Category Archives: Research

Capathetical

One of the crawlers that would comprise the new Capital (1973)

The recent Capathetical Competition has sparked interest within the firm, and led us, once more, back to the archives.

Ideas of Australian identity and Australian ownership are becoming increasingly tortuous. Our major cities are some of the largest in the world – not simply in terms of gross area, but in population. A long-standing debate has centred on our continued ability to provide sustainable stewardship of our natural resources; on the actual ‘carrying capacity’ of our territory. The entire debate is idealogically coloured – the lowest population estimates are couched in a vision of a hyper-fragile landscape, ill-equipped to handle even two-dozen million on the fertile coastal margins – the high estimates appear to be hangovers of the late-colonial era; positing a nation of a hundred million; a global player and a bulwark against expansionist attitudes from the nebulous asian north.

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The Pinnacle

Design Architect: Frank Godsell
Project Team: Frank Godsell, Dmitri Massinof

You think Laika was lonely?

Pinnacle at the close of its first decade.

Spare a thought for poor Gagarin – twenty days in a tiny, claustrophobic capsule, with only a purloined balalaika for company. Twenty days before that first, almost inaudible report as another metal bauble nosed its way into the crooked gap between the steel sphere of the life-support capsule and the eight-faced jewel of the retro-rocket.

The Amerikano, Alan Shephard, in the tiny conical flask of Freedom 7. He punched through to Gagarin’s cosy coffin in a matter of minutes. Neither of them were de-orbiting – spot welds and oxy-acetlyne cuts would work well enough to hold in the air.

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Tadosa – Cities on the Edge

Not all of our projects are local. For the last month, we’ve been working alongside a number of parties in the curation and framing of a body of research into ‘edge’ conditions in ‘edge-states.’

The liminal (and near) nations of Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Somaliland have a chequered history of collaboration. Drawn together by a shared inability to gain all but the most cursory recognition from the UN, and consolidated into a sort of loose body of mutual co-operation and support, they remain marked by stark political, geographic and demographic differences. Transnistria is defined by a heavily industrialised economy, but mounting debts and a slowly dwindling population; Somaliland is marked by rapid population growth and some of the few functioning public institutions in the broader Horn-of-africa region.

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