For the tenth birthday of Federation Square, Melbourne’s annual architecture talk-fest celebrates community and the power of place.
Melbourne Architecture Annual (MA|A) – the annual discussion about architecture, the city and sustainable communities – takes place the week of 22–28 October 2012.
The theme is Community and Architecture, and it dovetails with the tenth anniversary celebrations of Federation Square. It’s a timely chance to reflect on how architecture brings people together, and how the quality of public spaces can improve our civic lives, personal experiences and social consciousness. In other words, the power of place.
For ten years, Federation Square has served as Melbourne’s meeting point for cultural exchange and public expression, a place to celebrate and demonstrate, together. In 2003, more than 100,000 people united in anger there to protest at the Iraq War, and again in 2006 to rally against Work Choices. In 2008 they joined in jubilation for Sorry Day, and in 2011 welcomed Cadel Evans home from the Tour de France, and the Queen of England on a state visit.
To celebrate the square’s tenth anniversary, the last weekend in October 2012 has been dedicated to the public with a program of free events including talks, late-night openings, tours and workshops at ACMI and the NGV, The Ian Potter Centre and Kirra Galleries, along with behind-the-scenes tours of Federation Square and a public conversation forum about its future. A new installation by American artist Patrick Dougherty has also been commissioned. Dougherty weaves large-scale sculptures from willow, and will take three weeks to create a sculpture called Stickwork, which will remain in Federation Square until early 2013.
Other events on MA|A’s week-long program of exhibitions, tours, talks, films and workshops include:
Our Houses: Food for Thought – talk between collaborator architect Jan van Schaik and his clients Stefano de Pieri and Donata Carrazza on the Wattle Avenue House.
LEGO for Little Architects – a perennial favourite where children aged four and over get to build their dream house/city/whatever.
Community and Architecture: Cultural Appropriations – a panel discussion about the role of architects improving health, with Paul Pholeros of Healthabitat, Esther Charlesworth (Architects Without Frontiers), Jefa Greenaway (Indigenous Architecture Victoria) and Kate Ferguson (CoDesign Studio). Chaired by Jon Shinkfield of AECOM.
Honey I’m Home: Visions Beyond the White Picket Fence – an ACMI-curated series of films explores cinematic representations of home and community.
MA|A is organized by the Australian Institute of Architects (Victorian Chapter).