The Older Industrial Parks near Newport, Victoria

An extended dialogue with the late Lewis Baltz’s seminal 1974 work “The New Industrial Parks Near Irvine, California” transforming Baltz’s stark Californian minimalism into an ethereal antipodean nocturne.

For Baltz industrial parks were a new phenomena related to “goods and services of a highly specialized nature” and their development tended to “cause severe dislocations in the local economy”. Baltz’s spartan boxes manifest a common American theme : the promised land defiled. He was interested in “the phenomena of the place. The effect of this kind of urbanism … What kind of new world was being built here? Was it a world people could live in? Really?”

Australian landscape has rarely elicited such blatant anger. Our notion of landscape (and what is built upon it) seems very different. While Baltz documents the short term impact of money on place my own project explores the inevitable and mildly subversive impact of people after the event (more erosion than explosion). 

Our aims and methods may seem different and yet they are very much connected. Both my project and Baltz’s “New Industrial Parks” are deeply rooted in an exploration of place and time.  Consequently “Older Industrial Parks” provides the context and structure for a dialogue between there and here, then and now, me and him.