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Viv, Viv, Vivian!

RMIT Bachelor of Architectural Design, Design Studio Semester 2, 2014.

Supervisor: Dr Michael Spooner


Nash Weerasekera, Glory Kamthunzi, Georgia Eade, Jaime Levin, Shakila Martin, Laura Bailey, Liam Oxlade, Marnie Newton, Edmund Olowo, Mary Spyropoulos, Ben Sy & Gilli Marquez Musso

VIV, VIV, VIVIAN! Architecture in the Realm of the Unreal considers the paradoxical situating of ‘outsider art’ as a condition of an interior that is not literal but conceptual with the intention of developing a residence, gallery and artist studio. What is of interest to the studio is not the fetishization of the art or the artists, but rather how the problematizing of the threshold between inside and outside ‘as such’ contributes new insights into the production of a conceptual interior and the implications this has for new architectures.


As an introduction to the conceptual framework of the studio the student’s were asked to complete an A2 elevation of Antonio Gaudi’s Casa Mila facade in blue hues on watercolour paper whilst observing Derek Jarman’s 1993 film ‘Blue’; draw 16 plans and unfolded elvations of their bedroom with their non-writing hand on A4 watercolour paper highlighted with red-wine (Merlot was suggested); physically model one of the 16 drawings in watercolour paper interpreting any discrepancy in the line (additionally the model had to ‘fit in the palm of your hand’); redraw an area of the plan of Le Corbusier’s chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in fine black pen that examined the interior of the plan as an object whilst leaving blank an area on the page that matched the location of the bedroom plan in one of the 16 red-wine drawings; inside this void was to be drawn one of John Kovac’s tattoos from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 film ‘The Lifeboat’ and include a room label selected from Brian Dillon’s ‘An Approach to the Interior’ (from The Surreal House catalogue).

In the following class (three days later) the students were surprised by being required to dissect the selection of drawings (however beautiful) using scalpels, blades and bare hands, and to improvise their recomposition on a large blank wall. Henri Matisse’s 1952 collage ‘The Swimming Pool’, a study for the artist’s dining room,was in mind. After four hours of tortuous composition the resultant configuration was christened “It’s Vitreous Shell”.

On completion a bag was filled with red wine and the composition was ritually sacrificed.

Residence, Gallery and Studio for an Outsider Artist

Residence, Gallery and Studio for an Outsider Artist

Residence, Gallery and Studio for an Outsider Artist

Residence, Gallery and Studio for an Outsider Artist

Residence, Gallery and Studio for an Outsider Artist

Mid semester review was conceived as a ‘salon ‘ comprised of a wallpaper of student work, roving bands of critics and students, and a general atmosphere of celebration and conversation.


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