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Architecture & Design: A Blak aesthetic?

Blak and Bright

Event Date: 20 March 2022
Author / Presenters: Alison Page, Brian Martin, Sarah Lynn Rees, Timmah Ball

What is an Aboriginal aesthetic? How can you design buildings and products that reflect Aboriginal world views? Alison Page, Brian Martin, and Sarah Lyn Rees discuss, moderated by Timmah Ball.

Free – bookings essential.

10.00am—11.00am @ The Wheeler Centre: Performance Space


Alison Page is a Walbanga and Wadi Wadi woman and is an award-winning Designer and Film Producer whose career spanning 22 years links Indigenous stories and traditional knowledge with contemporary design. She is the co-author of a new book Design: Building on Country which explores Indigenous design, architecture and engineering principles as a blueprint for Australian design. Alison appeared for eight years as a regular panelist on the ABC TV show, The New Inventors and in 2015, was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia’s Hall of Fame. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Technology’s Design School and the founder of the National Aboriginal Design Agency. She is a Board member of the National Australia day Council, Councillor with the Australian National Maritime Museum and a Board member with Aboriginal research group, Ninti One Ltd. Alison sits on the Federal Governments Creative Economy Taskforce and the Indigenous Voice to Parliament and Government. zakpage.com

Brian Martin (he/him) is a leading Indigenous artist and academic. Born in Redfern Sydney, he is from Bundjalung, Muruwari and Kamilaroi ancestry. His academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Diploma of Vocational Education and Training from Charles Sturt University and a PhD by research from Deakin University. A practising artist for 30 years, Brian has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. His work is held in various private and public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, Monash University Museum of Art, Ballarat, Broken Hill, Mildura, and Lismore Regional Galleries. His publication history has investigated the relationship of materialism in the arts to an Indigenous worldview and Aboriginal knowledge framework and epistemology. He has further reconfigured understandings of culture and visual practice from an Aboriginal perspective and leads numerous national and international research projects. Recently Deputy Director and Head of Research of the Institute of Koorie Education at Deakin University Australia and currently he is Associate Dean Indigenous and Director Wominjeka Djeembana at Monash University Art, Design and Architecture and Honorary Professor of Eminence at Centurion University of Technology and Management in Orisha India. Brian is also a Board Director of the National Theatre in Melbourne and a Board Member of the Melbourne Art Foundation.

Sarah Lynn Rees (she/her) is a Palawa woman descending from the Trawlwoolway people of north-east Tasmania. She is a Lecturer at Monash University, Associate at Jackson Clements Burrows Architects (JCBA) where she also is also a Lead Indigenous Advisor: Architecture and Design, she is program advisor and curator of the BLAKitecture series for MPavilion, a Director of Parlour: Women, Equity, Architecture, and a member of the Victorian Design Review Panel for the Office of the Victorian Government Architect and Co-Chair of the Australian Institute for Architects First Nations Advisory Working Group. Sarah’s practice, advisory and research interests are geared towards a long term aim of Indigenising the built environment. Awarded the Charlie Perkins scholarship, Sarah attended the University of Cambridge where she produced a thesis on Indigenous housing in remote Australian communities and graduated with an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design. Sarah has practiced architecture in both Melbourne and London, most notably with Stirling Prize Winner Will Alsop’s London based practice aLL Design before returning to Jackson Clements Burrows Architects in Birrarung-ga (Melbourne). Sarah is widely published in architectural media, and speaks regularly at architecture and design conferences both locally and internationally. Her current research focus is on developing resources for built environment practitioners to improve collaborative engagement processes with Traditional Owners and Indigenous communities throughout each stage of architecture from procurement to media and awards.

Timmah Ball (she/her) is a nonfiction writer, researcher and creative practitioner of Ballardong Noongar heritage. Her work is often informed by studying urban planning and offers a critique of conventional city-making systems. In 2018 she co-curated Wild Tongue for the Next Wave festival, with Azja Kulpinska, which interrogated labour inequality in the arts industry. In 2016 she won the Westerly Magazine Patricia Hackett Prize, and her writing has appeared in a range of anthologies and literary journals. More recently she has created audio work for ACCA and Liquid Architecture which contemplates the past, present and future of both physical and online spaces in the COVID era.

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