Last Friday I occupied the Supershared space in the RMIT Design Hub exhibition Occupied, curated by Fleur Watson, Grace Mortlock and David Neustein. Occupied anticipates the critical design approaches, ideas and strategies that are needed to reimagine housing in a hyper-urbanised future. This semester I am co-teaching a design studio in the RMIT School of Architecture & Design on new regional cities, and just a fortnight ago I was off on my annual writing retreat. So the timeliness of bringing the two focuses together was just too perfect to pass up.

I spent the day writing the space. As a site-writing, this project gestured towards Brisbane, where at the same time, A Colloquium on Ficto-Critical Approaches to a Writing Architecture was happening at UQ. With former collaborators and colleagues there from around the world, I had hoped to be able to attend but circumstances intervened. And so, I wrote.

My full twitter documentation is below, with links direct to images.

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Documentation Friday 5 August 2016

Today I’m spending the day occupying the Super Shared space in @RMITDesignHub’s #Occupied:

  1. Find the space. #occupied
  2. Enter the space. #occupied
  3. Survey the space. #occupied
  4. Create a sense of the familiar from which to rearrange the space. #occupied
  5. Listen closely. Voices of greeting. Two languages. Ambient beats. The distant ding of the elevators. Air conditioning. #occupied
  6. Understand the relations among what already exists. Observe how drawing changes them. #occupied
  7. Observe the advice of the manual. #occupied
  8. Experience a sudden surge of joy in anticipating all the big thinky reading to be had. Prioritise. #occupied
  9. Imagine the pleasure of illicit discovery in rifling through someone else’s books when you’re a guest. #occupied
  10. Make a list. #occupied
  11. Familiar voices calling out, planning their day, troubleshooting, finding something that was lost, making it a gift. #occupied
  12. Drink some water. Confirm lunch plans. Text close friends to check in. Listen to a lament on “forms” that need filling out. #occupied
  13. Experience all of a sudden in the body the tension between a desire to explore the exhibition and a desire to stay and retreat #occupied
  14. Read Cristina Ampatzidou’s interview w. Platon Issaias on Athens architecture as a project of domestic ethos as well as crisis #occupied
  15. Examine the DVD library. Realise that the DVD player’s been on all morning. Open it. #occupied
  16. Take a call from Vincent from Arts Alive and record an interview on Home Is Where The Hall Is. Discover he’s across in Bldg 9. #occupied
  17. Pause to reflect on all the analogies between #RAVHalls and #occupied
  18. Stretch out. Look across. Look down. #occupied
  19. Visitors! Tope, Matt, Neal, Maudie #occupied
  20. Time for lunch with @BettyFjord! #occupied
  21. BRB #occupied
  22. A cup of tea with Leo Cappetto #occupied
  23. Learn about Leon’s practice, about the Italian influence in Chile, and his native Argentina. Talk politics and apathy. Sigh. #occupied
  24. Atlanta Eke’s #occupied work imagines architects from 2050 travelling back to now. Last week I saw them perform.
  25. The Rolling House for the Rolling Society imagines parasitical urban invasions that drive social change.
  26. The Fake Industries #occupied project reimagines the @MoMAPS1 courtyard with architecture igniting a party.
  27. Continue to explore #occupied while thinking through the political complexities in aestheticising the built environment. What is home?
  28. Rest the mind in the sparseness of Jack Self’s Cenobum: Housing for the 99%. A critique of London. #occupied
  29. Delight in the tiny aperture of MANY 6160’s Spacemarket. On the urban scale, paces for art are tiny. #occupied
  30. Compare my living situation with the Australian average. #occupied
  31. Marvel at the precision of Vokes and Peters’ work. Consider the sacredness of residential typologies.

I’m upstairs til 6pm and have had many visitors already as well as enjoying a lovely cup of peppermint tea with Leo!

  1. Settle back in my 10m2. Rediscover my list. Poke at the balloons. Listen to Fake Industries’ beats. #occupied
  2. Leap headlong into a piece asking the key questions that have #occupied my thinking for well over a decade.
  3. Recognising that while I’d welcomed guests in the morning, in the readerly arv I tell unannounced visitors that this space is #occupied.
  4. Reading the Constitution of the Interim. Interim defined as the period between functionally defined use. Opening up prospects. #occupied
  5. Reading the Constitution of the Interim. Endowing the Interim with rights due to its scarcity and its value to cultural change #occupied
  6. Reading the Constitution of the Interim. Identifying the anticipated, unanticipated, opportunistic and strategic interim. #occupied
  7. Reading the Constitution of the Interim. Once activated, its citizens and organisations seek to derive value from the interim #occupied
  8. Reading the Constitution of the Interim. Its democratic life premised on inequality and non-equivalence that spark development #occupied
  9. Reading the Constitution of the Interim. Capitalised increases in value – cultural, economic ­– are ideally irreversible. #occupied
  10. Reading the Constitution of the Interim. Enshrining rights: dignity, freedoms, inequality/difference, solidarity, justice. #occupied
  11. Reading the Constitution of the Interim. Learning how local authorities can facilitate access to the interim. Policy, action. #occupied
  12. Deeply impressed with Stealth Unlimited’s articulation of the generative interstitial space in the form of a legal framework. #occupied
  13. The only way to challenge space that is #occupied is to reappropriate its function, instituting a state of exception. A valid interim.
  14. Observing how the unresolved texture and forced angularity of the space gives a sense of #occupied as interim.
  15. Reminded again that while the downstairs door does lock, and there’s an #occupied sign on it, there is another way up. Sigh #notoccupied
  16. They say talk is cheap. They are lying. It sucks out your soul. #occupied
  17. Why does the former UK PM on civic action read as though absolving his government of its public duty? #occupied
  18. #occupied
  19. Listen to Leo welcoming another guest, Lauren, and offering her some tea. “Black tea or peppermint?” #occupied
  20. Notice how if someone feels that they are intruding, no gesture of hospitality can put them at ease. Try anyway. #occupied
  21. A drawer can become a shelf. A railing can become a coatstand. Balloons can allow or disallow access. #occupied
  22. Locating myself in a space that’s other, that’s public and that’s temporary. Sensing the shifts in thought. #occupied
  23. The domestic, reframed as subject to social forces, and thereby politicised. Public, yet #occupied.
  24. As people visit me, recall my experience of public writing at @mcachicago, and feel their awkwardness. #occupied
  25. Unexpectedly welcome Damien Power and @dneus’ sister! So lovely! Catch Damien’s Killing Ground 9pm tonight at @MIFFofficial. #occupied
  26. Take stock. #occupied
  27. Say my goodbyes to today’s temporary writery/home. #occupied
  28. Notice the hidden trace of the one who came before. #occupied
  29. Leave my own mark. #occupied
  30. #occupied #notoccupied
  31. Share some words of parting with Leo. “You will be here again”, he asks, only it is not a question, “and we will talk.” #occupied