Tell Him He’s Dreaming: The Polemical Drawing in Postwar Melbourne

Yvette Johns Putra - PhD Completion Seminar

Melbourne School of Design - Japanese Room

Abstract: This research arose out of two observations: first, the pervasive and persistent appeal of architects’ drawings; second, that architects’ drawings encapsulate not only architecture of a particular place and time, but also its cultural, historical, political, and social contexts. Using the theories of Evans and Frascari, this research identifies and defines the polemical drawing as a distinct type of architects’ drawing, characterised by its cosmopoiesis, entourage, and projection. This research considers the twentieth-century’s shifting attitudes towards suburbia, and its middle-class ‘bad’ taste lifestyle, through readings of polemical drawings by Melburnian icons Boyd (Modernist) and Edmond & Corrigan (Postmodernist), while also discussing Australian architecture’s proto-polemicist Hardy Wilson, Alberti’s theory of design, and the place of architects’ drawings in the twenty-first century.

Biography: Yvette Putra studied at the University of Melbourne, completing a Bachelor of Planning & Design (Architecture) and Bachelor of Architecture, and, later, Master of Design (Heritage), under the supervision of Professor Emeritus Miles Lewis. She has practised in architectural firms in Melbourne, where she worked primarily on institutional and residential projects. Her areas of interest are the history and theory of architecture and urban planning, particularly of Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and she has taught in these areas at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She has presented her research both locally and abroad, including New Zealand and the United States, and has most recently been accepted to present and publish ‘Sunlight, Eucalypts, and a Golden Bat: Hardy Wilson and the Antipodean Capriccio’, in conjunction with the 13th European Architectural Envisioning Association (EAEA) Conference, in Glasgow, later this year. She has two further publications in train, namely ‘The Architect’s Drawing in the Postmodernist Era’, a chapter in Art + Design (published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing), and ‘Past Visions, Future Memories: The Drawings of William Hardy Wilson’, part of the proceedings of the 5th International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (INTBAU) International Annual Event.

Professor Philip Goad

A/Professor Greg Missingham
Professor Hannah Lewi

Advisory Committee:
Dr Karen Burns
Professor Philip Goad
Dr Alex Selenitsch