Attention to detail

Raxworthy, Julian R. (2002) Attention to detail. Monument, 48, p. 28.

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Ideology is messy, and it should be – values and strategies should change and flex to circumstances. All institutions are now corporate; the illusion of professionalism and control is vital to market legibility and identification. This contradiction provides the base for minimal renovation of WIRE by Niki Kalms and Profile Furniture. A non-profit organisation in Melbourne providing phone-based referral services for women in emergencies. WIRE is located in Ross House. The Flinders Lane building houses a fascinating plethora of non-government organisations and groups. The renovation provides a pictorially uniform backdrop for the improvisational process of the real-time urgent requests and distressing situations that the volunteers deal with. Comprised simply of a series of prefabricated panels alternating purple and white, and simple desks, the renovation suggests a surface of precision and calmness. If the corporate suggests a type of professionalism, then perhaps the surety of this renovation may provide enough distance for the telephone staff – all volunteers (of whom Kalms is one) to allow them to deal with these type of aberrant situations and then leave them in the workplace. This veneer of separation that come with the corporate could be seen as a loss of idealism, a distraction from the reality of the service WIRE provides. However, in contrast to this renovation, the space is accessed through a somewhat ad-hoc entry and corridor; that makes the design seem less a makeover than a ‘pause’, contextualising the sickness of the materiality and detailing. The partial precision of the renovation seems to gain earnest frailty that doesn’t take itself too seriously, as notices asking for donations of sanitary products to send to the Third World begin to colonise its space. Ideology is still messy.

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ID Code: 20402
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Landscape architecture, Ideology, Workplace
ISSN: 1320-1115
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Landscape Architecture (120107)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Pacific Magazines Pty Ltd
Deposited On: 10 May 2009 22:16
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 13:38

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