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Rediscovering Mnemonic Memory by Destabilising Urbanisation - A public lecture by Bradley Kerr

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The purposeful ignorance towards the architecture of Country informed Terra Nullius. First Peoples’ sophisticated understanding of place, of narrative landscapes and mnemonic memory through song, dance and storytelling were ignored, dismissed and First Peoples were dispossessed. Landscapes that supported First Peoples since time immemorial made way for colonial farming, First Peoples movement paths – following the land – were straightened, and Cadastral plans restricted access to Country. Cities turned their backs to rivers, using them as dumping grounds.

Country holds embedded memory and narrative of place; landscapes hold knowledge, and we know that there is an interconnectedness of Country (Sky, Land, Water, Below). This architecture of Country is how we understand place. First Peoples in the industry share a commonality in appreciating and understanding that we are always on somebody else’s Country, and the work that we do primarily revolves around shaping places. So, how do we understand and respect the Country that we’re shaping? How has the Architecture of Country shaped the built environment, and where can we head if we all take the opportunity to care?

Bradley Kerr is a Quandamooka man and an architect living, working and learning on Wurundjeri Country. Bradley is Director of design studio Winsor Kerr, a member of the Australian Institute of Architects’ First Nations Advisory committee, Victoria Chapter Council, the AACA’s Accreditation Standing Panel, curator of Blakitecture 23/24 and the 2023 Australian Architecture Conference Committee. Through Bradley’s research based practice, Winsor Kerr are uncovering hidden narratives and allowing First Nations perspectives to be embedded in the built environment.

Image: MTALKS, BLAKITECTURE: ARCHITECTURE OF COUNTRY, Bradley Kerr.


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