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The Project Space – Conditions & Speculations

Student Design projects

Property Donor: GPT/Urban Growth Group

Launched: 10th June 2015

Closed: 13th June 2015

about The Project Space – Conditions and speculations

Who are you?
I am Dr Cathy Smith, a Senior Lecturer in Architecture and course coordinator; part of the fabulous team of staff and design students involved in the First year of the Master of Architecture (MOA) at the University of Newcastle.

What do you do?
This exhibition is of two related student design projects completed as part of the first semester, first year design course for students of the MOA (2015). A similar project, Conditions and speculations: future urban living and density in Newcastle, Australia, was exhibited in The Project Space in 2014.
Both projects focus on the relations between the City of Newcastle, its artisan-inhabitants and their contributions to urban identity. Students were asked to analyse and understand the character of the inner-city suburb of Carrington, Newcastle; and to speculate upon and explore options for future living and working in the suburb in the year 2030 and beyond. The exhibition of works related to this theme is intended to prompt and encourage public debate about issues related to future development in our city, and its inevitable densification: a key challenge confronting all cities as the majority of human populations shift to urban living scenarios.

The 2015 semester involved two assessment items and design project phases, both sited in Carrington: otherwise known as ‘The Island’. The first phase was a group project involving site analysis, proposed urban design interventions and the selection of a site for project two. Phase two was an individual design project involving the design of a multi-rise, mixed use ‘micro-housing’ work-live complex for local artisans, such as those who participate in the Renew Newcastle scheme.

Displaying their university projects in this public forum enables the students—the future architects of this city—to share their experimental ideas about urban renewal with the broader community. It encourages the students to understand their role in, and responsibility for, shaping the civic and public realm whilst providing opportunities for the general public to engage with and respond to the work of the university students during a ‘live’ design critique.

What are you going to be doing/have in the The Project Space?
From Wednesday 10 June through to Saturday 13 June, there will be ‘live’ project reviews of the student projects from 10-4pm each day. Each student will present their schemes to an assessment panel of academics and senior practitioner-architects. The exhibited work includes select 3-D scale models, 2-D drawings, photos and images produced by the students. Works will be displayed inside the Project Space and on the adjacent foyer wall.

There will also be a special school viewing between 1-3pm on Saturday 13 June.

The exhibition will also include a 1:1 scale reproduction of Fence Parasite (2014) by Cathy Smith and Rowan Olsson. The Fence Parasite consists of a foldable, mobile table and stools placed over a standard residential front fence, currently located in Carrington. When opened, it allows for the co-option of the adjacent footpath space for neighbourhood events and socialisation. See:

Are you having an opening? If yes, when?
A small industry opening celebration will be held on Friday 12 June, 5.30-7.30pm.