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WORKAROUND: Some leading questions on women, design, action and activism

  • RMIT Design Hub Victoria Street Carlton, VIC, 3053 Australia (map)


Led by the WORKAROUND Curatorium, this episode is a chance to ask out loud some of the questions that Naomi Stead poses in her writing for the exhibition. These questions and the exhibition itself spring, in part, from the idea that (after Hannah Arendt) if one key purpose of life and work is to engage, to speak, to connect, to make change, then action is the best means we have to achieve that. To explore these ideas we have assembled a group of artists and designers working towards positive social change, and we will examine examples of their work as case studies. We will ask, amongst other questions: what is design activism, or action in the sphere of design, architecture and spatial practice? Does it really have an appreciable effect? Does it have as much effect as activism in other spheres? Do its proponents think of themselves as activists? Does there have to be something at stake to take action in this sphere? Does there have to be a degree of personal risk? Do you have to have skin in the game? What are the systems such individuals work within? What are the barriers they work around? Is it actually possible to engage in activist practices from within institutional settings? What is the relationship between action and advocacy? Is it true that the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Can you be a ‘real’ activist if you have a salary and a permanent job? Have we got our objects right, our priorities right, our causes right? What can we actually do? (1).jpg


1 – 3PM
Lead by Kate Rhodes and Fleur Watson (RMIT University) and Naomi Stead (Monash University) with Simona Castricum (musician, academic), Jane Caught (Sibling Architecture), Eugenia Lim (artist), Sarah Lynn Rees (Plangermaireener | Trawlwoolway, IADV Indigenous design) and Louise Wright (Baracco+Wright Architects)

This episode is part of WORKAROUND.

WORKAROUND engages with a movement of women focused on advocacy and activism within an expanded field of architecture. Each of these practitioners works towards positive change in the built environment and its surrounding cultures. WORKAROUNDis an online broadcast and a program of live events. Across fourteen daily episodes, fourteen Australian practitioners each present a critique, conversation, interview, workshop or performance that articulates their strategies and workarounds and reflects on their activist practice.