Shahira Hammad

Shahira Hammad

Brooklyn, NY, US


Warp and Woof - Melbourne Tattoo Academy

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

The project’s initial inspiration was taken from Aboriginal art. What
particularly interested me is how their intricate woven patterns are
reminiscent of cells and cellular tissues. The artworks typically
consist of interwoven lines and circles, arranged in radial cellular
patterns. Inspired by this I imagined a heterogeneous network of woven
cells populating the site.

The areas where the artists work and teach are underground while the
areas above the ground are for the public. The public area consists of a
park on top of the artists’ studios and an information center
contaminating the existing building. The information center houses a
gallery, reception, cafeteria.

Rhizomatic Learning

Inspired by Deleuze's rhizomes, the studios/classrooms are underground,
heterogeneous and grow horizontally all over the site. I propose a
“rhizomatic” tattoo school without a central point of unity, encouraging
a non-hierarchical approach to learning instead of the standard
tree-like hierarchical vertical system. In a way my proposal is an

Weaving and Ornament

This project also explores the relationship between

ornament/tattooing and weaving.

“Whereas we – imperfectly – hide the

seams, for them [theIndians] 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)

Read more

Status: Competition Entry
Location: Melbourne, AU

weaving study - corner condition
weaving study - corner condition
weaving study - enclosure
weaving study - enclosure
weaving study - enclosure
weaving study - enclosure
weaving study - bridge
weaving study - bridge
weaving study - detail
weaving study - detail