The Creative Director of Material Thinking is Melbourne-based Paul Carter (D.Litt Melbourne 1997, MA Oxon 1975), an internationally renowned writer, artist, and cultural heritage specialist. He has written extensively about white settler societies, their foundational myths and the ways these inform the places they create and the national narratives that hold them together. A current co-curatorial engagement with the UNESCO Heritage Listed Parco archeologico di Paestum (Italy) attests to the high reputation he also enjoys internationally. In 2019 he will be a guest of the Institute of Advanced Studies (University of Bologna). In the last years he has held similar visiting positions at the Moore Institute (University of Ireland, Galway, 2018) and the International Research Center (Interweaving Cultures in Performance), Free University, Berlin, 2013-2017. Wherever he goes he advocates for Material Thinking’s creative place-making principles and practices, seeking to enrich and share these.
Paul has been involved with the design of public spaces (‘Nearamnew’, Federation Square, Melbourne, 2002, ‘Golden Grove’, University of Sydney, 2007-2009, Harmony Square, Dandenong 2014, Yagan Square, Perth, 2018, Scarborough Beach Redevelopment, 2018), with generations of public and institutional sound design (Museum of Sydney (1995-8), Hyde Park Barracks (1992, 1999), Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment (2018), Cato Square (2019) and with many individual creatives, including dance and theatre companies in Australia and internationally.
Paul has extensive experience in working with communities to identify shared creative aspirations and in translating these into art works, programs and landscape designs. Material thinking’s calling card, ‘the creative template’, translates community place aspirations into design propositions that express overarching senses of place, showing how these can shape sustaining invention. In the last few years he has been particularly proud to work with Nyungar representative bodies and individual Elders and artists.
Paul has published over 20 books, including The Road to Botany Bay (1987; republished 2010), Material Thinking (2004, 2010) and Dark Writing (2008). His current publications are Decolonizing Governance: Archipelagic Thinking (Routledge, 2018) and Amplifications: Poetic migration, auditory memory (Bloomsbury, 2019) He is also Professor of Design (Urbanism) at RMIT University. In 2018 he received the RMIT Award for Research Impact – Design in recognition of his ongoing success in building bridges between the knowledge and wisdom invested in communities and the multidisciplinary placemaking research and planning sector.
Edmund Carter an architect and designer with an interest in interdisciplinary public art and urban design. Edmund practices privately as an architect and collaborates with a number of established and emerging creative practices.
Edmund has exhibited nationally and internationally including in Now and When, the Australian Pavilion for the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale and in Flood, the 2005 Rotterdam Architecture Biennale, and has had work published in several Australian architectural magazines including Architecture Australia and Architectural Review. He was the recipient of the RAIA Graduate Prize in 2006 and in 2013 his collaborative work with MGS Architects on a social housing project in Altona was awarded the Best Overend Award for Residential Architecture (Multiple Housing) and the Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture at the Australian Institute of Architects state and national awards respectively: a first for social housing in Australia.
Edmund’s experience includes a number of collaborations with well-known architects, artists and designers including recently in the procurement of a number of bespoke lift car interiors and the design of the NGV’s Melbourne Now “Design” exhibition with Simone LeAmon as Carter LeAmon. Edmund took up a brief residency in February at the NGV as part of the exhibition.
Edmund has led a number of design studios at RMIT, Melbourne and Monash Universities in their respective architectural programs and in 2012 co-convened an architectural workshop at Tokyo Institute of Technology.