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Punto in Aria

Design Research Studio, RMIT University & Monash University

Punto in Aria is the name for an early form of lace making pioneered in Venice in the mid 16th Century. It is considered the first true lace because it was the first form of lace made without the use of a support or sub-structure – hence its name: a stitch in the air.

This studio takes Punto In Aria as its name in order to locate it amongst a network of particular associations: clouds and crowds, stochastic systems, dynamic and ephemeral organisational structures, evolutionary and emergent form, as well as time based, performative and improvisatory modes of creative practice.

To explore this field demands the development and deployment of different tools and methodologies to those traditionally employed in the design field in the service of statics.

Consequently this studio seeks to explore and test computational design tools, dynamic modeling and generative systems as means through which time based processes and complex systems can be engaged with and responded to. Experimenting with rule based systems, interactive and performative modes of modeling we will be generating a range of spatial propositions across scales and design disciplines.

A particular focus for this studio is a reconsideration of the contemporary city and its space/time of ‘performance’. Both theatre buildings and public spaces continue to be constructed in cities around the world but by-and-large they remain passive receptacles for performance, reinforcing officially sanctioned social practices and disciplining the collective body into well behaved citizens that consume culture rather than actively co-create it. This studio asks what is the space of performance in the 21st century – an age of media spectacles, social networking media, virtual and ‘off-world’ existences, fluid technologies and uncontainable prosthetically enhanced bodies? Through a series of design propositions ranging from buildings, civic spaces to ‘other’ physical and virtual spaces we set you the challenge to innovate ‘new strategies for experiencing performance as a more dynamic, creative and communal spatial event.’

Punto in Aria is a cross-institutional interdisciplinary Design Research Studio run between RMIT University and Monash University. This studio will be conducted as an Intensive Laboratory incorporating participation in an International Design Competition, an International Conference and a Public Event.

Throughout the semester there will be an emphasis on experimentation, design through making and the production of rich and beautiful drawings and models, incorporating the rapid prototyping facilities available at both campuses. Weekly sessions will range from hands-on tuition in digital and other techniques, intensive workshops and critical discussions and design reviews.

Studio Poster

Studio Poster