Craft Cubed: Day 1

We had a great start to The Handmade House today, taking place simultaneously in Melbourne CBD and downtown Castlemaine.

The manual building of our timber house frame began at 360 William Street in Melbourne city, where Elizabeth West joined Wide Open Road’s Helen Mathwin with basic tools, screws and timber in a vacant grassy spot between high-rises.

Here are some stills from our city livestream:



You can watch more live stream here.

Meanwhile in Castlemaine, local artist CiPi was installing our 3D-printed houses into one of the Wide Open Road window boxes. Here’s another still from our video feed (more available here).



CiPi, Handmade House detail Castlemaine, 2017

The house is the ultimate item of modern super-consumption, particularly here in Australia. With its market value and consumer desire both at stratospheric levels, houses have rapidly become the objects that perhaps best speak of status, inequality and dominance of our environment. In The Handmade House we seek to highlight attitudes in the housing market that extend mass consumption practices of the 20th century – of rapid urban sprawl and quick construction, but also of feverish consumption and the creation of enormous disparities in wealth.

The show juxtaposes modern consumption and with new aspirations that have been placed on Maker and craft culture. With it we see the renewed value of laborious, often hand-made craft practices, but we also see previously unseen forms of making emerging, with new tools and capacities for distributed collaboration. Both of these rely on vibrant communities of innovation, exchange and co-operation, particularly facilitated by the internet. The show utilises the near-instant transfer of information from Melbourne CBD (of the laborious, traditional methods of manual timber construction) to our artists in regional Victoria, who digitally model and reproduce a structure at their remote location, using the homemade 3D printer. Thus we also explore the contemporary relevance of an ‘art centre’ like the Melbourne metropolis, and how regional areas are increasingly sites of innovation and vibrant making, involving both local and distributed communities, in distinctively new ways.


CiPi, Handmade House detail Castlemaine, 2017


CiPi, Handmade House, detail 2017

Stay tuned as the project develops in both locations over the next two days.


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