Encapsulations, A Memorial

Project by Alina McConnochie; Disciplinary Transformations Studio, UTS M.Arch Program

A memorial to the global financial crisis through the lens of marginal aesthetics.  Research into ideas of the beautiful and the ugly, the uncanny and the cozy, the picturesque and the banal, the sublime and the inhuman, the kitsch and ornamentation became a stepping off point to re-frame the memorial project type.  The memorial is no longer a object of nostalgia used to reflect upon the past but a lens to critique the present.  The research provided the ability to analyse the aesthetic qualities of things and redeploy these techniques in our own proposals to achieve particular affects; ones which cannot be parametrized.


The project considers the peril the global financial crisis brings to industry, and the reactionary measures put in place to counteract a crisis.  The project finds a site offshore spanning between ‘steel cities’ Wollongong and Newcastle.


A play on the idea that cities must sustain growth in order to ‘improve’ by a perpetual cycle of production and consumption.  The project begins to act at the scale of the crisis – very very big. So rather than cease production, the towns continue, even escalate their production, with the material continually being pumped into a massive offshore super-structural element which draws a heavy line between these two slightly bizarre industrial anchor towns either side of Sydney.  This structure for the sake of structure awaits inhabitation, with the ability to accommodate any and every imaginable program.

As seen from the coast, this seemingly unreachable element attracts and intrigues the viewer.  Its pseudo mirage like behavior creates curiosity.  You are not sure what it is or if it is actually there; you want to go there to see if it is there when you get there.  It is this camouflage which will draw people toward this superstructure which exists as an alternate reality to the city as we know it.

The project examines the ‘other’, or ‘third’, and is particularly interested in perception and the picturesque vista.  It takes the existing conditions of a vista, overlays a new pattern, and when the conditions are just right, or they shift, a new slightly bizarre behavior emerges.  It is in this moment that you are not quite sure if the thing is there, mirage like; or alternatively it may become utterly impervious.  Different manipulations are exercised from different viewpoints along the coast. 

Project Details


Status | Completed May 2009

Context | Disciplinary Transformations Studio, UTS M.Arch

Instructors | David Burns, Adam Jasper

Media | Pencil on Cartridge, Photo Montage

Software | Photoshop