As part of the Melbourne School of Design’s ongoing ‘Alumni Survey Series’, dB(A) conductor Dylan Brady was approached to put on a retrospective exhibition of his career so far in architecture. ‘Work: in Progress’ tells the story of Architecture as fundamentally journey driven. Perceived destinations like houses and skyscrapers are simply waystations, crescendos of madness and moments of stillness along the continuing path. The exhibition explores this journey through a series of sketches spanning two decades.
Rather than a series of ‘and then I did’s’, ‘Work: in Progress’ was conceived as a stream of consciousness, that takes the viewer on a journey through the architectural process. We poured over twenty years worth of sketches, selecting those which displayed bold concepts, ambitious projects and lateral thinking.
These sketches were then laid across a series 49 large format panels, measuring 900mm wide and 2450mm high. Rather than display them individually, each sketch melds and weaves with its neighbour, creating one continuous and dichotomous piece, encapsulating moments of order and chaos.
‘Work: in Progress’ was designed to represent the busy architect’s desk; a patchwork of sketches and notebooks, weaving over each other, with something to be revealed under each layer. A 1:100 and 1:1 models were created to better understand the functionality and rhythm of the panels and how this would translate into the exhibition space.
A series of 41 low energy LED lighting strips line the three walls of the gallery, creating a complementary rhythm to the panels that sit in front. The lights illuminate the sketches, creating milestones along architecture’s endless journey.
Both the lighting and the panels were installed over 2 days. The chosen lighting allowed for a quick installation without the need of a electrician. The panels were designed to overlap one another, allowing the installation team to quickly align and attach. To give further depth to the exhibition, Dylan sketched over the installed panels, highlighting both the evolving nature of architecture, and the final touches to the installation.
“ Architecture is a process. A cultivated weaving of our cultures and crafts. It is a study and reflection on society, culture and people. It is playing at your very best, with passion and intensity and courage and reverence. It is understanding and awareness- of your brief, your environment, your urgency to present the future. It is an ambition to inspire, to challenge and enrich, to question and learn and test and reflect and create and immerse your Self in experience. It is a calling to travel and explore, to discover and pioneer, to advocate and prospect and conjure and transform and to conduct a little joy. ”