Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hardt and Negri on Sharing- Polis Blog

--> "Democratic commons...

"A democracy of the multitude is imaginable and possible only because we all share and participate in the common. By "the common" we mean, first of all, the common wealth of the material world — the air, the water, the fruits of the soil, and all nature's bounty — which in classic European political texts is often claimed to be the inheritance of humanity as a whole, to be shared together. We consider the common also and more significantly those results of social production that are necessary for social interaction and further production, such as knowledges, languages, codes, information, affects, and so forth. This notion of the common does not position humanity separate from nature, as either its exploiter or its custodian, but focuses rather on the practices of interaction, care, and cohabitation in a common world, promoting the beneficial and limiting the detrimental forms of the common. In the era of globalization, issues of the maintenance, production, and distribution of the common in both these senses and in both ecological and socioeconomic frameworks become increasingly central" (viii).

Private/public and capitalist/socialist as false alternatives...

"The seemingly exclusive alternative between the private and the public corresponds to an equally pernicious political alternative between capitalism and socialism. It is often assumed that the only cure for the ills of capitalist society is public regulation and Keynesian and/or socialist economic management; and, conversely, socialist maladies are presumed to be treatable only by private property and capitalist control. Socialism and capitalism, however, even though they have at times been mingled together and at others occasioned bitter conflicts, are both regimes of property that excluded the common. The political project of instituting the common ... cuts diagonally across these false alternatives" (ix).

Power is embodied in property and capital, and embedded in law...

"A kind of apocalypticism reigns among the contemporary conceptions of power, with warnings of new imperialisms and new fascisims. Everything is explained by sovereign power and the state of exception, that is, the general suspension of rights and the emergence of a power that stands above the law. ... The problem with this picture is that its focus on transcendent authority and violence eclipses and mystifies the really dominant forms of power that continue to rule over us today — power embodied in property and capital, power embedded in and fully supported by the law" (3-4).

Definition of biopolitics...

"We adopt a terminological distinction, suggested by Foucault's writings but not used consistently by him, between biopower and biopolitics, whereby the former could be defined (rather crudely) as the power over life and the latter as the power of life to resist and determine an alternative production of subjectivity (57) ... which not only resists power but also seeks autonomy from it" (56).

Sharing increases capacity...

[B]iopolitical production is not constrained by the logic of scarcity. It has the unique characteristic that it does not destroy or diminish the raw materials from which it produces wealth. Biopolitical production puts bios to work without consuming it. Furthermore its product is not exclusive. When I share an idea or image with you, my capacity to think with it is not lessened; on the contrary, our exchange of ideas and images increases my capacities" (284).

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in "Commonwealth," 2011 “

Polis Blog

Friday, September 28, 2012

Aggregated Natures in the Design Hub

Aggregated Natures design research studio intsallations have moved to the new Design Hub.

Grand Designs Live

The RMIT Landscape Architecture students were delighted with the positive response to their work from the public, and especially from the design celebrities Peter Maddsion from Grand Designs Australia, Kate St James from Universal Magazines, Charlie Albone from Selling Homes Australia, and the super engaging Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs UK. The design studio course entitled 'Aggregated Natures' challenged students to design innovative landscape works for an indoor environment that would create specific ecologies attuned to specific plant types. Constructing the works at 1:1 scale was also an opportunity for the students to celebrate their digital modelling skills with RMIT School of Architecture + Design's rapid prototyping technlogies.

images of the student work
Kevin McCloud engaging with the installation

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Transiting Cities - Submission Requirments Update

Important update to the Submission Requirements.

As of Monday 24 September, OUTR / RMIT University would like to bring to your attention to changes made to the original submission requirements of the competition.

The original requirements of exactly FIVE (5) A1 (landscape) size boards have been REDUCED TO THREE (3) for all submissions including Firm / Group & Student Group.


All registered participants have already been notified through their nominated email address of these changes on Monday 24 September, 2012

All on-line reference to the competition including booklets also have been updated by the end of Tuesday 25, September, 2012.

(Monday 24, September, 2012)

  • Each board in pdf format only. 
  • A1 is based on the international ISO 216 standard ( 594mm x 841mm)
  • 1 x 1,000 word written description of the submission must be submitted as a 
  • DOC only.
  • All boards must be landscape in orientation for consistency in the publication and exhibitions.
  • Each page may not exceed 
  • 6 MB in file size.
  • Be sure that no personal identifying information is visible on any of your boards other than the 5 character code that you pick yourself. 
  • Name each file with your 5 character code, underscores, and the number of the layout page. 
  • eg N9406_1.pdf, N9406_2.pdf, N9406_3 & N9406. doc ( for written description)
NOTE: This change to the reduction of boards has NO effect on any other part of the competition, including prize money, submission dates etc.

If you have any further questions regarding this please do not hesitate to contact us at

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Transiting Cities Call for Entries

Transiting Cities - Low Carbon Futures
Design Ideas Competition
Latrobe City, Australia

Over $20,000 in Prizes / Open to everyone. 

We are calling on renowned international designers and academic institutions from a wide range of disciplines including architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, economists, artists and students to participate in the international design ideas competition titled Transiting Cities - Low Carbon Futures.

International Jury - Ass. Prof. Alan Berger / Luis Callejas /  Prof. Julia Czerniak /  Richard Elkington /  Prof. Peter Fairbrother /  Celine Foenander /  Latrobe City Council /  Mitchell Joachim /  Peter Latz /  Perry Lethlean /  Chris Reed /  Malcolm Smith /  Lou Weis /  Liam Young 

Early Bird Registration ends: Monday 29 October, 2012

Visit the Website for more information

How can we rethink, regenerate, rebrand, rework, reactivate cities dominated by singular economies for a vibrant and innovative future?

Designing Possible Futures for growth and adaptation of rehabilitated mines, associated infrastructures and the townships that are dependent on their futures.

Integrated social, economic, environmental and infrastructural design outcomes.

Produce intelligent innovative short and long-term transition strategies for an adaptive and vibrant regional centre.

Re-Think...   Latrobe as a network city, Low Carbon Futures, An Integrated Vision!
Re-Generate... The Regional Landscape, the Local Economy, Through Community Building!
Re-Brand... New, Innovative and Alternative Cities of the Near Future, Strengthen Identity!
Re-Work... Rehabilitated Mines, Redundant Infrastructures, Multiple Cultural Hubs of a Local Productions!
Re-Activate... Celebrate the Past, Intensify Town Centres!

Transiting Cities is an international design ideas competition and it is open to everyone. Participating teams can have one or more members. Projects can be real or speculative proposals. Proposals need not be generated exclusively for this competition but reworked to demonstrate how they can be applied to the site of the competition.

Transiting Cities - Sponsors & Media Partners

OUTR would like to thank all of our sponsors including our new media partners - Bustler, Archinect and Landscape Architects Networks.

a city block devoted to temporary workers housing during the contruction of the new shopping centre next door evidences interesting scales of change in the urban fabric through time ... it would be interesting to explore the temporal communities and economies effect on city before during and after its existence.

Victorian Government Super Trade Mission to China

last week in Beijing, as a participant in the Victorian Government Super Trade Mission to China, we had a chance to see OMA's wonderful CCTV building. The 'money shot' that everyone has seen is taken from distance. However it was disappointing that there is no public access to the building (not even close) thanks to a large perimeter fence, so unfortunately the opportunity to create interesting public space at street level and engage with the urban fabric is lost.

CCTV from above, + masquerading as the Loch Ness Monster

Transiting Cities Competition Jury

The Competition Jury has been announced and is as follows:

Ass. Prof. Alan Berger - Associate Professor, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, MIT University, Director, P-REX

Luis Callejas - Founder & Director, LCLA Office, Lecturer in landscape Architecture, Harvard University GSD

Prof. Julia Czerniak - Professor of Architecture, Syracuse University, Director, UPSTATE

Richard Elkington - Chair, Regional Development Australia (Gippsland)

Prof. Peter Fairbrother - Professor of International Employment Relations, School of Management, RMIT University

Celine Foenander - Presenter & Journalist, ABC Gippsland Latrobe City Council - Local Council Representative

Mitchell Joachim - Founding Co-director, Terreform ONE, Associate Professor, NYU, Associate Professor, EGS, Switzerland

Peter Latz - Adjunct Professor of Arch. Landscape Arch. University of Pennsylvania, Director, Latz + Partner

Perry Lethlean - Director, Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Adjunct Professor in Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture & Design, RMIT University

Chris Reed - Adjunct Professor in Landscape Architecture, Harvard University GSD, Director, Stoss Landscape Urbanism

Malcolm Smith - Director, Urban Design, Arup

Lou Weis - Creative Director, Broached Commissions,   Co-Founder,

Liam Young - Director & Founder, Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Animation

Monday.......Please enjoy!

Bubbles from Tsvetan T on Vimeo.

As part of a making Mondays a bit more enjoyable, we post animations which either we make, or are found on the internet and made by others and are about design, to serve as inspiration. 

OUTR in The Age

OUTR has been in The Age newspaper here in Melbourne over the weekend. Late last week a media crew were in the new RMIT Design Hub and we happen to be in a short film that they have posted on their website.

Please visit it here if interested in checking it out, plus also more on the Hub itself.

We apologise for the double posting for our followers on Facebook. But we also needed to post this in our blog, twitter and website news.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Animation

Monday.......Please enjoy!

Spherikal from Ion on Vimeo.

As part of a making Mondays a bit more enjoyable, we post animations which either we make, or are found on the internet and made by others and are about design, to serve as inspiration. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Super Trade Mission to China

OUTR's Craig Douglas and Rosalea Monacella are participating in the Super Trade Mission to China in Mid September. This mission will be the largest ever to leave Australia's shores, with the aim of establishing greater linkages across a multitude of sectors in China.

Transiting Citis Symposium at BMW Edge

Sunday, September 9, 2012

 In the Age Newspaper on 5 September, 2012

BIG business believes the carbon tax has become little more than a wealth distribution mechanism following the decision of the federal government to scrap plans to pay the nation's dirtiest coal-fired power plants to shut down.
One of the nation's most senior business figures, speaking on the condition of anonymity, has told the National Times that it was time to question the purpose of a carbon price if the largest and dirtiest polluters were going to continue on a business as usual basis.
''It's nothing more than a wealth redistribution system,'' the figure said.
Energy Minister Martin Ferguson announced this morning he had ended buy-out talks with the owners of five emissions-intensive power plants: Playford B in South Australia; Collinsville in Queensland; and Energy Brix, Hazelwood and Yallourn, all in Victoria.
The plants' owners were asking for more money than the government was prepared to pay. Mr Ferguson said ''there remains a material gap between the level of compensation generators have sought and what the Government is prepared to pay''.
''I have said throughout this process that we had a set envelope of funding and were not willing to enter into contracts at any cost – this is about the responsible expenditure of public funds.''
Under the planned ''contract for closure'' program, the Gillard government had earmarked an undisclosed sum of money - in the billions of dollars - to pay some or all of these plants to shut down over the second half of the decade.
The aim was to remove 2000 megawatts of emissions-intensive coal-fired power to help Australia cut its greenhouse gas output.
It has long been speculated that power generators believed their coal assets were worth more than had previously been thought, given depressed global carbon prices, the rising price of gas and other factors.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard explained that the government had not received a "value for money" proposal and stood by her resources minister.

"Minister Ferguson went about his duties diligently but Minister Ferguson and this government was not going to accept a proposal that wasn't value for money," Ms Gillard told reporters in Perth.

Ms Gillard also insisted that the carbon price was doing its job and Australia was on target to reduce carbon pollution.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said that the Coalition had never wanted to shut plants down and that the government's plan had been "economic lunacy".

This is despite the Coalition having previously said it expected to pay for one of Victoria's generators to shut and convert to gas under its $10.5 billion Direct Action policy.

"We always wanted to clean them up not to shut them down," Mr Abbott told reporters in Bendigo today.

"We've never wanted to shut down perfectly good businesses that are employing hundreds in some cases thousands of people."
Mr Ferguson said the future price of carbon - likely to be affected by the government’s decision to scrap the $15 carbon floor price from 2015 and link to Europe's scheme - was ‘‘only one factor and a very minor factor’’.
Rather, recent forecasts for lower energy demand - which will also lead to lower overall carbon emissions - meant that  there were ''serious questions around the value for money'' of the proposals to buy out the power plants.
The coal plant buyout was supposed to accelerate investment in cleaner energy sources such as gas and renewables. But the forecast drop in electricity demand in coming years means there is less need for investment in new baseload energy, reducing the case for building new gas plants or wind and solar farms.
This in turn means existing coal plants should be economically viable for longer than they would if energy demand were rising, and the government would not get the crucial benefit of a faster switch to greener energy.
Coalition energy spokesman Ian Macfarlane said the end of the talks demonstrated ‘‘more proof that the carbon tax is a flawed and destructive policy’’.
‘‘This chaos has now deepened,’’ he said. ‘‘By abandoning the program the Gillard government is causing yet more uncertainty for the power industry, leaving power stations to keep operating under the carbon tax regardless of the consequences for electricity-generation costs.’’
Greens leader Christine Milne said the end of the talks represented ‘‘a breach of trust on the part of the government and a short-sighted failure’’.
The power plant phase-out was supposed to accelerate Australia’s transition to cleaner energy. Senator Milne said her party would now ‘‘use every political and parliamentary lever we can to speed up the transition to a clean energy economy’’.
Tony Mohr of the Australian Conservation Foundation called on the government to reconsider the $5.5 billion in carbon tax compensation going to coal power under a separate stream of funding - $1 billion in cash and $4.5 billion worth of free carbon permits.
‘‘There’s no ‘value for money’ in giving $5.5 billion in freebies to our dirtiest coal fired generators,’’ he said.
Mark Wakeham of Environment Victoria branded Mr Ferguson’s announcement ‘‘a devastating blow to Australia’s clean energy future’’.
‘‘You can’t have a clean energy future with power stations like Hazelwood continuing to operate indefinitely - it becomes hollow rhetoric,’’ he said.
Coalition climate spokesman Greg Hunt said the government should apologise to coal plant workers who had their ‘‘lives put on hold while the Government was attempting to end the workers’ jobs’’.
with Judith Ireland
Hazelwood  Power Station lives Canberra shoots itself in the foot

Read more: 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

OUTR is now IN the RMIT Design Hub

Yes we have moved! We are now located (physically) in the new RMIT Design Hub (BUILDING 100 LEVEL 5, 150 VICTORIA ST, CARLTON). We are still unpacking and have a lot more setting up to do, but are really enjoying our new space.

Land Art Generator release Entries Online Portfolio

"On July 1 we received 250 submissions from 39 countries. The quality of the submissions to this year's competition has been truly inspiring. We have decided to make public the complete online portfolio that showcases nearly all of the qualified entries.
You can now see this site by going to the LAGI PORTFOLIO. There, you will also be able to browse the entries from the 2010 competition." by LAG

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New invisible Bike Helmet!

We found this tonight, and thought it might also be of interest to all of you fellow designers and urban cyclists!

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

“If people say it’s impossible we have to prove them wrong.” Design students Anna and Terese took on a giant challenge as an exam project. Something no one had done before. If they could swing it, it would for sure be revolutionary. The bicycle is a tool to change the world. If we use bikes AND travel safe: Life will be better for all. Join the conversation and tweet #InvsHelmet to have your tweet featured on the Focus Forward website. Go to to see the discussion. Check out more films in the Focus Forward series at Produced by WG Film with the support of The Swedish Film Institute - Film commissioner Andra Lasmanis. DIRECTOR: Fredrik Gertten PRODUCER: Margarete Jangård and Elin Kamlert ASSISTANT PRODUCER: Lina Bertilsson CAST: Anna Haupt, Terese Alstin CAMERA: Marek Wieser SOUND RECORDIST:Emma Svensson BOOM OPERATOR: Emma Thorsander EDITOR: Klaus De León Heinecke COMPOSER:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Animation

As part of a making Mondays a bit more enjoyable, we are going to start posting animations which either we make, or we have found that are about landscape and/or design. We hope these serve as inspiration to get your week going

Please enjoy!