Posts by justine

Adapt

December 14th, 2015 Posted by Color, Creating, Ideas No Comment yet

Adapt_illustration_flatIn the wake of the talks in Paris, there is much focus on a commitment to actions to minimise the effects of climate change. While this is absolutely vital, there is no doubt that these changes are already in motion, and will have far-reaching impacts.

What might life be like in a large Australian country town in 30 years time? Through a process of  scenario planning and design I have prepared an exhibition that reflects on these issues. I propose some wholistic solutions that respond to a changing climate while addressing social equity and resourcing issues.

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A Sensory World

July 13th, 2015 Posted by Ideas, Projects, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Sensory_illustrationSensory experience has long been a deliberate and vital element of the curriculum of early learning environments. Now, local goverments are experimenting with the deliberate addition of sensory elements into the public open space of communities.

But what is sensory play, and why is it important?

Sensory integration can be broken down into three main systems; tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive. The tactile system refers to the information processed in the brain from under our skin, such as temperature and pressure.  The vestibular system refers to the brain’s ability to understand the position and angle of the head even when the eyes are closed. Proprioception is the ability of the body to work with the physical environment around us, and relates to motor skill ability.

Children learn naturally when engrossed in play, and play environments are well-placed to provide stimulating sensory opportunities. This is particularly important to children where one of these systems does not work optimally, and the child perceives things differently to others.

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Public open space?

March 5th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

publicopenspace_illustrationThere was an article published in The Age this morning about a radical proposal from Gilbert Rochecouste, founder and managing director of Village Well, a place making consultancy business. The proposal is to tear up the asphalt of Elizabeth Street within the Melbourne CBD, and expose the hidden waterway that runs underneath, and flank the watercourse with a variety of amenity spaces.

While the proposal is purely conceptual and far from fleshed out, it certainly raises many issues regarding the appearance, function and symbology of public space within the city. The different perspectives and opinions raised in a public debate of the concept can inform the scope and direction the direction of public policy, if the government is listening.

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Legacy

February 16th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Legacy_illustrationOne of my current projects is to create a town centre map in an illlustrative style that helps people to find their way around, but also communicates important aspects of the town.

Maps are a two dimensional record of spatial form, but are also capable of carrying and communicating messages about the culture, history and features of a community.

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Risky?

November 24th, 2014 Posted by Ideas No Comment yet

Risky

 “Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before.”

Neil Gaiman

Why are we so afraid of making mistakes? It is so ingrained in our upbringing that mistakes could lead to potentially catastrophic consequences that we takes pains to avoid them. Often to the extent of avoiding situations that may possible lead to a mistake.

But mistakes can also be great catalysts for growth and learning, both in a public setting and within our own minds. By discovering that a particular course of action does not lead to the outcome you were intending, you are one step closer to another that will. By inadvertantly hurting someones’ feelings, we have a strong and visceral lesson about how we should behave in the future. (more…)

Seeing

November 4th, 2014 Posted by Ideas No Comment yet

Seeing

 “When you look closely at anything familiar, it kind of transmogrifies into something unfamiliar — the sort of cognitive version of saying your name again and again and again, or a word again and again and again, and getting a different sound of it after you’ve repeated it forty times.”

Alexandra Horowitz

Great photographs have the ability to make you see a familar subject with fresh perception, and to bring meaning and connections to the ordinary. This is in part because they capture a moment in time, stripping unnecessary detail away from the image, and leaving the viewer to contemplate the subject and composition for only what is shown. This is a technique that landscape architects also use to direct the experience of users within a space. (more…)

Recognition

October 21st, 2014 Posted by Creating, Projects No Comment yet

bbg_mushroom

Today I had the privilege of receiving the Kidsafe award for best Public Playspace up to $500,000 for the Botanic Gardens Play Space on behalf of the City of Greater Bendigo.  It brought back memories of the intense and exciting construction period, and of all the talented people who contributed to the project.

Although during the process I thought we were creating something special, it is really rewarding to have others assess it and find it worthy. I have been involved in previous conversations about why awards are really necessary, and whether just doing your job well should be enough, but awards programs exist in many professions, particularly design. It seems to me that even if you work hard and diligently, you are not always blessed with a remarkable outcome. When you are, it should be celebrated.

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Making

October 12th, 2014 Posted by Creating, Ideas No Comment yet

bronze_leaf

Why is making things with your hands such a deeply satisfying act?

For some people cooking is a ritual as well as a functional and necessary act. Gently pressing short crust pastry into a flan mould, always conscious of the firmness of the buttery texture, requires concentration and a commitment to doing it the right way.

For me it has always been drawing. The simple act of applying line, tone and colour to a page to produce something with life was always a magical conjuring trick. The results were often surprising; developing a life of their own as the drawing progressed. Drawing was one of those beautiful activities that cause you to apply effortless focus and to lose time; the psychological concept of “flow”. Perhaps that physical act of creating is a way of thinking about life and relating to the world?

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Renewal

September 29th, 2014 Posted by Ideas No Comment yet

newbeginnings

“As the years go by we view our familiar surroundings with less and less freshness of perception. We no longer look with a wakeful, perceiving eye at the faces of people we see every day, nor at any other features of our everyday world.”

John W. Gardner, Self-Renewal; The Individual and the Innovative Society

Spring seems an appropriate time to consider the notion of renewal. The emergence of delicate and determined leaves is one of my favourite punctuation points of the year.  Both a seeming miracle and an ordinary event,  it marks the passing of another year of life.

Renewal within the garden is a robust process that occurs without much conscious attention, but what does it take to renew your own perception? (more…)