STUDIO DIRECTOR // TARSHA FINNEY

From UTS’s own $1billion Master plan development of which Gehry’s Chau Chak building is one of ten new projects to the $2Billion Frasers property development on Broadway and the more recently announced redevelopment of SICEEP and Darling Harbour, the city of Sydney is undergoing a radical re-anchoring of its focus and resources – away from the harbour, away from its historic symbolic centre, toward the southern end of the city’s CBD.

Such spatial transformation and resource realignment affords rich potential and opportunity: for new public spaces and new pedestrian and movement corridors such as the Ultimo Pedestrian Network (UPN), and new material organisations –  while in its specific mix being involved in creative and innovation fabrics and learning research environments.  But also and as importantly, such transformation involves new allegiances of stakeholder groups, new interest groups, and enormous new challenges in terms of bringing diverse groups of invested interests together in the pursuit of institutional and civic benefit.

It is into this complex mix that this studio inserts itself – in the pursuit of a different kind of political agency: a catalyst for new material organisations on the occasion of architectural thinking.

This M.Arch research studio will involve detailed consultations with the multiple stakeholders who are situated around the edge of the UTS’s unique urban campus – the ABC, The City of Sydney, the Powerhouse Museum, SHFA, Frasers Property, TAFE, Railcorp, the CitiGate Hotel in addition to many smaller local landholders.

Tarsha Finney is an architect and an urbanist. Her research interests cross several areas: domesticity and the problem of multi-residential housing with specific knowledge of the cities of New York, Beijing and Sydney; architectural typology and notions of disciplinary specificity and autonomy; and the architectural urbanism of innovation in cities. In 2003, whilst completing a Masters degree in Housing and Urbanism at the Architectural Association London, Tarsha won the Michael Ventris Memorial Award which enabled her to conduct primary research in China looking at the Danwei live/work unit implemented by the Communist government following the 1949 revolution. In 2004 Tarsha commenced doctoral studies at the Architectural Association with the thesis: Repetition and Transformation: The Housing Project and the constitution of the Urban Field, New York 1935-1971. Supervisors from the Architectural Association were Lawrence Barth (AA) and Dr. Nikolas Bullock (Cambridge University). This work has now been transferred to UTS Supervisors Dr Sandra Kaji-O’Grady.(UTS) and Dr Charles Rice (UTS).

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