2019 Landscape Architecture Australia Student Prize: Queensland University of Technology

Apotheosis by Rebecca Lee, Bachelor of Design (Landscape Architecture), Queensland University of Technology

Project statement

Apotheosis explores drought as a socially constructed hazard and interrogates the privatization of water and the cold and calculated valuation of communities and people based on their purchasing power. This speculative project brings to the forefront the position of many political and economic documents which state that drought-proofing regional and rural Queensland is not financially viable. Why? Because primary production industries can never generate the revenue needed to justify such a scheme.

Using the radical imagery of Roma as Central [The Drought City] and Brisbane as District 1 [The Drought Production Centre], Apotheosis spatially inverts the existing power dynamic in Queensland. The project asks viewers to read the accompanying images and ask themselves: What determines the power and worth of a city? Is it the number of its people? Or the number of its conglomerates? If the latter, then what is our democracy? A rule of the majority of people? Or the rule of the majority of conglomerates, capitalism and the mighty dollar?

Lastly, if the urban became the new rural and the rural the new city, would the region be flooded with power and investment? Would inland Queensland finally be drought-proof?

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