In 2013, the Australian Defence White Paper, ‘Indo-Pacific Strategic Arc’, officially relocated Australia to the Indo-Pacific region, a virtual space that expands from the east coast of Africa to the west coast of South America. This region’s emergent geostrategic importance is rivalled only by the economic value of the maritime trade it hosts. Yet, beyond the Australian Defence White Paper and limited discussion in diplomatic circles in the 1960s, the ‘region’ has no legal agreements, international institutions or national borders define its scope.
In this studio subject, students were asked to draw the Indo Pacific region, and to design the institution that represents, governs and/or defines it. One of these projects was the Indo-Pacific Consortium, an inter-governmental organisation situated in an undisclosed location in Australia. It is a closed retreat for the eight elected delegate members of the region and their ‘umbrella citizens’. Host to all general assemblies for the organisation and a location for deliberation, the community acts as a projection and benchmark for the Indo-Pacific Region.