Darragh O'Brien Masthead

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Urban Experiments

An installation for the Back to the City festival in Newcastle, 2007; A furniture piece for the Melbourne Fringe Furniture Festival, 2005 and a memorial to a demolished chocolate factory in South Melbourne, 2004.


3 x Urban Research Experiments


Designed between


Proposed for Hunter Street in Newcastle, the work exploits the concept of interstitial time and space. Using dual projections of a pre-recorded performance onto opposing gable walls, a series of three minute dialogues are spoken directly to camera by the same actor, but ten years apart. Real-time is conflated and on occasion, simultaneous timing will create visual and oral contamination within the virtual conversation.

Fringe Furniture Festival: Saddle

Created for the Melbourne Fringe Furniture Festival in 2005, Saddle is an exercise in zero waste design. Elliptical shapes cut from sheets of cardboard were bonded together to form a seat that works as an armchair or stool. The patterns are extracted in such a way so that the remaining sheets are then useful as space-defining screens.

Chocolate: Memorial to an absent smell

The idea behind chocolate was formed when Ballantynes closed down their South Melbourne Chocolate factory. Prior to closing, the chocolate scented exhaust fumes would transform the adjoining laneways, creating a popular short-cut for residents. In this project, whiff is replaced with glimpse and smell becomes an absence within the reflective overhead surface that continues to fill the laneway.

Cut n Fold.

This experimental studio explored the structural potential of the folded surface. Students worked collaboratively over a period of six weeks, generating hundred of potential systems at a smaller scale, before agreeing on this final exploration of a tesselated surface, composed of curvilinear, triangular tiles. Cloud-like forms resulted from the translation of compressive and tensile forces. Assisting Tutor: Lucas Chirnside

Cut n Fold: Structural Surface.