2024 Books

The Total Environment: Merchant Builders

Graeme Gunn: The Incomplete Works

Future Homes + The Housing Assembly (Policy and Prototypes)


Forthcoming: Alan Pert and Nicholas Phelps “SUBURBS BY DESIGN: DESIGN AND ITS ANTITHESIS IN THE AUSTRALIAN SUBURB” for Routledge 2024

A version of suburb bashing is apparent in the uncritical rendering of the suburbs as a Subtopia (Nairn, 1955) or ‘blandscape’ (Maginn and Annacker, 2022), in which creeping conformity (Harris, 2004) is made visible in a highly uniform landscape of residential subdivision design, standard lot sizes and a limited variety of housing typologies. As with many things urban, such simplifications often conceal more than they reveal. For example, residential suburbs have historically supported any number local artists and crafts persons (Crowther, 2010). In the post second world war era, the suburbs have also been the preferred location for displays of corporate statement architecture (Mozingo, 2016). Moreover, regardless of the precise complexion of the suburbs under consideration, the very valid question of doing better in our use of land with the technologies available to us (Nairn, 1955) comes with its counterpart: of whether we shouldn’t be planning with more purpose for our last landscapes (Whyte, 1968) and with the in between, ‘Subtopian’, landscapes that have come into being (Sieverts, 2003)?


Ernest Fooks Collection


Architecture Australia

Vermont Park


Vertical Cruise Ships


The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre


Dream Weekend


By revisiting radical feminist artist, Lynn Hershman’s Dream Weekend (1977) we unearth an important confrontation with the domestic interior and the history of the Display Home in Australia. The 1970s was a decade of visceral protests and new modes of expression, with equality, civil rights and sexual politics suddenly propelled to centre stage. Lynn Hershman was an important provocateur throughout this period and she chose the suburb of Vermont Park and the Display Homes of Merchant Builders as the site for her, “floating museum” and the emancipation of the housewife from the nest of prohibitions that shaped the modernist post-war interior. Challenging accepted social conventions including the mechanisms of the art industry, Hershman sought to reconfigure, and ultimately reshape, the prevailing iconography of ‘woman’ as the passive muse surrendering herself to the domestic sphere.


Alan Pert appointed Council Member of Asialink



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