Spread 01

Architecture as an Institution


Not Just Sorry but Thanks
Poppy Bell, Emilio Brandao Cruz (Supervisor) & Marco Adelfio (Examiner)

‘Not just sorry, but thanks’ finds its genesis in Bruce Pascoe’s work Dark Emu where he writes: “It seems improbable that a country can continue to hide from the actuality of its history in order to validate the fact that having said sorry, we refuse to say thanks” (2014:228) and is an acknowledgment of the failure of architectural practice and education to face its continuation of colonialism in Australia. This work focuses on identifying how architecture and urban planning processes challenge or embed colonial forces within Sydney. Australia’s settler colonialism is identified as ongoing - through its physical and structural manifestations. This thesis will explore its manifestation in three areas: architectural policy and accreditation; architectural education; and practice on an urban and public scale. Processes that embed settler colonialism can be identified by their silence and omission; as such, they represent a ‘business-as-usual’ response. Settler colonialism relies on silence and omission to remain invisible and powerful. Thus, policy, education and practices that do not actively acknowledge colonialism and its damage to the First Peoples of Australia can be classified as ‘embedding’. Processes that challenge settler colonialism can be identified by their engagement with First Peoples’ communities and culture. Policy, educational programmes and architectural practices that are led by First Peoples and/ or highlight First Peoples’ knowledge, voices and cultures. This work consists of theoretical writings and cartographic exercises, and ends with a series of visual essays performed as conversations to provoke discussions about the respsonsibility of the architect. While the works looks specifically at Sydney, it aims to provoke conversations about the architect’s role in a wider sense and opens conversation about how we should engage with inequality within all cities.

Bio Trained as an architect, Alicia is passionate about embedding kindness and thoughtfulness into her practice. She believes architecture must be conscious, socially-driven and ecologically proactive while architects have a responsibility to think critically, understand the impacts of their work and engage with the social and environmental issues of contemporary life.
Alicia is a founding member of MISC. Studio, an architecture collective interested in the intersection between social activity in the city and digital fabrication. Together, they focus on designing and fabricating human- scale urban interventions that deal with climate and societal change.
Originally from Sydney, Australia, Alicia currently lives and practices in Gothenburg, Sweden. Alicia is biracial with both Anglo and Chinese cultures forming an important element of her architectural practice. Alicia is more often referred to as Poppy.

5 A1 posters + written essays

Authors Poppy Bell, Superviser: Emilio Brandao Cruz; Examiner: Marco Adelfio
Location Gothenburg, Sweden
Publisher Chalmers Tekniska Högskola