Country, a term used by Aboriginal people of Australia to refer to their cultural connection with the land to which they belong and their place of Dreaming. This cultural connection is based on each community’s distinct traditions and lore, and is inclusive of all things in the landscape (landforms, water, air, trees, rocks, animals) and extends to the connection between the physical environment and cultural practices (knowledge, songs, stories, art) as well as all people (past, present and future), in both traditional and contemporary Aboriginal cultures.
Present continuation of colonial urban development has resulted in the degradation of Country, social disparity and cultural genocide. How can future urban development ensure respect for Country and culture? Can information design be relevant as a tool for the representation of a planetary urbanisation which presently only benefits a privileged part of the global population?
Located at Australia’s second largest iron ore mine, Mount Whaleback, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, traditional lands of four Aboriginal nations, this urban strategy critiques the notion of ‘the Urban’ in the colonial context of Australia and its geo-political positioning. To be implemented upon the completion of iron ore extraction over the next 100 years, this speculative proposal envisions a future urban settlement that strategically occupies existing degraded landscapes produced by the process of planetary urbanisation and utilises their existing infrastructure networks. Using empirical data and mapping, this project explores information design while acknowledging the disparity in information privilege.
Ben De Nardi, Michael Davis, Michael Maginness, Peter Raisbeck, Peter Hogg, Linda Kennedy
Pilbara, Western Australia, Australia
ARCH+ Planetary Urbanism:
The Transformative Power of Cities
Design Research, Urban Design