illuminate the ironies and contradictions of an anthropocentric existence and spur us to challenge our approach to reconstruction, erasure, memory and place. Inflection Volume 08 Presence therefore poses the question: How is the power of ‘presence’ shaping architecture and place-making today?
In a profession that is frequently built on the foundations of sacred burial sites and the unceded land of First Nations people, a number of authors in this volume grapple with the issue of designed decolonisation, whilst celebrating the richness of pre-colonial histories. Inflection Volume 08 encounters architectural narratives describing cities of the Global South, and also revels in stories of femininity and queerness in architecture. ‘Presence’ is about sharing a multiplicity of voices, and subverting that which is established or dominant. Within, infrastructure is viewed as active and relational; the experience of women of colour in architecture is unpacked; ‘Feral’ effects of the Anthropocene are unearthed; a Planet City takes shape; Zoom is rendered (virtually) spatial; digital craft is embodied; demolition is rendered constructive; earthquake recovery transcends time and space; and much, much more.
Founded in 2013, Inflection is a student-run journal based at the Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne. Born from a desire to stimulate debate and generate ideas, it advocates the discursive voice of students, academics and multi-disciplinary practitioners. This volume includes contributions from Frida Escobedo, Bernard Khoury, Bruce Pascoe with Vicky Shukuroglou, March Studio, Liam Young, Feifei Zhou, Sarah Akigbogun, Mitul Desai, Alexis Kalagas with Ciro Miguel, Amanda Achmadi, BAST with Colby Vexler, Helen Runting and more.
Escobedo is an architect and designer based in Mexico City. Her work focuses largely on the reactivation of urban spaces that are considered to be residual or forgotten. In addition to her practice, Escobedo has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Rice University. In 2018, she was selected to design the 18th Serpentine Summer Pavilion in London.
Zhou is a Chinese-born artist and architect. She holds a Master of Architecture from the Royal College of Art in London and was a guest researcher at Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA). Her work explores spatial, cultural and ecological impacts of the industrialised built environment. She coedited the digital publication Feral Atlas: The More-than-Human Anthropocene with Anna Tsing, Jennifer Deger and Alder Keleman Saxena, which was published in October 2020. She currently lives and works between London and China.
Khoury is an architect situated in Beirut, Lebanon. He studied architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and obtained a Master of Architecture from Harvard University. Khoury’s office has developed an international reputation and a significant portfolio of diverse projects both locally and internationally. He has taught, lectured and exhibited his work in prestigious academic institutions in over 35 countries.
Pascoe is a Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian man born in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. He has worked as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, fencing contracter, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker and editor. He has written over thirty books, among them Dark Emu (Magabala books), which won Book of the Year and the Indigenous Writer's Prize at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards in 2016.
March Studio is a collective of architects, designers and creators located in Melbourne, Australia. They are focused on realising projects with ingenuity and respect for location, materials, processes and people. They have an unconventional knowledge of materials and fabrication processes and are constantly testing, prototyping and refining them for deployment in current and future projects.
Young is a speculative architect and director who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. He is co-founder of Tomorrows Thoughts Today, an urban futures think tank, and Unknown Fields, a nomadic research studio. His worldbuilding for the film industry has been acclaimed in both mainstream and architectural media. He currently runs the Master of Fiction and Entertainment at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles.