Competition proposal - Melbourne, Australia - 2016

The Melbourne Tattoo Academy architecture competition tasked participants with creating designs for a building in one of the most popular locations of this multicultural city, where the art of tattooing can be practiced and the stigma broken. The main purpose of the building should be to function as a school for the art of tattooing, offering space for workshops, accommodation in the form of a hostel, and a public gallery/meeting area as well as a conceptual café.

Aboriginal art and cellular weaving

My intervention pays homage to Aboriginal art which typically consists of interwoven lines and circles, arranged in radial cellular patterns reminiscent of cells and cellular tissues.

Rhizomatic Learning

The studios/classrooms are an array of underground heterogeneous spaces that grow horizontally all over the site. Without a central point of unity, this school encourages a non-hierarchical approach to learning instead of the orthodox tree-like hierarchical vertical system.

Weaving and Ornament

This project also explores the relationship between
ornament/tattooing and weaving. Ornament that is structural and functional rather than merely a cosmetic surface condition.

“Whereas we – imperfectly – hide the
seams, for them they are
the opportunity for artistic release. Their
seams appear as seams, yet are rich
in art: they thus make large stitches in
complicated combinations, allowing
ornament to grow from the seams and
to protect those points that are subject
to rapid wear.Everywhere those
elements whose function is to hold
things together are the objects of the
richest ornamental decoration” (Semper
1966, 93)

Shahira Hammad 2023