Simona Castricum

Naarm - AU
Architecture / Music
Contact
Instagram︎︎︎

Photo: Elliott Lauren

Simona Castricum is an architecture worker, musician, and broadcaster from Naarm [Melbourne] on Wurundjeri country, KUlin Nation. Her practice in music and architecture reimagines the tactile, virtual, and affective conditions within the realms of bodies, space, and politics.


In architecture, Simona is a spatial designer developing design justice methodologies in research-led design and through her practice, D4T—Design for Trans & Gender Diverse. As a musician and broadcaster on Melbourne’s 3RRR FM, Simona connects futures with archives, speculations, and autofictions through songwriting, soundtracks, and performances to envision queer and trans sites.

Music—

A drummer, vocalist, and guitarist, Simona's eclectic musical style draws from the queer and trans archives of new wave, post-punk and dream-pop to underground new beat, techno, and electro. Her music unravels the threads of queer relationships within the backdrop of dystopian urban environments.

Photo: Suzanne Phoenix

Simona joined Dinosaur City Records in 2023, co-releasing her fourth album, SINK, with her label Trans-Brunswick Express. She performs live alongside guitarist Em Gayfer (Light Transmissions) and Anetta Nevin.

Her live performances have graced the stages of Golden Plains, Dark Mofo, Soft Centre, VIVID, Melbourne Music Week, and Gaytimes. She has supported Lydia Lunch, Drab Majesty, Peaches, DJ Hell, and !!!. Simona's music has been remixed by Aérea Negrot, Chiara Kickdrum and Various Asses. She has remixed for Courtney Barnett, Cong Josie, and Pillow Pro, and produced for Vincey, m8riarchy, and Nite Fruit.

She is a former DJ in Australia’s underground trans and quer club scene running The Shock of the New. Her sets sat in the crease of new beat, techno and house, playing on the regular at HugsNKisses, Le Fag, Pleasure Planet, Fantastic, Tough/John, Abode, Q&A, to the festivals Strawberry Fields, Pitch, Beyond The Valley, Sydner Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and Monsta Gras.

Simona has been nominated for Best Electronic Act and Best Solo Artist at the 2020 Music Victoria Awards. Her third album, Panic/Desire, debuted at #1 on the AIR 100% Independent Album Chart in June 2020. Panic/Desire and SINK albums were long-list nominees for the Australian Music Prize in 2020 and 2023. SINK has also been nominated for a 2024 AIR Award for Best Dance or Electronic Release.


SaD / Photo: Billie

In 2017, Simona formed the duo SaD with the late Daphne Camf. They were nominated for Best Electronic Act at the 2021 Music Victoria Awards for their debut record, Saturn Rues the Material World, performing with Moon Duo and Underground Lovers. 

Simona is a radio broadcaster with Melbourne community station 3RRR FM, filling across the grid on drive-time shows Neon Sunset, Maps, Bright Lights and magazine shows Queer View Mirror.

Architecture—

Simona has been an architecture worker for thirty years. Her design, academia, and advocacy for queer and transgender equity offer an expansion to the lens of gender and sexuality in architectural practice, design and education. Her research and writing develops queer and transgender methodologies broadly across academic and professional silos.

In 2023, Simona won the Chancellor’s Prize and the John Grice Award for excellence in PhD architectural research at the University of Melbourne for her thesis What If Safety Becomes Permanent? Architecture and Music as a Site of Transing. It examined how trans and queer space is produced through musical practice in architecture against urban conditions of cisnormativity and transphobia. Simona’s education experience presents trans and queer theory in architecture, urban planning, gender studies, and criminology.

Her academic research informs effective practice in understanding trans and gender-diverse experiences in the built environment and administrative systems. Simona operates within a design justice practice to collaborate on policy advocating for trans and gender-diverse rights across community, industry and institutional levels. She has worked on legislation reform for all-gender bathroom amenities with Transgender Victoria and with Music Victoria to develop policies for live music venues.

Simply Irresistible by StudioBird / SIMONA (2023)


Simona collaborated with StudioBird as a designer for their shortlisted NGV 2023 Architecture Commission Design Competition. Her consulting roles working alongside community reference groups include the Victorian Pride Centre (CRG with Grant Amon & Brearley Architects & Urbanists), the Arts Centre Melbourne Redevelopment (CRG with NH Architecture & Snøhetta), and the NGV Contemporary Design Competition (with Melbourne Cultural Collective).

Simona’s published writings and interviews include a co-authored chapter with Dr CQ Quinan, ‘Gender and Space’ in The Relationship is the Project: A Guide to Working with Communities (2024), ‘Music as a Site of Transing’ in Queering Architecture (2023), and in The Politics of Public Space (2022). As a Music Victoria’s Women’s Advisory Panel member from 2017-2018, Simona co-authored the Gender Diversity Draft Strategy for Best Practice Guidelines for Live Music Venues. Simona’s news and opinion pieces have been published in The Guardian, VICE, and i-DShe has spoken at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne Knowledge Week, Melbourne Design Week, MPavilion, CHANGES, LISTEN, BIGSOUND, Women of the World Festival, Emerging Writers Festival, and Brunswick Music Festival.

Contact—


Consulting > D4T—Design for Trans & Gender Diversity
simona-at-simonacastricum.com

Live Bookings >
Press Play
sean-at-pressplaypresents.com

Label, Publicity > Dinosaur City Records
jordanne-at-dinosaurcityrecords.com.au

Stock > T-BE / Trans-Brunswick Express
transbrunswickexpress-at-gmail.com

Follow > @simonacastricum
Instagram / Facebook / Threads

Stream >
Spotify / Apple Music / Tidal / SoundCloud / BandCamp / YouTube
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Ⓒ 2024 Simona Castricum

Simona Castricum acknowledges the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrong people of Kulin Nation across Naarm, the lands on which she works and lives. Sovereignty has never been ceded. This always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.