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HotHouse Symposium

HotHouse 'Urban Sketch Lab' developed by Digital Eskimo

HotHouse Symposium

Event dates

Wednesday, 27 July, 2011 to Thursday, 28 July, 2011

HotHouse brings together a diverse group of creative thinkers, each with visionary ideas for transforming urban environments. It seeks to cultivate a new cultural ecology in which the arts play a key role, working with the planners and users of city spaces to address urgent environmental problems.

HotHouse advances the proposal that we no longer curate art but curate space. Taking the city as a venue it replaces the traditional idea of ‘exhibiting’ art with a practical vision of art as a catalyst for social and environmental change.

The guiding principle of HotHouse is that of micro-change and universal, networked participation. Micro-change does not mean small change but networked or interconnected change with vast potential for expansion. The HotHousing process is designed to stimulate new projects, connections and local/transnational community collaboration.

Day One: 27 July

Jill Bennett (Director, NIEA, UNSW)
Curating space: new models of collaboration…towards a new cultural ecology

Problems and Responses
Tony Fry (Griffith University; DirectorTeam D/E/S; founder EcoDesign Foundation) on “sustainment”, design as problem defining/problem solving, why we need artists and creative thinkers to address environmental problems

Projects: Transforming Data/Diagnostics into Art/Action
Natalie Jeremijenko (Environmental Health Clinic, NYU)
Bruce Taper (Life Cycle Analyst, Kinesis)
Mathieu Gallois (Artist and Architect, McMansion Project)

Transforming Urban Spaces
Hou Hanru (Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, San Francisco Art Institute) on transforming local urban environments through curatorial initiatives

Sustainable Sydney 2030
How do artists, designers and curators envisage and meet the challenges of the City of Sydney’s 2030 Vision?
Shivaun Weybury (NIEA, UNSW)
Tessa Zettel and Karl Khoe (Makeshift)

The Connected City: Urban informatics and the use of technology in the
public sphere
Dan Hill (Arup)
Mark Pesce (FutureSt Consulting)

Information Sharing presentation of interactive installation ReDesign
Digital Eskimo (Design Agency)


Day Two: 28 July

Design Innovation
Bruce Mau (Author, Chief Creative Officer, Bruce Mau Design) live from Chicago
Skype discussion with Bruce Mau led by Kate Rhodes (Object: Australian Centre for Craft and Design) and Stephen Goddard (Independent graphic
and exhibition designer) focussing on path-breaking projects for transforming cities/countries, including Massive Change (Toronto) and !Guatemala!

Resources and Future Design
Adrian Parr (Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art)
To be or not to be…thirsty
Considering the world’s looming water crisis, design alternatives and political strategies for equitable distribution

Allan Giddy (Environmental Research in Art Initiative, COFA)
Wind turbine, energy-efficient public art for Sydney
Janet Laurence (Public environmental artist)
Water and site specificity
Jodi Newcombe (Founder, Carbon Arts)
David Trubridge (Designer)
Cultural design and human resources

Curating public art in city spaces
Jennifer Turpin (Jennifer Turpin Studio)

Towards a New Cultural Ecology
Michaela Crimmin (Independent Curator, London, specialising in art for the public domain)
Engaging local communities and sustainable curating beyond the gallery context
Douglas Kahn (Professor of Media and Innovation, NIEA, UNSW)

Panel, Summary and Concluding Discussion
Michaela Crimmin (Independent Curator, London)
Felicity Fenner (Chief Curator, NIEA, UNSW)
Richard Goodwin (Professor, Porosity Studio, COFA, UNSW)
Bridget Smyth (Director Design, City of Sydney)


More info

Participants in HotHouse include design thinkers such as Bruce Mau who has spearheaded community-driven projects for large-scale sustainable change in both North and South America, Tony Fry, Director of Team D/E/S and founder of the EcoDesign Foundation, and Adrian Parr (University of Cincinnati); artists/designers Janet Laurence, Dan Hill, Allan Giddy, Mathieu Gallois, David Trubridge, Carbon Arts, Makeshift and Digital Eskimo; new media writers such as Mark Pesce, one of the early pioneers in Virtual Reality and co-inventor of VRML; and international curators such as Hou Hanru (San Francisco Art Institute), pioneer of exhibitions that operate in everyday city spaces, and Michaela Crimmin(former director of the UK RSA, Art & Ecology Centre) leading international environmental art curator.

HotHouse is an initiative of the National Institute for Experimental Arts [NIEA] at UNSW (Director, Jill Bennett; Chief Curator, Felicity Fenner) in association with Object: Australian Centre for Craft and Design and the City of Sydney.

Presented in association with Object: Australian Centre for Craft and Design with support from the City of Sydney, Australian Research Council, Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney Opera House and Kinesis.