‘Country’ and Cities Series

We’ve handed the City Road audio field kit over to Genevieve Murray and Joel Sherwood Spring from the Future Method Studio and asked them to hit the road to talk to professional urban designers, architects and urban researchers who are working with Indigenous knowledge systems in their research or practice.

Episode 1: Libby Porter and Naama Blatman-Thomas


This a truth telling, of sorts, about how urban planning and built environment professions are implicated in the settler colonial process.

“[Settler colonialism is] a structure of governance and control where white people – European people – arrive to a new territory, a new area, and create a new political entity there; so a new nation state. We’re talking about something that is ongoing, that is not a one-time invasion, or one-time event, but really something that transforms the nature of that place invaded. And everything that comes with that; social arrangements, economic arrangements and political constitutions.”  

Dr Naama Blatman-Thomas

We’re listening in on a conversation between Genevieve Murray, Joel Sherwood-Spring, Libby Porter and Naama Blatman-Thomas. Genevieve and Joel are talking to Libby and Naama about three ideas in their recent International Journal of Urban and Regional Research research article: Property as Land; Property as Object; and Property as Redress. You can read their paper here, Placing Property: Theorizing the Urban from Settler Colonial Cities.

“From a policy, governance perspective, planning as a discipline, my discipline, and geography is fully complicit in the colonial project. In fact, it is central to it. It can’t happen without it, because it is the form of governance that comes and is imposed on something that was already here, and is used to do all that work of erasure. But of course never do anything to grapple with or unpick the underlying foundation of the will to erasure, and the ongoing persistent  attempt by the settler colonial structure… to continue to dispossess.”   

Professor Libby Porter

Professor Libby Porter is a Vice Chancellor’s Principal Research Fellow. She leads research on the politics of urban land, property rights and dispossession, critical urban governance, and decolonising urban planning. Libby is a planner and urban geographer working on the role of planning and urban development in dispossession and displacement, and what we might do about it. Her research has examined Indigenous rights in urban and environmental planning; cities and diversity; gentrification and displacement through urban renewal; the impact of mega-events on cities; and urban sustainability; and urban informality. Her current work is in the areas of critical property studies, urban governance, decolonisation and settler cities, and on children’s sense of space and place.

Dr Naama Blatman-Thomas joined the University of Sydney in 2019 as a lecturer in urban geography Previously, Naama was a visiting academic and adjunct lecturer at James Cook University where she undertook research and teaching at the school of social sciences. Naama holds a PhD in politics and government from Ben-Gurion University in Israel and an MA in sociology and anthropology from Tel-Aviv University in Israel. Prior to her academic work, Naama worked for many years in human rights organisations in Israel/Palestine.

The Country and Cities Series

We’ve handed the City Road audio field kit over to Genevieve Murray and Joel Sherwood Spring from the Future Method Studio and asked them to hit the road to talk to professional urban designers, architects and urban researchers who are working with Indigenous knowledge systems in their research or practice.

Future Method Studio is a collaborative and interdisciplinary practice working across architecture, installation and speculative projects. The focus of the studio is on material culture and creative methodologies that are impact and process driven. Future Method work with a variety of clients to design residential, health and civic buildings, immersive & performative works, exhibitions and installations in collaboration with institutions and artists for a variety of spaces and scales.

Future Method Studio is Joel Spring and Genevieve Murray.

Joel Sherwood-Spring, a Wiradjuri man raised between Redfern and Alice Springs, is a Sydney based Masters of Architecture student and interdisciplinary artist currently focussing on the contested narratives of Sydney’s and Australia’s urban culture and indigenous history in the face of ongoing colonisation.

Joel began working with Future Method in 2017.

Genevieve Murray, before establishing Future Method Studio in 2013, worked with Ric Leplastrier, Glenn Murcutt, Mcdonald Wright Architects (London), Hungerford+Edmunds, Rod Simpson and Andrea Wilson. Genevieve has written for Assemble Papers, Architecture AU, and teaches and lectures between UTS and Sydney University on a sessional basis. The studio’s work has been nominated for the Conde Naste Design Innovation Award 2010 and shortlisted for the Design boom competition Design For Death 2013.

Production

Miles Herbert and Dallas Rogers are the producers, sound editors and sound designers of this series.

 

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