The Parallax View

If you happen to be in Melbourne, Australia, this weekend, I will be speaking at Parallax, the Australian National Architecture Conference.

My subject will be architectural media, broadly speaking, in a dual session co-hosted with Aaron Betsky:
    The role of the media in disseminating architectural theory and practice has been debated as long as media has engaged with architectural practice and production. These debates – pitting access to information against authenticity of mediated versus real experience – have become even more complex in the contemporary environment where magazines are joined by blogs, YouTube, Facebook and web alerts.
    We are interested in the veracity of these various forms of media and in the types of architectural activity and architects they promote. Will architectural tendencies change as modes of media evolve? How are the two related?
In addition to myself and Betsky, the conference also features Tatiana Bilbao, Sou Fujimoto, Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Veronika Valk, Winka Dubbeldam, Bijoy Jain from Studio Mumbai, Edwin Chan, Peter Wilson, and, last but not least, Slavoj Žižek.
This is in addition to a number of other speakers who will be leading workshops throughout the conference. For instance, I'm also scheduled for a workshop – again, on "Architectural publishing: The future" – with Winka Dubbeldam and Andrew MacKenzie, editor-in-chief of Architectural Review Australia.
Finally, I'll also get to meet, after nearly five years of emails, the legendary Mr. Marcus Trimble from Super Colossal. This will be at a live design critique hosted in a Melbourne pub Friday night; other judges include Slavoj Žižek, Aaron Betsky, Edwin Chan, Bijoy Jain (Studio Mumbai), Veronika Valk, and Peter Wilson, and it will all be moderated by Leon van Schaik.
While I'm at it, let me add that I'm also excited to meet architect Andrew Maynard, as well as Simon Sellars from Ballardian.
So while my time in Melbourne will be short, unfortunately – and hopefully swine flu-free – if you happen to be around this week, it'd be nice to meet.
Regular posts will resume shortly...

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Blogger Jack Daniel said...

Interesting blog you have here.

Who is the ´I´ in this post?
I´m curious.

April 27, 2009 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Kathryn said...

Architecture Review Australia falls under Austrlian design review. Its site is

April 28, 2009 1:02 AM  
Blogger Dylan said...

I didn't realize Zizek was interested in architecture. Is this a new development, or have I been out of the loop? How long has he participated in arch. discourse?

April 28, 2009 2:06 PM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Thanks, Kathryn - updated the post with a link.

Dylan, Zizek is technically speaking about "politics," I believe - in fact, specifically urban politics - but this is simply being folded into a larger conference about architecture.

Just got into Melbourne, incidentally - long flight, but have finally set foot in the southern hemisphere...

April 28, 2009 10:35 PM  
Blogger Dylan said...

I see that he's also participating in a design critique - that should be interesting!

It seems that architects often try to bring philosophers into their fold - ones who may or may not have any interest in the discipline of architecture but are intrigued enough to enter the periphery of discussion.

As much as we (architects) might find their work interesting or compelling for our own practice - it seems that the results are often disappointing when we beckon them into our circles. I am reminded in this case of a rarely published debate between Rem Koolhaas and Cornell West - two completely misaligned trajectories of thought.

April 29, 2009 2:24 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Hi Geoff, really excited that we'll be hearing you speak at Parallax!
Personally hadn't realised that the author of this blog would be speaking here in Melbourne, till a closer look at the program. Honoured to have you speaking with us.
Have a pleasant stay, I'm sure you'll find Melbourne a delightful city.

Architecture student

April 30, 2009 9:28 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Good talk this morning Geoff. All power to the Media Sluts. Shame the session was so short. Might catch up for another on Saturday.

April 30, 2009 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Talk Geoff, I thought your argument on bringing in alternative ideas, views into the creative process of architecture was extremely valid, the point of asking a epidemiologist to build or plan a building or urban plan was fantastic in the current circumstances. Slavoj Zizek made some good point in his role a panel chair about the Architecture Class System, and the design of toilets...I thought that was interesting ethniclly, I hope they post some videos of the talks online... Once again it was great to hear a alternative view from a non architect about architecture and it's potential creative processes... great stuff

May 01, 2009 1:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I'm currently researching a Master's thesis based somewhere in the intersection of the impact of new media on Architecture, and wonder whether there is/will be a way to access the material presented at the conference? Melbourne is a great city, but it is unfortunately quite difficult to justify a quick trip there from Rome!

May 01, 2009 11:53 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Thanks for the comments/feedback! It's been a great time here - especially meeting so many people I've known so long online.

Abe, I'm not sure, actually, but I will check with the conference organizers.

Now back into the conference to hear Zizek speak...

May 01, 2009 8:58 PM  
Anonymous Jannette said...

Hi Geoff

Just got to say that I loved your talk, it was engaging, easy to understand, and even though you thought it was inappropriate, loved the comment of creating mutant genius-creative-minded babies for people to adopt as part of the conference. Hope you enjoyed your time here in Melbourne~ You've influenced a lot of us students to start thinking about blogging again.


May 04, 2009 11:23 AM  

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