This will be Sydney’s first live Urban Design performance - a hypothetical workshop exploring the processes behind master planning a major city...

Speculate- Super High Density


Circular Quay
2000 NSW

Speculate- Super High Density

Event Details

This will be Sydney’s first live Urban Design performance - a hypothetical workshop exploring the processes behind master planning a major city project. We will challenge the ‘business as- usual’ approach to urban design in Sydney, demystify the process, and show how the many competing interests involved can come together.

 Sydney is grappling with major urban renewal projects across the entire basin. From Barangaroo and the Bays Precinct in the city, a new airport in Badgerys Creek, the renewal of the Parramatta Road corridor, greyfields development in Parramatta North, public transport expansion, freeway expansion – these will all have a significant impact on the Sydney of the future. Ever wonder how these important projects are designed, and who gets a say? How social equality, the environment and heritage are balanced with market place development?

Speculate brings together a range of professionals with experience in the worlds of Planning, Heritage, Development, Politics, Architecture, Environment and more. In less than 2 hours, these collaborators – with help from the next generation of talented young architects - will be tasked with working together to design a significant piece of Sydney urban renewal, through a super high density infill project. Each of our collaborators will have their own role to play, but must also work in collaboration with others, who may be pushing contrary outcomes.

Will their efforts lead to a positive outcome, and what will require compromise? What will the resulting project look like? Questions they might grapple with include: what constitutes ‘quality’ and what does ‘good design’ look like? How dense is too dense? How high can you go?  How much open space?  How do we accommodate schools, and community facilities?  How does car parking and transport work? What about natural systems and environmental performance? Can we have it all in the one place, on the one site? ‘Super high density’ means every square metre counts.  Using the latest Active Learning Space (ALS) technology, join us to watch the plans, deliberations and compromises unfold over four design hubs, with our MC leading you through discussions whilst posing questions and provocations. Sketches and worked up designs will be shown live as they develop, and a central CAD operator will work to combine these into a single design proposal to be revealed at the end of the performance.

More than just a panel discussion, Speculate will actively investigate how the public domain - the streets and roads, open space and natural systems - might be designed to accommodate a high density urban condition, and provide for the future demands on urban living over the next 40 years.

Curated by Andrew Nimmo and Roderick Simpson, in collaboration with The Australian Institute of Architects.