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Campbell Drake


Campbell Drake is an architect and a lecturer of Interior and Spatial Design at the University of Technology, Sydney. His research is focused on performative strategies of spatial practice and the relations between spatial context, spectatorship and action. Campbell completed a Masters of Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University, University of London and is a PhD candidate at in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University. Campbell is the co-founder of Regional Associates, an architecture practice specialising in sustainable eco tourism development in environmentally sensitive locations. His architectural works have won a number of awards including the hotels category of the International Interior Design Association Global Excellence Awards in 2014.

Image of Campbell Drake
Senior Lecturer, School of Design
Bachelor of Architecture, Masters of Research Architecture
+61 2 9514 8068

Performative Spaces 


Drake, C.J. & Gilbert, J.B. 2015, 'Interpretive Wonderings _ Performing Mobilities', Performing Mobilities, RMIT University / Victorian College of the Arts.
Exploring spatial aspects of intercultural trans-disciplinary arts practices, this presentation is centred upon a mapping workshop that took place at Culpra Station; an 8000 hectare property in rural NSW bounded by the Kemondok national park and the Murray River. The property is home to a number of significant cultural heritage sites including Aboriginal burials, hearths, middens, scarred trees, fish trap, an ochre quarry as well pastoral relics including stockyards, a homestead and nascent irrigation landforms. A selection of thirty Indigenous and non-indigenous participants were invited to the station to produce interpretive mappings through which to explore multivalent understandings of country. Located within the field of critical spatial practice, the presentation of this research builds upon a body of critical cartographic work that sees mapping as 'performative, participatory and political'. 'Transgressing the limits of art and architecture to engage with both the social and the aesthetic' participants were asked to map material and immaterial qualities of country. Responding to local Indigenous stories, spatial narratives and sites of cultural and environmental significance, maps were produced through a series of journeys and conversations using digital, analogue and performance based media. Focusing on exchanges of knowledge through intercultural and trans-disciplinary creative practice, the outcome of the workshop is a collection of mapping artefacts in a range of media including recordings, collections, performance, video, composition, assemblages, writing, drawings, construction or photography. Addressing the notion of 'moving country' through interpretive mapping, this presentation explores how trans-disciplinary arts practice can provide new understandings of Indigenous and non-indigenous spatial sensibilities towards sites of cultural significance and country.
Drake, C.J. 2016, 'Language and the Production of Space', OBSOLESCENCE and RENOVATION – 20th Century Housing in the New Millennium, OBSOLESCENCE and RENOVATION – 20th Century Housing in the New Millennium, SEVILLE, SPAIN.
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This paper is a critical investigation into the relationship between language and spatial production within the context of post war social housing in the UK. Adopting an obsolete council estate in north London as an exemplar of British social housing of this period, this paper provides a critical reflection on a collaborative arts project titled 'The Market Estate Project' produced in 2010, just prior to the estates demolition. Coordinated by artists collaborative Tall Tales, backed by the Southern Housing Association and financed by the British Arts Council, 'The Market Estate Project' called for site specific artworks that celebrated 'a colorful and rich last memory of the estate', with an emphasis on collaboration and participation with residents and the local community. Combining theoretical research and site specific intervention, this paper explores the notion of 'effective historical analysis', in which the singularities pertaining to the transformation of language of social housing reveals parallels between the forces and networks which govern its transformations. The imagery presented within the paper is the documentation of practice led research comprising of two large-scale site specific interventions. The first project titled 'Embodied Text' (2010) was installed in the corridor of the Market Estate and explores the relationship between language, the body and the city. The second project titled 'Rise and Fall' (2010), is an investigation into the relationship between social and architectural space and involves the reproduction of a council estate flat reconfigured within a white cube gallery. Through an investigation of the complex networks, multiple logics and rich contradictions inherent in the field of social housing, this research suggests that language produces space and conversely space produces language echoing Henri Lefebvre's proposition 'that space and the political organization of space, expresses social relationships but also react back u...
Drake, C.J. 2016, 'Spatial Tuning', Performance Studies International #22 Performance Climates.
DRAKE, C. 2016, 'Spatial Tuning', https://psiperformancedesign.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/interveninginth..., Intervening in the Anthropo(s)scene, Hobart, Tasmania.
Drake, C.J. 2014, 'Performative Spatial Practice _ Expanded Architecture 2014', Expanded Architecture 2014, Sydney.
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Proposing a dynamic fluidity between the built environment and the inhabitants of the city, this paper is an investigation into the relationship between live performance and architecture. Drawing on Henri Lefebvres The production of space, this paper speculates upon the proposition that 'space and the political organization of space, express social relationships but also react back upon them' . Reaffirming this claim, this paper contests conventional interpretations of architecture as immovable and passive, instead asserting the built environment as dynamic and active. Exploring such notions in the realm of temporal art practice, this paper pulls focus on a selection of performance based works situated in the public realm. Adopting music as the transient medium to explore intersections between art, architecture and history, this paper provides a reflection upon a series of unconventional investigative spatial performances situated within redundant and historically significant sites.
Drake, C.J. 2014, 'Contemporary Site Investigations _ Reverse Projections _Expanded Architecture 2013', Reverse Projections _Expanded Architecture 2013, Expanded Architecture 2013, Broken Dimanche Press, The Rocks, Sydney, pp. 78-83.
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Journal articles

Drake, C.J. 2017, 'Instrumental: Performance and the Cumulative Potential of Distributed Sites', OAR: The Oxford Artistic and Practice Based Research Platform, no. Issue 1 (2017).
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Exploring the relations between the site of research and the site of output, this paper is a critical comparison of the immediate experience of conducting research in a specific place/space and the sites at which practice based research outputs are published and exhibited. Extending Miwon Kwon's assertion that 'site is not simply a geographical location but a network of social relations,'1 my research is situated within the field of critical spatial practice and explores the ability of site specific performance to contribute to and shape cultural politics in Australia. Carried out as a series of iterative performances, the practice based research methodology uses salvaged pianos as a device to renegotiate the politics of space through the re-appropriation of iconic and contested Australian site
Drake, C.J. & Kelly, W.J. 2016, 'Sustainable Tourism Development in Rote Ndao', PORTAL Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, vol. 13, no. 2 (Designing Futures in Indonesia), pp. 1-18.
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Located in the eastern province of Nusa Tenggara Timur (West Timor), Rote Ndao is an island of 120,000 residents that can be accessed via ferry from the West Timorese capital of Kupang. Prior to East Timorese independence in 2002, Kupung saw direct international flights from Australia, since redirected through Bali and Jakarta. Rote Ndao is traditionally focused on subsistence farming and the harvesting of the Lontar Palm; however, recent years have seen an influx of foreign interest as domestic and international investors buy up large tracks of beach front property. White sand beaches and world class surfing, Rote is a quintessential island paradise and many are predicting that this remote part of eastern Indonesia will become the new Bali of the 21st century.
Drake, C.J. & Gilbert, J. 2016, 'Interpretive Wonderings', Unlikely - Journal for Creative Arts, no. 2, pp. 1-8.
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Examining the criteria by which events-based modes of spatial practice are discussed, this paper critically reflects on a mapping workshop that took place in September 2015 at Culpra Station; an 8,500 hectare property situated in rural New South Wales. Titled 'Interpretive Wonderings', the project sought to build upon a body of critical cartographic work that approaches mapping as 'performative, participatory and political.' Taking place in September 2015, thirty Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants were invited to the station property to produce interpretive mappings through which to explore multivalent understandings of country. Exploring the difficulties of articulating the performative attributes that constitute creative practice in the field, this paper discusses three creative works produced during the 'Interpretive Wondering' mapping workshop: Thomas Cole's 'Extract', Sam Trubridge's 'Night Walk' and Campbell Drake's 'Instrumental'. Whilst varied in their approaches and conceptual agendas, these projects share similarities within the performative operations enabled through event-based modes of spatial practice.
Drake, C.J. 2014, 'The paradox of Thai Architecture', Habitus, no. 24, pp. 51-53.
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Whether looking back to the origins of architectural tradition in 'Architecture of Thailand : A guide to traditional and contemporary forms', projecting forwards to a new digital age in 'Narrative, Metaphor and Architecture : A decade of metamorphosing ideas into built form, 10 experiments in architecture by VaSLab' or celebrating a renewed sense of regionalism within the contemporary architecture of 'Small Medium Houses,' each of these books denote a healthy plurality of architectural exploration within the vibrant and progressive architectural community of Thailand. Defiant of stripping the built environment of cultural reference, these books signify the dynamic and innovative design culture of Thailand that whilst respectful of tradition, firmly grasps 'the potential of architectural design to draw from the past and present towards the future..'
Drake, C.J. & Langdon, R. 2012, 'The Mother of Invention _ Architect Victoria', Architect Victoria, no. Autumn, pp. 22-22.
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Drake, C.J. & Langdon, R. 2012, '(Dis)lodging the African Safari_Green Magazine', Green Magazine, no. 23, pp. 86-93.
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Drake, C.J. & Langdon, R. 2012, '(Dis)Lodging the African Safari _ Designing Ways', Designing Ways, no. 144.
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Non traditional outputs

Drake, C.J. & Regional Associates Pty Ltd 2013, 'Kyambura Lodge'.
Situated on the periphery of Queen Elizabeth National Park in South West Uganda, the Savannah Banda's form the second phase development of Kyambura Gorge Lodge, a newly completed eco tourism venture focusing on wildlife conservation, wetlands restoration and community engaged design process. The Savannah Banda's are constructed from locally fired bricks, sourced from a number of local communities, each have differing colors, textures and forms. The four Bandas explore A series of poet concepts through brick construction techniques. Exploring the relationship between architecture and landscape, the first Banda draws the panoramic view of the national park and Ruwenzori Mountains through the building via a virtual scenographic projection. Mapped through the color differentiation of four brick types, the foreground, middle ground and back ground are pulled through the building as a series of vertical lines registered through the definition of exterior and interior brickwork. The Banda roofs are conceived of as oversized shading devices, disconnected from the walls supported by their own structure. They are composed in sequence, like a flock of birds frozen in a moment of flight. The roofs are clad using recycled corrugated iron, collected from surrounding villages in a new for old roof exchange program providing new roofs for schools and local families. The rusty iron sheets are laid across the roof planes like a patchwork quilt providing a tangible connection to the social fabric of the surrounding communities. Varying brick types, local timbers, bamboo and reeds are combined to create complex material expression. Raw natural materials are preferenced for textured surface qualities creating a backdrop for found and salvaged objects. Luggage trunks made from recycled metal, bedside tables from roadside shop signs and old chairs, have been mended anew, leaving traces of previous use and lives. Remnants of fabrics found in local markets are collaged together ...
Drake, C.J., Drake, E. & Cummings, K., 'Investigative Spatial Performance : Temporal Formal _ Expanded Architecture 2014', 2014 Expanded Architecture : Temporal Formal, Edition Bauhaus.
Drake, C.J., 'Contemporary Site Investigations_Flinders Street Station', Flinders Street Station.
Drake, C.J., 'The Princess Theatre Inversion', Situation 2014, The RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne.
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Situation 2014 Exhibition and Presentation
Drake, C.J. & Gilbert, J., 'Interpretive Wonderings _ Mapping Culpra Station', Mildura Arts Centre, ISBN 978-194478751-6.
Produced in collaboration with the Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation, Interpretive Wonderings is an exhibition of mapping shaped by the stories and history of the country of Culpra Station in NSW. In September 2015, thirty Indigenous and non-indigenous creative practitioners gathered at Culpra Station for a workshop to map the material and immaterial qualities of the country. A former grazing and cropping property on the Murray River floodplain, the station is situated on the traditional country of the Barkandji people and home to a number of significant Aboriginal cultural heritage sites. The exhibition reflects a coming together through diversity of the participants in a collaboration underpinned by a shared commitment to the preservation, protection, promotion and celebration of Aboriginal culture and custodianship through country. The workshop, a collaborative project betweenn the Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation, RMIT University, University of Technology Sydney and Monash University sought to produce mappings of country which challenge cartographic convention - in this way the mappings produced often challenge the notion of what is generally accepted to be a map including drawings, paintings, video and audio installations and performance pieces.
Drake, C.J., 'Instrumental', Interpretive Wonderings, Mildura Arts Centre.
Instrumental is a video and performance work that investigates the piano as a performative device to renegotiate the relations between situations, subjects and environments. Exploring the colonial implications of the piano within the context of an indigenous led mapping workshop, Instrumental involved salvaging an upright piano from a nearby farm, relocating it to Culpra Station and positioning it amongst a grove of dead gum trees. A local piano tuner from Mildura was commissioned to tune the piano for a duration of 30 minutes. The piano had not been played for over 50 years and was found to have a cracked timber frame. The act of tuning and tightening the instrument only put additional pressure on the internal mechanisms of the piano, causing it to slide in and out of tune as the tuner manipulated the instrument from one end to the other. The resulting 25 minute video piece is a performance which explores the politics of space in which the role of human and non human agents are brought into question through the re-appropriation of a contested space within the Australian landscape.
Drake, C.J., 'Reflections on Culpra', Interpretive Wonderings, Mildura Arts Centre.
Covering 8000 hectares over five parcels, Culpra Station was first delineated and worked by pastoralists in 1846. The proximity of the Murray River and diversity of soil types has seen cropping and grazing of the mallee country and grazing of the river country. Colonial and modern pastoralist histories leave some obvious marks on the land today while other signposts to this history are barely traceable or gone completely. This pastoralist history represents a very small timeframe in the history and culture of this area. The land at Culpra Station has a number of significant Aboriginal historical and cultural sites including burials, hearths, scarred trees and an ochre quarry that today offer some clues to this larger history. In 2002, Culpra Station was purchased by the Indigenous Land Corporation as part of a vision to build a secure and sustainable land base for Aboriginal people. Today the property is managed by the Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation under the ethos of protecting the land from practices and actions that may be damaging to both its environmental and heritage values. During a 30 year period between 1950 and 1980, Culpra Station was owned by the Duncan family. This video work focusses on the Duncan brothers, Kevin and Bruce, who spent most of their childhood at Culpra Station working it as a farm with their Dad. With the Duncan brothers as guides, this project seeks to locate some of the traces and remnants of heritage sites such as the old homestead and the adjacent Aboriginal burial ground. Comprising a series of interviews conducted on site, the video explores themes around the markers of ones country or home and the possible crossovers, connections, and/or tension between Indigenous and European sites of significance. In looking at these particular connections to land and country and some of the marks left during this timeframe, the project combines visual mapping, oral storytelling and walking as a means to explore interpretations of the ...
Drake, C.J., Gilbert, J. & Mehzoud, S., 'Migratory Wonderings', 107 Projects, Redfern.
Migratory Wonderings offers an encounter with country through works developed on Culpra Station in regional NSW. Framing the work as critical cartography, this exhibition explores multiple connections to country and the implicit values through acts of migration and the contrast of regional and urban contexts.`


Drake, C.J. 2016, A Study of Sustainable Tourism _ Rote, West Timor, Indonesia, Sydney.
The following report is the result of a study that took place on the island of Rote, West Timor, Indonesia in September 2015. Carried out by twelve interior and spatial design students from the University of Technology Sydney, this research is focused on sustainable strategies for tourism development in Western Rote. Focusing on environmental, social and economic sustainability, resorts and local housing typologies were audited with participants asked to identify and evaluate spatial composition, landscaping, construction methodology, building materials, ownership, management, staffing, price points, sanitation and the supply of power and water. Complementary to the audits, twelve transects* were produced by cutting a section from the road to the beach through each of the twelve resorts and local houses. The resulting transects explore the relations and tensions between foreign owned resorts and private villas and that of local Rotenese communities and businesses. On the 25th of September 2015, participants presented their findings of their field work in an open forum at the Anugerah Resort to expatriate and Rotenese community members. The following is a summary of the presentations consisting of observations and recommendations of sustainable strategies for tourism development in Western Rote.
Drake, C.J. & Gilbert, J. Self published _ RMIT / UTS 2016, Local Land Services : IW _ Mapping Culpra Station, Digital Publication.
The attached report was commissioned by the Local Land Services Western Districts. Project Descriptor : A workshop was held on Culpra Station, an 8,500 ha former grazing and cropping property on the Murray River floodplain outside Euston in NSW. The workshop focused on sharing the significant cultural and environmental sites on this location together with knowledge and experience of invited attendees. The outcomes of this workshop will be a series of maps that will be included in the 'Interpretive Artefacts: Culpra Station' exhibition at Mildura Arts Centre from February to April 2016.