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Rottnest island, also known as Wadjemup to the native owners of the land, is known as a place of recreation and retreat for the last 2 decades (a 20 year vision : Rottnest Island master plan 2019). This notion of the island as a holiday get-away has remained the main focus moving forward towards the future. This includes the aim of expanding the economic and recreational aspects of the island to a vaster audience that aren’t limited to a short-stay.


Besides the existing holiday destination image of the island, Rottnest is home to rich culture and history that sets the island apart from others. The island has evolved overtime, layering the many stories specific to the people and land through the interconnection and transformative process of history and time. Traces of past narratives live and breathe within the land, the infrastructure and people of Rottnest.


This can be described through a comparison to the phenomena of palimpsest, which is lexically defined as a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing (Darvill 2009). However, this proposal utilises the metaphoric definition of the tangible or intangible layers of spirit, identity and culture, that leave visible inscriptions and traces that transcend time (Verheji 2015).

This concept of palimpsest has been applied in our design proposals for the “re-vitalisation” of the island. By designing spaces for both locals and visitors to appreciate and learn about these place narratives, mosaic studios aims to provide memorable experiences unique to the island, thereby providing places of opportunities for the future.

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