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Byron Shire
September 22, 2023

Imagining fictional futures for Lismore

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A new exhibition at the Lismore Regional Gallery is set to explore fictional futures for Lismore in which creative minds imagine new modes of occupation for the flood-prone CBD.

Lismore Encore provides ideas for Lismore by esteemed architects and Lismore-based artists who have embodied knowledge and experience of the flood, all responding to a brief to design for the town’s future.

The brief asked contributors to imagine Lismore into the future, outside of the politics of today. It asked participants to posit ways of re-occupying the existing CBD that not only deal with regular flooding, but to envisage what sort of governance, ownership, economies, and technologies enable these new ways of occupying.

The project is intended to create a forum for ideas, be they practical or so ambitious they might be difficult or even impossible to apply in the current climate. It asked for ingenuity at all scales, from the small intervention to the vast re-imagining.

Ideas include gentle golden dirigibles by America-based architect Virginia San Fratello, a new building typology that is simultaneously boat, building, and airship.

‘The dirigibles can be used at all times but are specifically there to serve as retreats before and during flooding. They are generatedwith AI and present an alternative vision for thinking about what we design and how we think about the infrastructure and buildings of our future cities,’ San Fratello writes.

South Korean architect Moon Hoon is also known internationally for his creative wayfinding and playful and distinctive design style, which fuses art and architecture.

His drawings or “doodles” have been acquired by MOMA in New York, Tchoban Foundation in Berlin, and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea.

They manifest exaggerated creativity, opposing the monolithic and neutral world that holds us still and prohibits dreaming.

They are like a creative accelerant so far from familiar solutions that they inspire fresh vision and creativity. Moon Hoon has created roof pods that become shining escape beacons in times of emergency.

Lismore Encore attests to the reality of climate change and includes ambitious proposals that build over the CBD’s substructure toward complete revisioning.

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