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Urban Acupuncture

Part 2 Project 2014
Kate Shepherd
University of Canberra Canberra Australia
“Urban Acupuncture combines urban design with the traditional theory of acupuncture. This process uses small-scale interventions to transform the larger urban context. Sites are selected through an aggregate analysis of social, economic, and ecological factors. Acupuncture relieves stress in the body, urban acupuncture relieves stress in the environment. Urban acupuncture produces small-scale but socially catalytic interventions into the urban fabric.”

The project for Graduation Studio asks for an Urban Intervention to be placed in the Australian Capital, Canberra, with the intention of relieving the greatest amount of urban tension to transform the cities urban fabric.

Canberra was designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney in 1911. The plan uses the topography of the site, existing hills and mountains, establishing the outlines of the plan combining geometric motifs to define three axis – a Land Axis, a Water Axis and a Municipal Axis. Griffin’s plan brought together his aspirations for density, a democratic social order, social interaction, dispersed mixed uses and the city beautiful ideals within an organisational framework.

The idea of the Mega-Form is to create a contemporary, homage to Griffin’s 1911 plan, building on his aspirations, implementing a new organisational framework. The Mega-Form is not conceived as one building or a single entity. It can be seen as an analogy of a city.

The Mega-Form becomes a project of transition, outlining a conceptual structuring process that should not be seen as a concrete proposal or fixed arrangement. However, the idea is that the Mega-Form provides the structural framework that can grow and densify with the transitory needs of its inhabitants. The proposal of the Mega-Form builds on the original 1911 Griffin plan for Canberra, and can be seen as a social comment on how that plan has been adapted and interpreted for the change in modern living requirements.

Kate Shepherd


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