Editor’s picks: 2017 MPavilion program highlights 

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The 2017 MPavilion designed by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten.

The 2017 MPavilion designed by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten. Image: John Gollings

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The 2017 MPavilion designed by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten.

The 2017 MPavilion designed by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten. Image: John Gollings

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ArchitectureAU rounds up the architecture and design highlights of the 2017 MPavilion program.

Grandstanding: a reconfigurable future

3 October, 1–2pm

The Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten-designed MPavilion – which the architects describe as a forum for “critical debate” ­– kicks off its event series with an impassioned discussion between Melbourne’s architects, designers and cultural thinkers. Koolhaas and Gianotten will set the stage for Ian McDougall (ARM Architecture), Naomi Stead (Monash Art Design and Architecture), Rory Hyde (Victoria and Albert Museum, London), Paola Balla (artist, curator and writer) and Patricia Karvelas (RN host) to contest questions of our built environment, public space and the world that surrounds it. The discussion will be MC-ed by Esther Anatolitis.

David Gianotten and Rem Koolhaas on the countryside

3 October, 7–8pm

Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten will present OMA’s visions for the countryside, a current preoccupation for OMA’s research. The lecture will be held at the Melbourne School of Design and simulcast at the MPavilion

“In the most recent period, more than half of mankind lives in cities. All the concentration all the attention has gone to cities,” Koolhaas said.

“But of course cities are only a small part of the territory of Earth, in fact it’s only two percent and I have a feeling that the other 98 percent have been neglected. Our knowledge about cities as increased, but our knowledge about the countryside has decreased. Australia is a perfect environment where you might begin to discuss that in order to continue and to inhabit the earth we need to pay more attention to what is happening in the countryside.”

MPavilion has also introduced a regional program devised by Sarah Lynn Rees of Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria in collaboration with the Shepparton Art Museum and Geelong Gallery.

Virginia Trioli in conversation with Rem Koolhaas, David Gianotten and Naomi Milgrom

4 October, 1–2pm

ABC News Breakfast presenter Viginia Trioli will conduct a conversation with the 2017 MPavilion architects Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten and MPavilion patron Naomi Milgrom. They will discuss the design, ideas, intentions and provocations of the pavilion’s architecture as well as their hopes and dreams for the project.

Jack Self: what it means to live today

5 October, 6–7pm

London-based editor-in-chief of Real Review magazine Jack Self was one of the curators of the British exhibition at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, Home Economics, which explored issues of housing, patterns of everyday life, and the architecture of the home. In this talk, Self will argue that we live in a global cultural and economic context that is increasingly unstable, from rising levels of freelance employment to the emergence “generation rent.” He asks what does it mean to live today and how should we live tomorrow?

What would Boyd do? The Small Homes Service today

15 October, 1–2pm

Architectural historian Phillip Goad and curator Rory Hyde will discuss the legacy of modernist architect Robin Boyd and the work of the Small Homes Service, which he initiated in 1947 to provide off-the-plan modern home designs for the public. As the suburbs grew increasingly popular, an estimated 40 percent of new homes in Victoria were built from Small Homes Services designs. But as suburban sprawl began to take its toll, the suburb quickly became a much-derided place. Goad and Hyde will ask whether the Small Homes Service could be revived and what form it would take if it were.

Designing the age-friendly city

8 November, 10am–7pm

Sibling Architecture, in collaboration with Tai Smith, Arup and the Hallmark Ageing Research Institute, will host a day of workshop and panel discussions that will investigate the challenges and opportunities in designing a city for diverse age groups and abilities. The event will discuss issues of civic participation, public space, accommodation, access, medical care, pensions and entertainment.

Friday night debates: Australian Institute of Architects

10 November, 6–7pm; 17 November, 6–7pm; 24 November, 6–7pm

The Victorian chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects will conduct a series of debates throughout November aimed at including the broader community in discussions about design. The Institute’s Emerging Architect and Graduate Network will discuss the representation of architecture in media and popular culture in “Behind the Image – the digital is more influential than the physical in architecture?”; the Student Organized Network of Architecture (SONA) explore values of innovation versus tradition; and a panel of six established architects, developers and academics will debate the topic “Is affordable housing just for the middle class?

Wearing the Infrastructure City

11 November, 5–7pm

The Wearing the City studio for Monash Art, Design and Architecture students returns for the fourth time, challenging students to create wearable designs inspired by Melbourne’s infrastructure. The designs will be showcased in a runway show at MPavilion. The studio was originally inspired by 1931 costume ball of the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects in which more than 20 of the city’s preeminent architects at the time dressed as buildings they had designed.

High density happiness: apartment standards 12 months on

22 November, 6–7pm

Victoria’s Better Apartments Designs Standards were introduced in December 2016. Open Journal will host a discussion with urban planner Amy Hodgen, architect Quino Holland and developer Lochlan Sinclair, who will reflect on the impact of the standards on apartment housing. The panel will ask, “Were the guidelines a worthwhile exercise?”

People and place: DIY neighbourhood social experiment with Co Design Studio

25 November and 16 December

Co Design Studio’s founder Lucinda Hartley will lead a two-part placemaking workshop for the “design curious,” with no design experience needed. The participants will learn ways of creating meaningful and inclusive space and apply the techniques in their own neighbourhoods. Participants will be mentored by the CoDesign team and return for the second workshop where they will share their experiences and swap insights. 

Matthew Bird: an immersive encounter with the afterlife

8–22 December

Experimental architect Matthew Bird will create an interactive installation at the MPavilion that will offer audiences “an encounter with the afterlife.” The installation will comprise a series of “reimagined” carillon bells, which will produce sonic effects through wind and audience interaction, as well as a commissioned performance by composer Daniel Von Jenatsch and choreographer Phillip Adams.


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