To celebrate Architecture Week 2009, Scott Balmforth was invited to participate in the 10x10x10 presentation organised by the Australian Institute of Architects Tas Chapter on Monday 26th October. The session’s Creative Director was Peter Poulet (State Architect) and was titles ‘Provocation’.
Scott’s talk, titled ‘what we don’t know we know’ looked at (provocative) opportunities for Hobart from lessons learned in growing up in this place – one’s spatial intelligence - or the transplanting of relevant ideas from other places;
1. State of play; ‘have we dropped the ball on understanding what makes us unique and at a level that will benefit all?’
2. Early impressions of place; Someone showed me this page, pointed to Tasmania and said ‘we live there’….I interpreted it literally….because I can clearly recall from my childhood home on Hobart’s eastern shore, looking out at the River and Mount Wellington backdrop and then looking down and seeing my house – yes, I lived in a blue-roofed house, so that was right – the river (aka bass strait) and everything else was over there. I look back and wonder what this spatial organisation I had between my infant mind and the ‘real world’ means to me as an architect from this place, working in this place…
3. Developing a spatial intelligence; simple lessons in spatial intelligence, such as seeking sunny, sheltered spaces within Sullivans Cove whilst a student at the Art School….which van Schaik notes “..is one of man’s most underrated human capabilities and enables us to navigate our way through our daily lives.”
4. Reflecting on experiences from other places; Building mental space from histories in other places and how that experience can be translated here.
5. Actions to enhance experience of place; ‘Give me 500m3 of concrete to make a change to how we experience the city’s unique setting within a powerful landscape and I would recomplete this section of the concrete apron of the docks across Davey street – where the rivulet once drained.’
6. Maintaining scale; Managing the large-scale head on is something I don’t think we do very well nowadays in the Cove…..
7. More appropriate climatic response; What’s been missing is the potential of dissecting place, not building place. This is real sustainability, a rethinking of architectural practice and projects – where sustainability is embedded in the conceptual strategy of each and not just the application of formulae or ‘add-ons’….. Communities will benefit when an architect’s advice to do less or nothing is deemed valuable….
8. Projecting a future; Opportunities to think laterally and appropriately on vacant land in the CBD.
9. Makers’ Workshop, Burnie; seeing the TOY and revealing a clients capacity.
10. Curating a capacity in local profession; is commissioning for the future.