Essays

The Right to Shape the City

Published in: Architect Victoria, Winter, 2013

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Scaffolding, Santiago Cirugeda, Seville, 1998. Image courtesy of Santiago Cirugeda.

The city is no more the sum of its architecture, the stuff of bricks, mortar, precast concrete, thoroughfares, service lanes, private and civic spaces, than it is a place defined by speculators and institutions which plan, build and govern on its behalf. Rather it is a place inhabited, and as such is coloured as much by breath, gesture, act, as by design and legislation….. Read pdf. The Right To Shape The City

Related: Architecture on the Fringes of Legality

Too Post-human to Die?

Published in: (catalogue essay) Alex Rizkalla, Place Gallery, Melbourne, Australia, 2012; Shikigami (blog), 3 July 2012

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Levitating caterpillar. Image courtesy of Dion Workman.

With the sliding doors open, my brother and I sat with the view and scent of an idyllic forest garden. After spending almost two weeks as a visitor here at Shikigami, nestled between wooded hills, on the Pacific coast of Honshu Island, Japan, I found amidst familiar rhythms, endless variety and nuance. Whether lighting a handful of brittle foliage to fire the rocket stove, following a meandering garden path to collect a colander of leafy greens, sitting at a bend in the stream listening to water snag rocks, drinking fragrant tea from a hand thrown cup, or watching the flicker of a large cosmically-dark butterfly blur your vision. Read more (web)

Architecture on the Fringes of Legality: Santiago Cirugeda & Kyohei Sakaguchi

Published in: un Magazine, issue 5-2, 2011

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‘Zero-yen house’, Japan, circa 2000. Image courtesy of Kyohei Sakaguchi.

A dwelling is extracted from the fine print of planning and building codes. A modest architectural prosthesis, connected physically and psychically to four apartments. Here the architect rests, calibrates acts in which to reconfigure the city’s code. In another location, across an ocean, a handful of portable structures stand, blue tarpaulins taut. A small village amongst trees. Read pdf. Un 5-2 Architecture on the Fringes of Legality J Workman

Related: The Right To Shape The City

Breathing Contemporary Art

Published in: Third Text, Vol 25 Issue 5, 2011

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‘The shop floor’, 2007. Image courtesy of the author.

For several months during 2007, I donned an assortment of safety equipment to work in an art fabrication studio situated in an increasingly hip, yet notoriously polluted Brooklyn neighbourhood.

Thanks to a combination of fortuitous timing and a persistent friend, I found myself suddenly, and somewhat unexpectedly part of a small team of artisans fabricating sculptures and installations for a number of celebrated artists. The studio, located a stones throw from the East River, occupied three spaces across three floors of an early twentieth century building. The remainder of the premises was tenanted by an assortment of businesses, mainly small production outfits and other artisan workshops. Read pdf. BCA_J_Workman (nb: This is not the format as published in Third Text)

Pleasure, Street Art and Direct Encounters

Published in: un Magazine, Issue 4-1, 2010

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Everyday Consensus, Patrick Jones, Melbourne, 2006. Image courtesy of Patrick Jones.

Street art constitutes a diverse set of acts, gestures and mark-making insinuated and acted out within the physical space of our daily lives. The unsolicited creativity evidenced within the public sphere is a means of expression not only restricted to rebellious spasms, but more expansively to an articulation that seeks the pleasure of taking an idea and making it material in the public domain. It is an opportunity that is seized before the shadow of a new thought passes the mind — a physical act released before circumstance dissolves into a new set of possibilities. Read More. (web, see page 29)

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