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'Vacant Geelong' and its lingering industrial architecture

journal contribution
posted on 2020-12-01, 00:00 authored by Mirjana LozanovskaMirjana Lozanovska, Akari Nakai KiddAkari Nakai Kidd
Once a prosperous manufacturing town, Geelong in Victoria, Australia is undergoing a process of deindustrialisation and, in turn, redefining its identity to better retain viability in a globalised world. For instance, the town bid to host a Guggenheim museum on its Eastern Beach shore at the turn of the millennium, and has recently become a UNESCO City of Design (2017). Like so many declining regional industrial towns, Geelong has been undercut by the new economic forces, and has sought a new identity in cultural economies. The ‘Vacant Geelong’ project, which began at Deakin University in 2015 and is ongoing, evolved as a response to vacant industrial architecture in Geelong. Major industries including Ford (vehicles), Alcoa (aluminium), timber sawmills, wool mills, Pilkington Glass, cement works, and the oil refinery once defined the town and its history as an industrial architectural landscape.1 Major industries transformed the architectural and cultural terrain. Despite these cycles of transformation and erasure, and counter to a progressive and chronological approach to change, the ‘Vacant Geelong’ project explored this vacancy of industrial operation, yet presence of industrial architecture. Through inscriptions – artworks, design projects, creative research, installations, texts – it addressed those material realities that did not leave, the industrial structures – silos, ducts, chimneys, warehouses – that give Geelong its continuing industrial architectural character.

History

Journal

arq: Architectural Research Quarterly

Volume

24

Issue

4

Article number

PII S1359135520000421

Pagination

353 - 368

Publisher

CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS

ISSN

1359-1355

eISSN

1474-0516

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal