Systems Upgrade: Book Launch Event
at Bookshop by Uro.
When: 6.30PM - 8:30PM, Thursday, 21 April
About this event
University of Melbourne faculty and authors: Leire Asensio Villoria and David Mah will be joined in conversation by Professor Donald Bates to discuss their new book: Systems Upgrade” (Re)Fabricating Tectonic Prototypes. They will discuss the close study of material legacies from Modern systems design and speculate on how this may be linked to contemporary practice through the capacities offered by our current design tools.
Light refreshments will be served after the discussion.
About the Book: Systems Upgrade: (Re)Fabricating Tectonic Prototypes by Leire Asensio Villoria & David Mah / 2022, Actar Publishers
The book submits that a deep study of legacy material artifacts, through the lens of contemporary digital design can constitute a valuable bridge between design history and contemporary creative practice.
Systems Upgrade focuses on an investigation into the ways that we may re-describe and upgrade these design legacies for extension in future practice. Systems Upgrade offers a design research approach that leverages the embodied knowledge latent within the material legacies of design history for direct applicability in creative practice.
This long-spanning research into the construction of links between the deep study of precedent and future practice has been advanced through a simultaneous engagement with digital archeology and the new tools of creative practice. Invested in the belief of a need to open design and its material legacies to a multiverse, this research has yielded a collection of methods, techniques and novel outcomes grounded in history yet openly speculative in outlook. Systems Upgrade extensively illustrates an engagement with some of the most notable works of the Austrian American sculptor and designer Erwin Hauer. This book highlights several important phases of this specific design research project to provide a detailed view of how a series of bridges between analysis to creative practice may be achieved.
Professor Donald Bates
Professor Donald Bates (LFRAIA; FRIBA) is the Chair of Architectural Design, and Associate Dean (Engagement) for the Melbourne School of Design, as part of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, at the University of Melbourne. He is a Founder and Director of LAB Architecture Studio. He is a registered architect in the State of Victoria, and the UK.
Bates graduated with a B.Arch from University of Houston, and has an M.Arch from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Upon graduation, he was invited to teach at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, where he taught from 1983 - 89; and from 1994 - 95. He founded and directed the independent architecture school LoPSiA, in France, from 1990-94.
In 1994, Prof Bates and Peter Davidson founded LAB Architecture Studio, and in 1997, LAB won the international design competition for Federation Square, Melbourne. LAB has designed a range of large-scale commercial, cultural, civic and residential projects, numerous master plans, with built works in Australia, Asia, and Europe, and has received numerous awards for these projects. The built projects in the Middle East and Gulf include Abu Dhabi (Guardian Towers), Riyahd (at King Abdullah Financial District) and Beirut (Eden Gardens), as well as proposals for Culture Village, Tatweer Towers, Jumeriah Village Culture Centre and Rasasi D’Or Tower in Dubai.
Prof Bates has lectured at more than 240 schools of architecture, and has been published extensively in journals and magazines, and has been profiled in two major film productions in Australia. He is a member of the Victorian Design Review Panel, Chair of the University of Melbourne Design Advisory and Review Group, a member of the Metro Rail Arts Advisory Panel, and has been a jury member or chair of more than 27 international architectural design competitions.
Leire Asensio Villoria
Leire is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne’s School of Design. She has taught at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design from 2010 to 2017, at London’s Architectural Association School of Architecture, Graduate School Landscape Urbanism Programme from 2004 to 2007 and at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning from 2006 till 2010.
While at the GSD, Leire was part of the leadership team for the Waste to Energy Group and was also design research lead for the Health and Places Initiative, a research collaboration between the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health focused on studying the links between the built environment and health outcomes. She has co-authored the books: Systems Upgrade: (Re)Fabricating Tectonic Prototypes (2022, Actar), Architecture and Waste: A (Re)Planned Obsolescence (2017, Actar) and Lifestyled: Health and Places (2016, Jovis).
Since 2002, Leire has been collaborating with David Syn Chee Mah as asensio_mah. Their work has been exhibited internationally including at the Royal Academy of Art in London, The Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York and has been featured in professional books and journals published by Birkhauser, Evolo, Lars Muller, Actar and Routledge amongst others.
David Mah is a senior lecturer in urban design and architecture at the University of Melbourne’s school of design. Previous to the MSD, David was a lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (2010-2017). While at the GSD, David was also design research lead for the Health and Places Initiative, a research collaboration between the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health focused on studying the links between the built environment and health outcomes. He also taught design and theory at Cornell University’s department of architecture (2007-2010) and Landscape Urbanism at the graduate design school of the Architectural Association in London (2004-2007).
Together with Leire Asensio Villoria, David is co-author of the book: Systems Upgrade: (Re)Fabricating Tectonic Prototypes (2022 Actar) and Lifestyled: Health and Places (2016, Jovis). David’s teaching and research focuses on resilience and sustainability through an engagement with emerging design approaches as well as novel technologies. His research spans between larger scales of engagement such as landscape urbanism as well as the relationships between health and place through to explorations in digital fabrication as well as associative design approaches.
Together with Leire Asensio Villoria, David is also active in the production of architectural and creative works. Their work has been exhibited internationally including at the Royal Academy of Art in London, The Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York and has been featured in professional books and journals published by Birkhauser, Evolo, Lars Muller, Actar and Routledge amongst others.