Keeping it Real: What do we mean by authenticity?
Ethics, social value and meaningful spaces
Authenticity is something designers have been asked to provide on countless occasions across projects, time, and disciplines – but what does it really mean? How can we design with authenticity and is it even something we have the power to provide? Fittingly, speakers from a range of disciplines came together to discuss this very notion. A common thread arose from these seemingly unconnected viewpoints of performance production and set design, placemaking, and architectural critique – the common thread being the notion of stripping back, distilling, peeling away the layers of the idea or place you are designing for. This distillation – rather than focusing on the thing being designed – focuses on the place and people from which the idea originates. In this way – it is not the designer that instils authenticity into their designs – it is the people experiencing it. Lastly, the notion of requiring authenticity for good design was questioned – if you like an experience it does not always need to be authentic to be good.
Thanks to Jake Nash (Head of Design at Bangarra Dance Theatre), Andrew Hoyne (Founder and Principal at Hoyne), and Professor Naomi Stead (Director of Design and Creative Practice Research Platform at RMIT and architecture critic for the Saturday paper).
The Saturday Paper article on Pentridge Coburg, by Naomi Stead
Enjoy the short video trailer, and if you are interested in this session, you can request a full recording by filling out the submission form below.