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Temporary installation of a geodesic dome at the National Gallery of Victoria for the Melbourne Now exhibition (Nov 2013 - Mar 2014).

Project text
In the mid 1960s, while he was designing the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), architect Roy Grounds was experimenting with geometry on a property near Penders on the south-coast of NSW. One of his experiments was a geodesic dome, of the kind pioneered in the USA by radical designer, scientist, engineer and philosopher Buckminster Fuller. But where Fuller’s domes were military grade, Grounds’ interpretation was far more ‘Australian’. In place of Fuller’s crisp lightweight aluminium struts, Grounds had used timber logs. And instead of refined steel spider junctions, Grounds had used the lids of old tin garbage bins. The result is a peculiar hybrid of pure geometry meets the Leyland Brothers, the can-do, she’ll-be-right, Aussie spirit that’s become so strong in our national mythology.

This dome formed the starting point for the ‘Bin Dome’, an installation designed by Rory Hyde Projects for the Melbourne Now exhibition at the NGV, summer 2013-14. Sited in Federation Court, the central courtyard of Grounds’ 1968 fortress of culture, the Bin Dome draws together Grounds’ private experiments with his more formal outcomes. The bin lids of the Penders dome have become 1,000 IKEA bins, the generic and ubiquitous product of our globalised world. These inexpensive and familiar products take on a more heroic and specular quality when arrayed en masse, focussing the sunlight and casting shadows.

The Bin Dome is also covered in air plants (Tilandsias and Bromeliads) as a way to return the some of the qualities of the outdoors that was central to Grounds’ original design for Federation Court, lost in the gallery’s renovation of 2002.
Designed as a social space for events, meeting up with friends, and shelter from the summer sun, the Bin Dome draws upon Melbourne’s history of experimental architecture and utopian thinking to create a generous public space within the gallery.


Video by Dewi Cooke, The Age.


Thanks to Amy Silver for everything. Thanks to Ed Hyde, Vaughan Howard, Darcy Zelenko, Dharman Gersch, Ziga Testen, Darragh O’Brien and Aiman Ahmad for their help with building. Thanks to Toby Pond and Tim Black for design advice, and to Jon Anderson of Hive Engineering for structural advice. Thanks to Tim and Caleb Wallace at Vicbeam for fabricating the LVLs. Thanks to Kevin O'Connor at the RMIT Architecture workshop for help milling the ply profiles. Thanks to Anthony and Chloe Hyde for much advice along the way and for tolerating the prototypes filling up their living room. Thanks to Paul Beale and Jess Perry for lighting advice. Thanks to Eugene Howard for sticking up all the plants. Thanks to NGV staff Nicole Montiero, Don Heron, Mark Patulo, Adam Graf for all their help along the way. And thanks especially to Max Delany and Tony Elwood for giving the opportunity to create something for this incredible site and exhibition, and for their confidence and faith in this experiment.
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'Architecture on the Air' is a project for the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale by The Architects on Triple R (Stuart Harrison, Simon Knott, Christine Phillips and Rory Hyde). Invited as part of the Formations: New Practices in Australian Architecture exhibit in the Australian pavilion, we chose to perform our radio show live throughout the first week of the Biennale. We constructed a mobile radio trolley, complete with mics, headsets, mixing desk, transmitter and aerial - all running off-the-grid on a car battery - allowing us to broadcast on a local FM frequency with a range that covered most of the giardini in Venice.

More info:
* 'Architecture on the Air' at roryhyde.com/blog
* Listen to our interview with Monocle Radio (mp3, starts at 31.00)
* Mentioned by Robert Bevan in The Australian
* Check out our new website - radioarchitects.org
* Listen to our live broadcast from Venice on Triple R.
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Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture

New book by Rory Hyde exploring emergent roles for architects in the 21st century. Published by Routledge and Taylor & Francis, 2012.

Designers around the world are eagerly carving out opportunities for new kinds of engagement, new kinds of collaboration, new kinds of design outcomes, and new kinds of practice; overturning the inherited assumptions of the design professions. This book presents seventeen conversations with practitioners from the fields of architecture, policy, activism, design, education, research, history, community engagement and more, each representing an emergent role for designers to occupy. Whether the "civic entrepreneur," the "double agent," or the "strategic designer," this book offers a diverse spectrum of approaches to design, each offering a potential future for architectural practice.

- Bruce Mau
- Indy Johar, Architecture 00:/
- Reinier de Graaf & Laura Baird, AMO
- Mel Dodd, muf_aus
- Wouter Vanstiphout, Crimson
- Camila Bustamante
- Steve Ashton, ARM
- Matt Webb, BERG
- Bryan Boyer, Helsinki Design Lab
- Todd Reisz, on consultants
- Marcus Westbury, Renew Newcastle
- DUS Architects
- Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang
- Conrad Hamann, on Robin Boyd
- Liam Young, Unknown Fields
- Arjen Oosterman & Lilet Breddels, Volume
- Natalie Jeremijenko, Environmental Health Clinic

"This book offers a set of half-drawn blueprints, half-formed thoughts, tentative experiments, contingent structures, and false memories of alternative trajectories; in other words, perfect material to prototype the new edges of architecture with." - Dan Hill, from the foreword.

Available now on Amazon.co.uk

Read a sample chapter on Australian Design Review

Subscribe to the mailing list

Like Future Practice on Facebook

Editor: Wendy Fuller / Design: Sam de Groot / Transcription: Jude Crilly / Cover photo: Liam Tickner
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We once had a very direct relationship to our energy use, as with most animals today, it was directly related to our metabolic rate. Asleep we require about 90 watts of energy to ‘run’, to subsist in the Amazon as a hunter gatherer requires about 250 watts. With the rise of civilisation and technology, the modern middle class human in the developed world requires around 11,000 watts to live, which, as physicist Geoffrey West “is more watts than a blue whale … the biggest animal that has ever existed.”
Today we associate guilt with our energy footprints. In the post-carbon world of New Order we may instead embrace our animal avatars, giving them names and identities of their own. Come and introduce yourself.

In collaboration with Katja Novitskova
Hosted by Mediamatic.
Part of New Order, an event and exhibition series on energy, economy and art in a post-carbon world. From March 9 to May 6 2012
Thanks to Hsien Yu and Carlos for helping build it.
Photos: Simone Schoutens
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New Order is an exhibition and series of public programs curated by Rory Hyde and Katja Novitskova for Mediamatic in Amsterdam, winter 2011-12.

Concept text:
The energy crisis has been solved, and the climate crisis is a non-issue. The world looks very different to ours, and yet seems normal to those who live in it.

In this post carbon world, energy is understood not as merely electrical power but in all its various stages and phases: mineral, organic and cultural. It can be compared to the new and social media of today; as a form of currency.

New Order will explore the implications of energy's new role in our daily lives. How does it influence our interaction with the city, with public and private power structures, with products, art, and other crossing points of energy and social values?

Participating Artists: DUS, Martti Kalliala, Chris Lee, Femke Herregraven, Liam Young, Sascha Pohflepp

A catalogue for the show has been published as a special insert in Volume magazine: Centres Adrift. It features all the projects in the show, plus a catalogue essay, a new text on Martti Kalliala's Radiant Beach by German novelist Ingo Nierman, an interview with Chris Lee and Femke Herregraven by Marc Tuters, and an essay by Sascha Pohlflepp titled 'Pre-Enactment'.

For more information see www.mediamatic.net/NewOrder
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Shortlisted submission for the role of Creative Director of the Australian Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. Collaboration with Justine Clark and Kate Rhodes.

Project text:

‘Opportunistic’ is defined as ‘taking immediate advantage, often unethically, of any circumstance of possible benefit.’ It is also related to the word ‘opportunity’, or ‘a chance for success or advancement’.

It is between these two definitions – one devious and one admirable – that the Opportunistic Architect operates. Opportunistic Architects ‘do not wait for the phone to ring’. They are pro-active, entrepreneurial, nimble, industrious, intelligent and ambitious. Opportunistic Architects are motivated both by a latent urge to ‘do good’ – increasingly prevalent among architects today – but also by the need to make money, the will to succeed, and to see their visions realized.

The Office for Opportunistic Architecture is a temporary, productive office housed in the Australian Pavilion. It is simultaneously an ‘office’ and ‘exhibition’, exhibiting people at work and the work they create, by hosting teams of Australian architects working on the key spatial challenges facing Australia today. It offers a chance to step outside of standard practice frameworks and explore the social agency of architecture.
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