Design Studio

Second + Third Year
ARCH1108, ARCH1109, ARCH119, ARCH1121


Tutors: James Carey


becoming [un]finished is the first in a series of exploratory and process-based interior design studios that immerse students in a specific city, investigating notions of the urban and the public, the temporal and the spatial, and the confluence of forces that inform these.

“The conjunction between ‘urban and interior’ highlights the relation between interior and exterior conditions without the implication of an existing frame between the two conditions. […] This invites other possibilities for thinking and designing interiors – and the practice of interior design – and brings the sensibilities and techniques of interior design to the urban environment.” Suzie Attiwill.

The Victorian Government has announced an investment of more than $200 million over the next two years to reimagine Southbank and the precinct including a brand-new icon for Melbourne – NGV Contemporary. NGV Contemporary will be new standalone gallery that will focus on contemporary art and design. NGV Contemporary will be located at 77 Southbank Boulevard behind NGV’s St Kilda Road gallery, a site where the former Carlton & United Breweries building currently stands. When built, NGV Contemporary will be Australia’s largest contemporary art and design gallery. Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatre’s Building, one of Melbourne’s most recognised landmarks, will be revitalised with upgrades to its theatres and public spaces.

The project will also return 1 City Road - one of the only available parcels of land in the area – to full cultural and public use. The site will become home to a new Australian Performing Arts Gallery, an expanded Australian Music Vault, Arts Centre Melbourne’s administrative offices, education and research facilities, and a new creative hub for small to medium and independent arts organisations.

The project will transform the area around the NGV and Arts Centre, creating 18,000m2 of new and renewed open public space, including an elevated pedestrian park and outdoor performance and event spaces. This will enable people to move seamlessly across the precinct taking in cultural organisations, restaurants and bars along the way. The new precinct is expected to attract an extra 3 million visitors each year.

The first half of semester will entail small scale experiments utilising the key notions of the studio – time, process, duration and the urban and public interior. becoming [un]finished will culminate in student projects that propose speculative [un]finished designs for this future and iconic Melbourne Arts Precinct.



Tutor: Phoebe Whitman


image tactics, material adventures, surface encounters

In the unstable dynamic world in which they figure, images are therefore no longer defined by fixed divisions between inside and outside. Rather this division itself comes to shift or move outside forces, cause internal variations or as internal variations create new connections with the outside. In this way, we see that images belong to a dynamic rather than a static geography.

(Bernard Cache, Earth Moves; The Furnishing of Territories. Translators preface. A. Boyman, 1995 p.ix)

The meaning of the word image is traditionally concerned with something becoming visual, or the making of a picture or representation, which is a symbol or illustration of something seen through an optical interpretation. Images can convey absence and presence, the past and the present. This allows images to be experienced not as static objects or stationary instants in time. As such, images are composites of surfaces, with inherent materialities, which prompt qualities that can transform and proliferate to be expressive and dynamic depending on their relationship to time and space.

Materials, surfaces and images are in constant relationship with forces, phenomena, matter. This studio will explore how images have the potential to shift beyond imitation and adornment, to interiorize through relations and dynamics between surfaces and the world of forces. Due to the new possibilities of digital media, manipulation and editing, and the volume of visual material in circulation, the importance of the image has changed dramatically. Images do not operate in isolation, as the image is already made from a composition of other images. For example, the camera is used commonly and thus is part of represented and depicted reality. These various levels of imagery are the main focus of the studio. By exploring how images are compositions and assemblages of a multiplicity of things, there is imminence to how images can affect us because our access to reality is so heavily mediated.

This studio will examine and expand the conventional definitions of image production by challenging notions of representation and engage in the slippery territory between the subjective and objective. As image-makers, we will examine this condition of image making and question the cultural, material and spatial powers of images by exploring how images are in flux. Through the examination of materiality, symbolic potentials, context, content, authenticity, permanence and stability we will come to understand that images are vulnerable to manipulation by both the maker, producer and consumer in the post-internet age.

The studio will engage in material-led processes and close readings of theoretical texts to understand various concepts that challenge the conventions of the image and its perception. The images you will create will incorporate a series of materialities and matter such as photographs, drawings, installations, objects, text, sculpture, sound; from sculptures re-presented as photographs to photographs rendered as sculpture. With a particular emphasis on material, form, surface, composition and various topics, the project will question medium specificity and explore the indeterminate relationships between object and image, past and present, encounter and interior.



Tutor: Millie Cattlin & Jo Norster


Material Matters is based on the following idea – as designers we should know the material we use. We should understand where it comes from, how it is sourced, its social, environmental and economic impact. We should seek to understand its histories in relation to human habitation and we should speculate upon its possible futures.

This studio will focus on bricks.
You will be guided through a self directed materials research process.
Here are some things you could do:
You could visit a clay quarry;
You could learn about bricks and their impact on Melbourne’s history;
You could build a kiln with bricks;
You could cast and fire a brick;
You could meet a geologist;
You could dig for clay;
You could interview a brick layer;
You could learn to lay a brick;
You could design and prototype a brick;
You could build a wall;
You could research the history of clay quarries in Melbourne;
You could learn about brick recycling;
You could draw a cross section through the earth;
You could mix and colour mortar;
You could grind mineral and make a glaze.

Focusing closely on the brick, your research and design work will encompass a broad range of times, scales and methods – Consider the brick in relation to geologic time, in relation to histories of human habitation, and in relation to possible futures of building and construction. Think of a humble red house brick. Now think about the age of the planet and all its matter. Think of a highly refined and beautifully glazed ceramic brick. Now think of those who dug up clay deposits in Brunswick in the 1850s. Think about the process of extracting material from the earth, and think about the movements of these materials all over the world. The studio activities will include field trips, lots of material testing and group building and making workshops in the first half of the semester. The second half of the semester will involve a self directed design project. We value hands on activities, critical thinking and hard work.



Tutor: Pandarosa


The studio will examine the potential of graphical visual language as the basis towards establishing interior experiences and built environments. Through active analysis and engagement, existing design elements and principles such as line, shape, form and space, will be withdrawn directly from site via a series of workshops focused on making and experimentation. These workshops will initially explore elements in plane space, progressively evaluating their spatial possibilities through 1:1 site testing, regular peer to peer reviews and scale model making.

These studies will aim to observe the site through a graphic eye, extracting it's present graphic conditions and analysing their potential towards spatial practice and interior implementation. These investigations will not only allow for alternative ways in which to visually communicate and represent interior conditions, but also influence the manner in which interior environments and experiences can be generated and assembled.

They will aim to establish an informative lineage / dialogue between dimensional fields and design disciplines, thus exploring the disruption of interior experiences through the use of spatial complexity.


How could graphical visual language become the main influential aspect upon spatial practice? Could this influence expand from simply a visual communicative representation of site, into the way site is created?
How could a detailed analytical view of design elements influence the interior experience?
What techniques could be carried out on location in order to extract existing graphic conditions and develop a graphical visual language specific to site?
Can scaled models and 1:1 experimental testing give way to the proposition of new/altered built environments and interior experiences?
How could establishing a dialogue between dimensional fields impact the production and destabilisation of the interior experience?
By emphasising the importance of process, can we create a high level of inquisitive investigation and critical thinking towards the interior experience?



Tutor: Hannah Moriarty & Alis Garlick


Over the past four decades, artists and curators have worked to develop new methods to activate the gallery’ in ways that move beyond traditional modes of display, often shifting the functional and institutional roles of the gallery itself. Identifying the complex systems of display and representation within the gallery is an essential element of this studio. In the case of an art gallery, art itself can be understood as a function of (re)presentation. This means understanding ‘art’ as a system itself within a much larger network. We must realign our thinking of the gallery in ways that move beyond a static space to house art and into a site of rupture, dislocated from architecture.
The first half of the semester will challenge ideas and knowledge through the act of weekly display and curatorial explorations. This will run parallel to a practice of making through methods of material discovery, model making and manipulation of matter. The production of concepts through actualised objects will inform, not only the structure of this design studio, but how students develop their own theoretical positioning. These fragments combined are to form narratives and potential of space.
The studio proposes a new working model for the contemporary Melbourne art gallery - West Space; who are due to leave their current location in the CBD. Students will work to rehome this power-house to a new location in the Collingwood Arts Precinct redevelopment. As interior designers, how can we begin to use curation as a strategy to extend the dialogue around the current gallery model?
Students will engage with theoretical concepts through reading and responding to relevant material accompanied by weekly site visits. This allows students to experience the diversity within the Melbourne art scene - not only through an exhibition and its contextualisation of art, but how pragmatic infrastructure allows a business to support its community.
How do modes of display affect/effect our engagement with objects?
Can relational display become a provocation for an expanded notion of the gallery and it’s curation?
How can interior design strategies and process begin to contribute to the discourse surrounding the gallery?
How do we design for future museum exhibition and gallery design?
How do we design for future museum and gallery exhibits?
How do we design for a future arts precinct?
How do we create a space for the development of non-hierarchical relationships between artwork, display, audience, and space?


100% IN

Tutor: Nick Rebstadt & Giselle Laming


We are about what everyone is talking about. 100% IN is the next thing – the current thing and why nobody even considers the past thing as a ‘thing’ anymore. 100% IN is the interior of (IN)conspicuous consumption and those deep and dirty desires that drive us to want, create, imagine – and consume. We ask: “How might [a designer] evade culture’s demand for marketable identity in her person, products, style and career?”

We begin with the designer as embodied (and productive) subject. Through the gaze of a ‘consumptionist’ we expand the relation between the designing of desire, the individual the world around them – and of course how the designer is mediator within this.

The arena of the ‘consumptionist’ is consumable space – we are situated in the arcade both historical and present, enhanced by social media, and the image – the consumptionist’s tools are a critical mind, an active body and an enthusiasm for play, irony and actualization.

100% IN asks students to cultivate ‘immediate interiors’ (of and through consumption) with a process of analysis, critique, imagination and action. Students will be provided with a toolkit of theoretical, material and embodied design skills focusing on the way that consumption operates, and its potency as a medium to cultivate cultures in spaces and subject, challenging existing programmes and the power structures that enforce them.

Upon completion of this studio, students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and grounding in issues of contemporary consumption, its expanded relation to the subject – as designer, consumer and interior (retail, arcade and event). Students will learn how to act with this knowledge, crafting real-world temporal event-based outcomes that are self-actualized in an active, playful and entrepreneurial way.


David LaChapelle for Gucci

David LaChapelle for Gucci



Tutor: Chris Free + Bron Uphill (Special guest star – Laura Casey)


We want you stop for a second and think back to the last live performance you attended. The crowd. The atmosphere. The sound. The talented people before your eyes. It’s a pretty amazing moment, isn’t it?

But what happened before the performance.

This studio will explore the space that surrounds a performance. We will explore how the curation of a pre-show journey can extend or enhance the experience of viewing the performance itself.  How can different types of performance be translated into a different spatial experience? How does this interior journey express itself architecturally and spatially? How do you encounter this experiences? How can this form a spatial narrative?

Before the performance will propose temporal and permanent architectural insertions for both conventional and more unusual sites in the Melbourne CBD. These proposals will require a sensitivity to the existing architectural fabric of Melbourne and its existing arts community. 

The final project will lead students from concept design through to basic documentation in order to simulate typical professional practice. We aim to follow a research driven design process that HASSELL practices, in order to produce a design outcome that is truly contextual and considered. 

A loading dock on Flinders Lane is the site. How can you activate this site and create a new pre show space. A threshold into one of Melbourne’s premium performance spaces. The studio will be low fi. No computer rendering. We want to create images and models that evoke a spatial experience. Model making will be used to explore conceptual ideas and represent site. Hand sketching, collage and drawing will be used to communicate interior proposals. Design CAD drawings will be developed to communicate the final design in the second half of the semester.

We will have some of the leading industry professionals come and chat to you. We have FREESTATE who are one of the world’s leading experience design studios talk to you about designing experiences and narrative.

“Sun never knows how great it is until its hits the side of a building or shines inside a room”

Louis Kahn



Tutor: Liz Lambrou & Shelley Lasica


In the last few years the term “choreography” has been used in an ever-expanding sense, becoming synonymous with specific structures and strategies disconnected from subjetivist bodily expression, style and representation. Accordingly, the meaning of choreography has transformed from referring to a set of protocols or tools used in order to produce something predetermined, i.e. a dance, to an open cluster of tools that can be used as a generic capacity both for analysis and production.

Choreography As Expanded Practice, Barcelona 29 – 31 March, 2012

Choreography is a curious and deceptive term. The word itself, like the processes it describes, is elusive, agile and maddeningly unmanageable. To reduce choreography to a single definition is not to understand the most crucial of its mechanisms: to resist and reform previous conceptions of its definition. (....)

Choreography is the term that presides over a class of ideas: an idea is perhaps in this case a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action (...) Choreography elicits action upon action (....) Choreography’s manifold incarnations are a perfect ecology of ideo-logics; they do not insist on a single path to form-of-thought and persist in the hope of being without enduring.

William Forsyth Choreographic Objects from Action! Catalogue Kunsthaus Zurich,  2017

This studio will explore choreography in the expanded field as a tool for understanding interior space as a set of conditions in relation to concepts of time, sequence duration and the ‘implicit body’.

Students will examine choreography in the expanded field as a means to understand relationships between individuals, situations and constructed environments.

In this sense choreography is used as a framework, a set of tools that can be used as a generative capacity both for analysis and production of interior space and experience.



Tutor: Zoe Teltscher-Taylor & Andrea Giuradei


Looking through the current lens of the ever-growing co-working environment, this studio will investigate what the social and spatial influences on the workplace are, and explore the question of what the future of workplace design will be.

During the first half of the semester the studio will seek to investigate and understand key elements that contribute to a successful place of work. Research into office spaces of the past, as well as current trends, will be explored through site visits, design exercises, research and discussions, including multidisciplinary contributions from the Architectus team.

Particular attention will be given to the evolution of the co-working and the wellness model and how it is rapidly expanding and changing the way we see the design and operational function of the workplace. The students will be asked to produce a series of case studies that respond to the typologies explored each week. From here, a base foundation of knowledge and individual design thinking will be formed, allowing for a direct connection to the final project to follow.

The second half of the semester will draw on the pool of knowledge developed during the first half of the semester and will focus on a proposal for the office and way of working in the year of 2100.



Tutor: Leah Heiss


Future of Care will focus on the spaces, technologies and services that enable us to live well and healthy lives into the future. Future of Care will traverse scales, engaging with a spatial intervention, a technology enhancement (wearable or environmental) and a service proposition. Students will focus on an area from across space, technology, service to create a final project. All projects will have at their core an interest in the human experience of individuals as they navigate health and wellbeing in contemporary life. As such, students will be exposed to the real stories of people who are living in the community and in care environments.

The Future of Care studio will partner with Bolton Clarke, providers of at-home and community-based support for older people; Marchese Partners – healthcare architects and designers; Umps Health - creators of smart technologies to enable people to live at home for longer; and the Master of Design Futures in the School of Design. This industry-partnered model will expose you to real-world problems and challenge you to design spatial and experiential solutions for people in your community.

We will draw from co-design practices and develop skills in engaging with people from across society. You will be challenged to run workshops, interview people and develop a strong understanding of the needs of potential clients. These skills will help you to navigate in your future career practice. You will also be exposed to human-centred design methodologies and develop skills in prototyping experiences, approaches and strategies that can be tested with final users.

In parallel to engaging with healthcare businesses you will also engage with a number of Master of Design Futures students. This engagement between undergraduate students and post-professional MDF students is beneficial in both directions. For you it will provide direct access to people working in service design, policy, strategic design, architecture etc.

Your design work will be communicated to the world via an industry-partnered Future of Care exhibition, symposium and publication to distribute to stakeholders, students and supporters.