Design and construction of a temporary bamboo structure provided the vehicle to explore live and interactive design-led research, extending collaborative partnerships and forging new relationships. Designed for two events of contrasting scale as part of the Dark Mofo annual arts festival hosted by the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Tasmania, the project drew on an extensive portfolio of research into traditional and contemporary bamboo structures complied by Sydney-based architecture practice, Cave Urban. It extended Cave Urban’s previous partnerships with Taiwanese artist, Wang Wen Chih, and involved collaboration between Cave Urban and students from the University of Tasmania (UTAS) School of Architecture & Design and Tasmanian College of the Arts (TCotA), and on-site assistance from the MONA events construction team.
Construction over a three-week process involved design research that provided new knowledge into bamboo structures and developed new process of Learning By Making as a form of collaborative research-based teaching. Interaction between the team of 25 people shifted between modes of open/closed and flat/hierarchical collaboration, in a dynamic process that lent new definition to the idea of ‘live’ projects. Design-led research provided the opportunity for an equal number of students and expert collaborators, facilitating an opportunity to explore a master/apprentice model, to expanded practical and theoretical knowledge and expertise through the design and construction of a temporary civic event space.
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