NotesSubterranean Architecture is a creative work that uses architectural model making techniques to explore an exchange between architecture and immigrant labour.
Displayed as part of a group exhibition involving creative responses to five sites of immigrant labour - Migrant Camps, Snowy Hydro, Port Kembla Steelworks, Woomera, Melbourne Suburbs.
Immigration centres and industries that employed refugee and immigrant labour in the post war period can be thought of as nodes in an interdependent spatial and transnational labour network. The physical sites and projects featured in this exhibition convey this network, its nodal points and inter-cultural social interactions through a study of Migrant Camps, Snowy hydro-electric power, Woomera (defence) and raw-material production Port Kembla Steelworks, trans-Asian suburbanisation in Melbourne. ARC DPDP190101531 Architecture and Industry: Immigrants' contribution to nation-building, 1945-1979.
Subterranean Architecture is large physical model - 1900X450X690 on a podium of 7representing a tiny section of the Port Kembla Steelworks. Rather than an empirical and realistic representation, the model endeavours to explore a relationship between architecture and labour. The model is assembled from over 1000 components, no glue is used. The complex and intricate assembly of the components was an undertaking of two full weeks of labour; with two months prior digital and material preparation. This critical and creative process generates new understanding on the space of the factory, reconceptualising the 'architectural model'
A normative understanding of architecture is limited to its empirical dimensions, and yet the space of the steelworks enveloped, organised and directed immigrant labour. The labour invested in the model is a gesture of care and ethics to the real labour of the immigrant workers. The model re-imagines immigrant labour as dignified contribution, and links this to migrant agency and subjectivity. Shown at the Museo Italiano - national and international venue. Reviewed two international journals (2023), + academic review; Rete Italia (Radio linked to Il Globo newspaper - Australia). Conference paper 2022; Chapter 2023 - see attachments.
Extent1 complete large Physical model, 1900X450X690 - pdf file; 1 process and fabrication of model - pdf file; 1 digital model construction - pdf file.
Editor/Contributor(s)Tang Q, Siamphukdee C
Place of publicationMelbourne, Vic.
SeriesDignity of Labour