Much of Dorita Hannah’s collaborative design practice — operating across architectural, performing and visual arts —critiques spatial politics and the complex role media has in how we understand our world.

Past projects and publications have been provoked by international media images in which the performative nature of devastating events acknowledge our world as a designed environment, where it can be difficult to separate the theatrical from the political. 

This Ockham lecture presents a series of collaborative installations (2017-2019) that recognise the role architecture plays in socio-political events. It focuses on two projects – Island Icarus and PhoneHome – formulated for international exhibitions, including Chile’s 2017 Architecture & Urbanism Biennial, which was themed on Unpostponable Dialogues. The installations – also exhibited in Australia, Finland, New Zealand and the Czech Republic – engage with viewers as both part of and apart from the work. 

Through embodied and empathic encounters we are invited to critically reflect on our own complicity in the spatial histories and architectural realities belonging to some of the most precarious political subjects of our time.

Attendance is free and booking is required here. Hospitality will be provided.


Dr Dorita Hannah works across the spatial, visual and performing arts as a scholar and design practitioner specialising in theatre architecture and performance design. She is a Professor affiliated with the University of Auckland (New Zealand), University of Tasmania (Australia) and Aalto University (Finland).  She has taught and researched in schools of architecture, design and theatre while practicing as an architect, designer and event-maker; gaining awards and citations for her creative work.

Dorita Hannah, temporary shelters in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp. Photo: Brian Sokol/UNHCR.

Dorita Hannah, PhoneHome Exhibition (Auckland 2018). Photography: Joanne Paterson Kinniburgh.