If trees could speak

Tania Ivanka

*See myTimetable for Room & Time

Studio Inquiry

This studio involves intensive fieldwork, many classes will happen on location in Brunswick. Please allow extra time to travel to/from the Tuesday morning session.

Why do people care for trees? 
What might trees tell us about their relationship to people?
From 2020 to 2022, the Upfield Train Line from Moreland Station to Coburg Station was raised to remove four train level crossings. 
Many mature trees were lost in the construction phase.
The proposed Skyrail project will raise the train line through the remainder of Brunswick and risks the loss of urban forests planted and tended by members of the local community. What will be the impact of this development upon the the relationship of people to these urban forests? 
We will immerse ourselves in these spaces, observing, listening, drawing, documenting.
Our tasks is to understand the relationship of the community to these spaces and as reflexive researchers also understand our own relationship to place and ecology.
Through our documentation and exploration we will learn about and visually communicate the stories of community urban gardening of the Upfield Train Line.


This studio is an introduction to different types of creative ethnographic research methods, drawing upon on multi-species ethnography, sensory ethnography and auto ethnography. We will also explore warm data, complexity, deep time and non-linearity.
We will explore a range of practices to engage with observation and documentation, as well as reflect upon our own relationship with place and nature. Please note that we are not here to solve problems or convince an audience of any particular position. This is not a studio about advertising campaigns or persuasion. Our role is to document and communicate the rich and complex stories of the upfield train line and upfield urban forest through creative practice.

Communication of knowledge

The major outcomes from your work will be visual story telling using media and materials of your choice. The aim is to communicate the complexity of what we encounter. We will learn from the explorations of the semester 1 iteration of this studio to find ways of contributing further perspectives and stories to this project.
With your permission, your work might be included in a self published book documenting the visual explorations and stories of the urban forests.


As immersed researchers, our studio is embedded in the context of research: the urban forest of the upfield train line centring in Brunswick and a small part of of Coburg. 
We will spend the majority of our time in field work. 
Please be prepared to travel light, with a travelling artists kit. 
We will meet locals at the planting sites. 
We will sit and draw and talk. 
Be prepared for sunshine and rain and lots of walking.
This is an opportunity to slow down and tend to our senses.


There are four assessment tasks for this studio, the briefs are made up of a range of milestone deliverables that are interconnected and build upon each other. 
Brief 01: SKO
Brief 02: Mapping relationships to place
Brief 03: Developing your project and proposal
Brief 04: Completing and presenting your final project


Kimmerer, R 2020, ‘Speaking of Nature’, Orion Magazine, https://orionmagazine.org/article/speaking-of-nature/

Communities of Practice
Designing through Image

This studio involves intensive fieldwork, many classes will happen on location in Brunswick.
Please allow extra time to travel to/from the Tuesday session.


About Tania Ivanka

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