A conversation considering how often prescriptive suburban architecture can be reappropriated for unexpected cultural and commercial uses.
Exhibiting artists Rory Hyde, Akwal Magek and Damien Laing discuss their experiences of the “misuse” of domestic space, drawing out themes explored in their exhibitions, Slack Spaces, Maintenance and Care, and Religions on the Fringe.
Dr Rory Hyde is a designer, curator, educator and writer. His work is focused on new forms of design practice for the public good, and redefining the role of the architect today. Hyde is associate professor of architecture, curatorial design and practice at The University of Melbourne. From 2013 to 2020 he was the curator of contemporary architecture and urbanism at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and design advocate for the Mayor of London. His writing on architecture and the future of design practice has been featured in various newspapers and journals including The Economist, The Guardian, Harvard Design Magazine, Domus and Icon. He is the author of Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture (2012) and co-editor of Architects After Architecture: Alternative Pathways for Practice (2021).
Damien Laing is an artist and urban planner. Laing primarily works with photography and moving image, and also applies planning and organisational methods to create artistic interventions in public space. He has held two solo exhibitions: Affordances of Space with Si Leong (City of Brimbank Public Art Commission, Sunshine, 2023) and Religions on the Fringe (George Paton Gallery Project Space, Melbourne, 2020). He has also exhibited in a number of group exhibitions, including as a finalist in the Wyndham Art Prize (2023), and has curated and organised a range of exhibitions, most recently as part of the Churchill Public Art Event (2022). In 2023, he was a teaching associate at Monash University and the University of Melbourne. He holds a Graduate Certificate of Public Art (Monash University, 2023), a Master of Urban Planning (University of Melbourne, 2020) and a BA in Philosophy and Comparative Literature (Monash University, 2014).
Known as a vibrant storyteller, Akwal Magek is a multidiscplinary artist and arts facilitator from Melbourne’s west, primarily utilising poetry and spoken word to explore the themes of identity and self-love. Her work encourages audiences to re-evaluate the confines that shape our perspectives and to question prevailing paradigms of beauty and thought. As a facilitator, Magek is dedicated to supporting others to explore their own creative potential, particularly young people. In her world, authenticity reigns supreme, and she continually asks the question, "why?".