#VacantGeelong

The #VacantGeelong project is a creative exploration of Geelong’s industrial identity with a focus on redefining Geelong as a 21st century city.

The decline of industrial towns is a global and regional phenomenon. Communities perceive the departure of industry negatively and their closures have resulted in deterioration of site, the demolition of vacant buildings, or their expedient replacement. Our research asks What do industrial buildings contribute to a city like Geelong? What is the value of industrial architecture once its original function is removed from the equation?

The industrial landscape – silos, red brick mills, saw tooth roofs, sculptural machinery, vast parabolic hangars, sheds and more sheds – are not integral to and constructive of the urban fabric of towns like Geelong. Examination of the vacated industrial buildings and sites, their histories, practices and aesthetics, has proceeded through quantitative approaches – Architectural Data Collection (size, volume, structure, location, site conditions, materials), economic and statistical data collection; and qualitative approaches – textures, weathering, profile, grain, and imagery.

The research team are developing a model and methodology for the architecture of the post-industrial community through a collaborative interface between architecture, art and community, firstly giving voice to the communities the industries have helped to foster, and secondly through processes that establish knowledge economies with key agencies shaping the city.


Project Team

Deakin University School of Architecture and Built Environment

Core a + b team: Dr Mirjana Lozanovska, Dr David Beynon, Dr Diego Fullaondo. Deakin University partners (external to school): Dr Cameron Bishop, Dr. Anne Wilson (2017) School of Creative Arts and Communication.

External partners: National Wool Museum, Council of Greater Geelong

Capacity Building and Thesis Supervisors: Dr. Akari Nakai Kidd, Dr. Olubukola Tokede, Dr. Dominic Ahiaga-Dagbui, Josh Zeunert, Dr. Robert Fuller (IDF model), Dr. Angela Kreutz

Project Grants

Council of Greater Geelong ($10,000) Creative Victoria ($35,000) Industry Partner Innovation Funds (NWM $18,300), SEBE Driving Innovation & Impact Fund ($10,000)

Project Outputs

The #VacantGeelong project is a Non-Traditional Research Output (NTRO) model that includes the following outputs:

a. 2016 #Vacant Geelong Exhibition in Deakin Waterfront Gallery

b. 2017 Friday 21st April Open Studio Event - Local artistic communities

c. 2017 Friday 5th May #Vacant Geelong original Creative Work, “Industry Tracks” exhibited in Geelong After Dark

d. 2017 Wednesday 24th May Open Studio Event - Community Engagement – Past Ford workers workshop with artists

e. In June 2017 the #Vacant Geelong Project was part of the London Festival of Architecture. Mirjana Lozanovska chaired a Roundtable Discussion held at the Patrick Heide Contemporary Art gallery.