An Antipodean Imaginary for Architecture+Philosophy: Ficto-Critical Approaches to Design Practice Research


  • Hélène Frichot
  • Julieanna Preston
  • Michael Spooner
  • Sean Pickersgill
  • Zuzana Kovar
  • Ceri Hann
  • Megg Evans



This is a collaborative essay that presents the design practice research of six postgraduate researchers (past and present), who have been working within the Architecture+Philosophy research stream at the School of Architecture, RMIT University, Melbourne. What unites the projects is an aspiration to maintain a creative relationship between architectural design project research and critical theory, with an emphasis on transdisciplinary potentialities.

While the design research introduced here is diverse, the researchers all share an engagement in how to construct imaginary worlds using what can be identified as a ficto-critical approach that draws on the productive intersection of architecture and philosophy. Hélène Frichot, who will situate this research from her position as their primary doctoral advisor, argues that by pursuing a productive relay between theory and practice a novel Antipodean design imaginary can be seen to emerge across the collected projects.

Author Biographies

Hélène Frichot

Hélène Frichot is an Assistant Professor in Critical Studies of Architecture, School of Architecture, KTH. She is co-curator with Esther Anatolitis of the Architecture + Philosophy Public Lecture Series, which commenced in 2005 and developed into a research group in the School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University. She is an editor of Deleuze and Architecture, forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press.

Julieanna Preston

Julieanna Preston is a spatial designer recognised internationally for her trans-disciplinary creative practice research on the politics of interior environments and material surfaces. Her research navigates between theoretical inquiry and material invention explored through sculptural objects, performative installations, visual images and scholarly-based publications. Her design-writing practice includes two edited books, INTIMUS: Interior Design Theory Reader (2006 with Mark Taylor) and Interior Atmospheres (2008).

Michael Spooner

Michael Spooner completed his PhD in the Program of Architecture at RMIT University in 2011, where he is now a lecturer with a focus on teaching design across the Masters and Undergraduate. In partnership with Peter Corrigan of the Melbourne architectural Practice Edmond and Corrigan, he exhibited “A City of Hope” at the 2010 Venice Biennale as part of the Australian Pavilion.

Sean Pickersgill

Sean Pickersgill teaches Advanced Architectural Theory, Contemporary Design Theory, Theories and History of Architecture and Theories of Modernity in the University of South Australia. Sean’s PhD artefact and thesis focused on the interrelationship between aspects of German critical theory and the idea of renovation/redemption in architecture. Currently he is exploring the use and implications of game engines in the ontology of digital architecture.

Zuzana Kovar

Zuzana Kovar (B.Des, B.Arch Hons I) is a PhD candidate at RMIT University, Melbourne. She teaches architectural design and theory at the University of Queensland and The Queensland University of Technology. She is a co-director with her partner of a small architectural practice in Brisbane called concretePOP.

Ceri Hann

Ceri Hann is a Melbourne based arts practitioner with a specific interest in the social conditions of public space. Ceri is based in RMIT”s Post Graduate Art in Public Space program and also lectures in Media Arts, Interior and Industrial design and has a collaborative practice with Lynda Roberts known as PublicAssembly.

Megg Evans

Megg Evans, a Masters graduate of RMIT, is currently researching her PhD on Semi-Living Architecture in Melbourne and at SymbioticA in Perth. She has been an educator in design at RMIT University and Monash University, and has taken up projects and collaborations in both Australia and Europe. She has published in the areas of spatial poetics, the psychology of space, social theory and the responsibility of architecture to architecture.