Workaround Exhibition at the RMIT Gallery: Sensory City

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In 2018, OoPLA were invited to form part of the Workaround Exhibition at the RMIT Design Hub Gallery.

WORKAROUND engaged with a movement of women focused on advocacy and activism within an expanded field of architecture. Each of these practitioners works towards positive change in the built environment and its surrounding cultures. Motivated by the increasing urgency of the challenges we all now face — environmental, social and professional — these women work around existing conventions, systems and structures.

Such practitioners share some common characteristics. They demonstrate agency, strategic opportunism and values- based leadership. Also, they can be defined by what they are not — they are not conventional practitioners, and they are (generally) not producing objects or working within the traditional structure of the design office. These practitioners are agile and each has developed workarounds to critically negotiate and rethink systemic limitations; circumventing entrenched professional hierarchies; managing working life and family demands, and extending the bounds of architecture and design.

Within the diverse practices of these women, gender and feminist politics play varying roles: sometimes a direct and explicit driver, sometimes an implicit and understated context.

WORKAROUND is an online broadcast and a program of live events. Across fourteen daily episodes, fourteen Australian practitioners each present a critique, conversation, interview, workshop or performance that articulates their strategies and workarounds and reflects on their activist practice. In addition, the curators will present a fifteenth episode exploring design activism. Each of the episodes can be watched in real time as it occurs from the set at RMIT Design Hub, or viewed online via the Design Hub website.

For WORKAROUND, our curatorial intention is clear — it is to identify, assemble, create a platform for, and find new connections between a burgeoning movement of women focused on advocacy and activism within an expanded field of architecture. These fourteen broadcast episodes bring to light ways of working within, without and beside architecture as it has previously been conceived. WORKAROUND is our opportunity to learn how this extraordinary group of women articulate their particular workarounds — both personal and professional — that are necessary to effect change.