Simona Castricum

Naarm - AU
Architecture / Music
Contact
Instagram︎︎︎

Photo: Elliott Lauren

Simona Castricum is a cross-disciplinary creative and academic from Naarm—Melbourne working on Wurundjeri land of Kulin Nation. Simona engages architecture and music in a speculative world-building practice to render queer and trans futures.


Simona is an architecture worker, a musician and radio broadcaster on 3RRR Melbourne. She is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne, developing transfeminist methodologies in architectural design, history, and theory. Simona integrates architecture and music in her speculative practice through songwriting and performance to envision queer and trans futures, archives, and autofiction. Through this approach, she reimagines tactile, virtual, and affective conditions within the relationship of bodies, architecture, space, and politics.

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).

Her dynamic live performances and DJ sets have graced the stages of Golden Plains, Dark Mofo, Soft Centre, VIVID, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Melbourne Music Week, Beyond The Valley, Strawberry Fields, Pitch, and Gaytimes. She has supported Drab Majesty, !!!, Peaches, Lydia Lunch, DJ Hell. 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.

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 longlist nominees for the Australian Music Prize in 2020 and 2023.

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 Rules the Material World. They performed with Moon Duo and Underground Lovers. 

SaD / Photo: Billie

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 almost 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 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. Simona is an Associate at Parlour: Gender, Equity, Architecture and a member of the Gender, Equity, and Diversity Panel at the Australian Institute of Architects (Victorian Chapter).

Simply Irresistible by StudioBird / SIMONA (2023)
w FOOKS, Kayzar, Peter Felicetti, Ian Webb, Patrick Hamilton


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 ft ARM Architecture, Woods Bagot, SIBLING, StudioBird & Cassandra Fahey).

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.

Design for Gender Diversity—


Consulting support driving innovation in gendered spatial design through research-led approaches, empowering queer and trans communities to actively shape public and civic spaces according to their unique needs and aspirations.


Simona seeks to deepen collective understanding of gendered spaces and better serve trans and gender-diverse cohorts through partnerships with spatial designers and planners. Beyond bathrooms, there is great potential for addressing gendered spaces across education, healthcare, justice, housing, infrastructure, recreation, and retail sectors.

Offering briefing and design review, workshops, community engagement, contextual research, policy development, and workplace advisory services, the focus is on advocating for queer and trans cohorts. These services are tailored for design studios, building owners and operators, councils, public departments, and institutions.


Photo: Music Victoria

 

Releases—


Albums >
SINK (2023) - SC
Dinosaur City Records
12” Vinyl


Saturn Rules The Material World (2020) - SaD
Trans-Brunswick Express Records
12” Vinyl

Panic/Desire (2020) - SC
Trans-Brunswick Express Records
12” Vinylrds
12” Vinyl

Triumph — EP (2020) - SC
LISTEN Records
12” Vinyl

#triggerwarining40 (2016) - SC
LISTEN Records
12” Vinyl

Exotic Ladies of Birobodzhan (2014) - SC
GWSP
Compact Disc

Playlists—


Playlist >




Video >


SINK (2022) w Carla Zimbler
Live at Phoenix Central Park
Warrang (Sydney AU)


Golden Plains Festival (2020)
Live at Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre
Wadawurrung (Victoria AU)


Supertouch ft m8riarchy (2020) - Simona Castricum
Directed & Edited by Simona, Cinematography by Gianna Mazzeo, Styled by Eagle Leather


Poets of Antiquity (2018) - SaD
Directed & Edited by Simona, Cinematography by Geryon


DJ Mixes >










Writing—


Publication >
Castricum, S., Quinan, CQ (2024). ‘Gender & Public Space’, in Lille, J., Larsen, K., Kirkwood, C., Brown, J., (eds.). The Relationship is the Project: A Guide to Working With Communities. Sydney, AU, NewSouth

Castricum, S. (2024, 2021) Interview with OFFICE. in OFFICE., Muratore., T. (eds). The Politics of Public Space Volume 4., 1 2 3 4 5, Melbourne, OFFICE

Castricum, S. (2023). ‘Music as a site of transing’, in Jobst, M., Stead, N. (ed). Queering Architecture: Methods, Practices, Spaces, Pedagogies. UK, Bloomsbury

Castricum, S. (2022). ‘What if safety becomes permanent? Architecture and music as a site of transing’, [PhD thesis, University of Melbourne]. University of Melbourne Online Repository.

Castricum, S. (2022). ‘When I tell people I’m 47, they don’t believe me’, in Elkin, S., Gallagher, A., Rees, Y., Sayed, B., Ed. (2022). Nothing to Hide: Voices of Trans and Gender-Diverse Australia. Sydney, Allen & Unwin
   
Castricum, S. (2021). Queer Awakenings. Girls Like Us. MYCKET. Belgium, Jessica Gysel

Music Victoria. (2021). Transgender & Gender Diverse Inclusion, Best Practice Guidelines for Live Music Venues. (Co-author)

Castricum, S. (2020). ‘Say clitoris: Queers in space’, in Nichols, D., Perillo, S. (eds.). Urban Australia and Post-Punk, Exploring Dogs in Space. London, UK, Palgrave Macmillan

Castricum, S., Moore, T. (2020). ‘Queering architecture’, in Berry, J., Moore, T., Kalms, N., Bawden, G. (ed). Contentious Cities: Design and the Gendered Production of Space. UK, Routledge

Castricum, S. (2018) Public bathrooms are gender identity battlefields. What if we just do it right? The Guardian

Castricum, S. (2017). ‘When program is the enemy of function… Gender-nonconforming experiences of architectural space’. Architecture and Culture, 5:3. UK, Routledge

Castricum, S. (2015). ‘Never Mind the Bollocks, this is ARM’, in Raggatt, M., et al. (ed). Mongrel Rapture: The Architecture of Ashton Raggatt McDougall. Melbourne, AU, Uro Publications


Talking—



Symposium >
Hu., A.L., Castricum, S. (2019) [Symposium]. Beyond The Binary. Transformations: Action on Equity, Melbourne, AU, University of Melbourne, Parlour.

Castricum, S. (2016). ‘When program is the enemy of function’. [Symposium]. Architecture Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies. KTH Royal Institute of Stockholm, SWE. Architecture & Humanities Research Association.



Interview >
Skujins, A., (2023). ‘Heartbeats: ‘SINK’ is Simona Castricum’s survival allegory‘. NME Australia

Anderson, K., (2021). [Podcast] ‘Lean into my transness (with Simona Castricum). Lost Spaces Podcast

Lin, A. (2021)  ‘Simona Castricum and the art of ‘queering’ space’. Future Visions - Assemble Papers


Lal. K., (2016). ’Speaking with Simona’. Swampland Magazine.

Photo: Jack Shelton


Contact—


Consulting > Designing for Gender Diversity
simonacastricum@gmail.com

Live Bookings >
Press Play
sean@pressplaypresents.com

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

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

Follow > @simonacastricum
Instagram / Facebook / Threads

Stream >
Spotify / Apple Music / Tidal / SoundCloud / BandCamp / YouTube
_




Ⓒ 2024 Simona Castricum / Trans-Brunswick Express / SIMONASPRGRFKA
PhD, BArch (Hons) / AIA Associate Member

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.
_