Deputy Dean Learning & Teaching
Architecture & Design
+(61 3) 9925 3498
Design & Social Context
Assoc Prof Suzie Attiwill is the program director of Interior Design, RMIT School of Architecture and Design. From 1999 to 2008, she coordinated the History and Theory stream of the program. Suzie has presented design studios to 2nd and 3rd year students, supervised final year undergraduates and postgraduates, as well teaching in specialization areas such as exhibition.
Suzie is recognized as an international peer in the field of interior design, acting as referee for a number of international journals; as a judge for awards including the Interior Design Excellence Awards (2009), the State of Design Premier Design Awards (2008), international peer reviewer for the 2008 Interiors World Forum, Premier’s Design Leadership Award (2006), member of the Victorian Design Advisory Council, invited speaker and examiner. She is a founding member of the Urban Interior research group.
Suzie has an independent practice which involves the design of exhibitions, curating, writing and working on a range of interdisciplinary projects in Australia and overseas. From 1996 to 1999, she was the inaugural Artistic Director of Craft Victoria. She is the current chair of IDEA (Interior Design/Interior Architecture Educators Association) and from 2007-2009, chair of West Space Inc. (one of Australia’s most prolific artist run spaces).
Current research eddies around a motivation to challenge dominant concepts of ‘the interior’ as spatial container and/or reflective subjectivity where ‘interior’ is positioned as an existing entity and/or condition. Research is conducted through exhibition, curatorial and writing practice as well as design studios. The objective is to produce a genealogy of interior designs which intervene in the present and enable a re-positioning of interior design practice to inspire new modes of subjectivization.
Suzie is an active member of the Urban Interior research group. UI is composed of individuals from a range of disciplines including fashion, sound, interior design, architecture, industrial design and art. As a collective, individual research trajectories cover a breadth of practices, scales and concerns from the intimacy of bodies to events within the public realm. UI addresses the increasing density occurring within the urban environment where new social relations emerge out of innovative technological, sensory, physiological, environmental and material dimensions. Drawing on a multi-disciplinary research team, Urban Interior is an investigation into how the aesthetics of the spatial + temporal dimensions of design contribute to and engage with this emerging social condition.
Areas of research supervision focus on concept of interior and interiority in relation to practices of design, art, craft, theory, writing, curating.
Beyond Building 2008 to current.
Beyond Building is an ongoing project integrating teaching and learning with research, addressing the interior environments (physical, psychological and situational) of young people living in residential care houses. Residential or “resi” care houses are group homes housing children and adolescents from ages 1 month -18 years who have been taken into protective custody by the state government. The houses are intended to provide a therapeutic, homely environment to these children, many of whom are suffering from trauma due to abuse or neglect. However there is a need for the interior environments of these houses to be addressed; many are institutional, damaged and/or dysfunctional and may be negatively affecting the situation for the inhabitants (both residents and staff).
In partnership with the Australian Childhood Trauma Group (formerly Prime Consulting) - Mr Gregory Nicolau, Director ACT Group and consultant psychologist
‘Interiorists’ in Graeme Brooker and Lois Weinthal (eds) The Handbook of Interior Design Berg Publishing (forthcoming in 2012/13)
‘A temporal consistency’ in Davide Fassi (ed) Temporary Urban SolutionsMaggioli Editore, forthcoming 2012
‘Inter-story: Practices of interiorization’ in Tiiu Poldma (ed) Meanings of Design. Social, Cultural and Philosophical Essays about People, Spaces and Interior Environment, Fairchild Books, forthcoming 2012
‘Between representation and the mirror – tactics of interiorization’ in Joyce Fleming et al (eds) Interior Tools. Interior Tactics. Debates in Interior Theory and PracticeUK:Libri Publishing, 2011.
‘Urban and Interior: techniques for an urban interiorist’ in Rochus Hinkel (ed) Urban Interior. Informal explorations, interventions and occupationsGermany: Spurbuchverlag, 2011, pp.11–24
Exhibition As Research’ in Peressut Basso, L. et al (eds.)Places And Themes Of Interiors Contemporary Research Worldwide Milan: FrancoAngeli, 2008, pp. 45–52.
‘What’s in a canon? the state of interior design at the beginning of the 21st century’ Thinking Inside the Box. A Reader in interiors for the 21st century London: Middlesex University Press, 2007.
‘spatial relations’ in Making Space: artist run initiatives in Victoria Australia: VIA-N, 2007.
‘passage’ in Mick Douglas (ed) Tramjatra: Imagining Melbourne and Kolkata by tramways Co-published by Yoda Press (Delhi) and RMIT University Press (Melbourne), 2005, pp. 140–151.
‘A politics of creativity’ in Brett Jones (ed) Form and Formation. West Space – 1993 to 2003Melbourne: West Space and 3 Deep Publishing, 2004.
‘more or less exhibition’ in Jackie Cooper (ed),garry emery. outside inside out. inside outside in Melbourne: The Images Publishing Group, 2002.
‘INTERsection’ in Suzie Attiwill and Ross McLeod (eds), INTERsection. Interior Design Masters projects 1993 to 2000 Melbourne: RMIT University Press, 2002.
‘A topography of typography’ in Jackie Cooper (ed), Emery Vincent Design Melbourne: The Images Publishing Group, 1999.
‘Con-’ in Ross McLeod (ed), Interior Cities Melbourne: RMIT University, 1999.
‘Towards an Interior History’ IDEA Journal 2004 Vol 1, Issue 5, pp. 1–8.
‘Di-vision, double vision’ IDEA Journal 2003 Special issue: Between Excess and Austerity.
‘inter-story’ T. Nairn & M. Kalantzis (eds), International Journal of the Humanities. Volume 1, 2003, Australia: Common Ground Publishing, 2005. Paper delivered at conference in Rhodes, Greece, July 2003.
‘Urban Interior: interior-making in the urban environment’ 2011 IDA Congress Education Conference. International Design Alliance, World Congress, 4–26 October 2011, Taiwan.
‘Working Space. Fabricating Interiors as provisional compositions’ Occupation. Negotiations with Constructed Space Brighton, UK, 2–4July 2009.
‘Exhibition As Research’ Places And Themes Of Interiors Contemporary Research Worldwide, Politecnico Di Milano, Italy, 1 – 3 October 2008
‘Between representation and the mirror – tactics of interiorisation’ Interior Tools. Interior Tactics Interiors Forum Scotland, Edinburgh, 21–22 August 2008.
‘what’s in a canon? the state of interior design at the beginning of the 21st century’ Thinking Inside the Box. Interiors in the 21stcentury – New Visions, New Horizons & New Challenges IFS Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, 1 – 2 March 2007.
INSIDEOUT IDEA Journal 2005 Guest editor with Gini Lee. Brisbane: QUT Press, 2005
‘Doing Time Inside’ LIMITS XXIst annual conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne, Australia, 26 to 29 September, 2004.
INFLECTIONSWest Space, 15-23 October 2010. Exhibition of my research practice.
Urban Interior Occupation: Berlin/Brighton/Melbourne, Guildford Lane Gallery, Urban Interior Research Group project, 16–27 September 2009
Urban Room, Building 45, RMIT University, An exhibition of the outcomes from the Interior Design undergraduate studion ‘Urban Room’, studio leaders: Suzie Attiwill and Roger Kemp. Held as part of the 2040 City Design Laboratory – State of Design Festival. Laboratory director: Prof Tom Kovac, Curator: Brent Allpress. July 2009.
Advance Retreat, West Space, Invited participant, November 2008.
Urban Interior Occupation, Craft Victoria, Urban Interior Research Group project, 9 – 20 September 2008.
‘pantheon sunday 18 february 2007’, as part of strangely familiar invited exhibitor, University of South Australia gallery, May – June 2007.
Between itineraries. Wall walk Exhibition of collaborative project with Gini Lee as part of the exhibition On the Premises. Spatial Ideas and Interior Projects, Goya Galleries, Southbank, September 2002.
Tramjatra Critical passenger. Interdisciplinary public art project on tramways and their infrastructure in two cities, Kolkata and Melbourne. Kolkata, India – February 2001; Melbourne, Australia – October 2001.
City Provoked Invited participant. Public art project that took place as part of the 1997 Melbourne International Festival. RMIT Gallery. Site: Intersection of Flinders and Swanston Street. Curated by Catherine Murphy. Participants included: Raymond Arnold, Destiny Deacon, Timothy Hill, Evangelos Sakaris, Tanya Eccleston, Bronwyn Platten, Eva Lee.
espresso< expressway. Denton Corker Marshall’s non-architecture Invitedcurator, National Design Centre, Melbourne, July – August 2006.
making relations Invited curator, CAST. Exhibition of Tasmanian craft and design. CAST: April to May 2006; Devonport Regional Gallery, July 2006.
… a matter of time … Invited curator. Exhibition of the 16th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial, Tamworth City Gallery, opening in December 2004; touring nationally 2005 to 2006 to RMIT Gallery, Melbourne (May-July 2005); Gosford Regional Gallery (July to September 2005), Jam Factory Craft and Design Centre, Adelaide (September to October 2005) then Wagga Wagga, Cairns, Bunbury, Sydney, Ballarat (concluding 4 November 2006).
SPACECRAFT 0701 Curator/exhibition designer. Monash University Museum of Art, Clayton. 17 July to 25 August 2001.
more or less. Emery Vincent DesignCurator and project coordinator. An exhibition and book on the graphic design of Emery Vincent Design. The Ian Potter Museum of Art. The University of Melbourne. 9 March to 16 April 2000.
Adjacent Exhibition designer/curator. 200 Gertrude Street studio artists’ annual exhibition. December 1997.
CURATED Curator (with Damon Moon). An exhibition on curatorial practice involving six Melbourne-based curators. West Space Inc. 16 October to 1 November, 1997. Part of the Melbourne Festival.
style surfing Exhibition designer and assistant curator. An exhibition based on the book Style Surfing. What to wear in the 3rd Millennium by Ted Polhemus. Karyn Lovegrove Gallery. February 1997. Part of the Melbourne Fashion Festival.
box Curator and exhibition designer. Exhibition of boxes from different disciplines held at Craft Victoria 9 May to 8 June 1996. Co-ordinator of nine satellite shows held at different educational institutions around Melbourne. Part of the 1996 Next Wave Festival Visual Arts Program.
Perception and Perspective Exhibition designer. Exhibition of interactive computers, computer generated art, installation work and paintings. Murdoch Court, National Gallery of Victoria. 10 May to 17 June 1996. Part of the 1996 Next Wave Festival Art and Technology Program.
Big River Exhibition designer. Exhibition of photographs, text and sound. Pumping Station, Scienceworks Museum, Spotswood. Oct to Dec 1995 + Upper Level, Southgate Oct 1995. Part of Melbourne International Festival.
Production Reproduction Exhibition designer. Exhibition of jewellery and metal work. Gallery 101 Melbourne. July 1995.
Resonance of the City. Architectural Speculations Exhibition designer. Exhibition of RMIT Master of Architecture projects held at Tolarno Galleries. Part of the Melbourne International Festival. September 1993.
Invited visiting scholar, Parsons. The New School of Design, New York City: a public lecture titled ?interior (Wednesday March 21); postgraduate project reviews; and a conceptual proposition for a charrette which culminated in a full-scale installation for an industry event (Thursday March 22).
Invited as a concept investigator ‘identity’ IFI Global Symposium – Interiors EntityNew York City, March 2011
Invited keynote, ‘In the midst: interior-making, curatorial practice, exhibition, research’ Monash Art & Design Postgraduate Research Symposium9 December 2010.
Bauhaus in the middle of the street: minimalism in design today ACCA 24 July 2010, Invited panel member together with Norbert Loeffler, Warren Taylor and Ann Marie Brennan.
Invited participant Critical Spatial Writing WorkshopConvenor: Helene Frichot with Jane Rendell, 7 June 2010.
Invited speaker ‘Curatorial practice and techniques of interiorization’ Expanded Spatial Practice School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia. Convenors: Linda Marie Walker and John Barbour, 10 – 12 September 2009.
‘Is there any value in interior design?’ State of the Design Debate Corporate Culture, 23 July 2009. Invited panel member – negative team.
Invited keynote, 'Atmosphere Rooms' to launch Julieanna Preston’s book Interior Atmospheres Victoria University, Wellington, 13 August 2008.
Invited member of moderating panel, Interior Design: The State of Art – Part II. International Federation of Interior Architects (IFI) Round Education Round Table -Thinking into the Future, New York City, July 11–12 2007.
Invited speaker Colloquium III: \structure, Visual Art and Design Research Group (VADRG), University of South Australia, 8 March 2006.
Panel member with John Denton, Director of DCM and Jacqui Menzies, Head of Asian Art, Art Gallery of NSW, Museum Architecture, Museums Australia (ACT), Canberra, 19 October, 2005.
Convenor Exhibition as Research Forum, RMIT Gallery 18 May 2005 – with John Barbour, Lesley Duxbury, Lyndal Jones, Robyn Healy, Professor Leon van Schaik.
Co-convenor with Gini Lee INSIDEOUT interior and landscape symposium, Melbourne 22 to 24 April, 2005 – invited guest speakers included Professor Elizabeth Grosz and Professor Ross Gibson.
Invited keynote, ‘Space, Time, Crime’, Space, Place and Crime Department of Criminology, University of Melbourne, 6 December, 2003.
‘spatial encounters’ Art Museums: sites of communication National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, March 14 to 15 2003. Invited speaker.
‘Empty Mark’ Paper delivered at Zerocraft. A symposium on craft, technology and contemporary culture Australian National Gallery, Canberra, May 2000. Invited speaker.