Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon


ALIVE! When Social Innovation Meets Living Systems presented by John Thackara.

7 October, 7pm, The Open Stage, 757 Swanston Street

Over the ages we've invested huge resources to keep cities and nature separate; what would it mean if that were about to change?

As a profound financial-energy transition makes itself felt, there's a shift from high-cost, high-entropy concepts of infrastructure to a focus on living systems. These range from eco-boulevards and urban farming, to river restoration and pollinator pathways. At the same time, a multitude of local communities are innovating new tools and platfroms that enable people to share food, mobility, care and learning. Taken together, these new ways to meet daily needs are the seedlings of living local economies.

John Thackara uses his personal encounter with energy angels, wind wizards, watershed stewards, urban farmers and more to start a conversation. What are the opportunities for your city / region? What approaches work best in amplifying change?



Image: SIBLING directors.

Design collective SIBLING is currently undertaking a residency at the Gyeonggi Creation Centre (GCC) in South Korea. 

SIBLING director and ABP graduate Amelia Borg will base herself at the centre until November 2013 and will focus on extending the design research and concepts of the collective. The GCC is a place where artists, curators and theorists from around the world can gather to exchange creative ideas and engage in creative projects via GCC's studio residency and exhibition programs.

Working at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, cultural analysis and graphic communication, SIBLING produces provocative and unexpected spatial outcomes, as evidenced by their recent ON/OFF exhibition in ABP's Wunderlich@757 gallery. We look forward to seeing the design outcomes of the Korean visit.

SIBLING is led by Amelia Borg, Nicholas Braun, Jonathan Brener, Jessica Brent, Jane Caught, Qianyi Lim, Timothy Moore, Alan Ting.


24 October, 7pm, Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre

What are the possibilities for creating a more just city under conditions of global capitalism and the triumph of neo-liberal ideology? Using the criteria of diversity, democracy, and equity, one can evaluate existing examples of urban redevelopment and make an argument concerning the leeway for greater justice at the local level and the types of policies that would further this goal. Wide variation of policy in cities of world within capitalist political economy shows the potential for creative state role. Changing the discourse of planning and policy making from competitiveness to justice in itself would contribute to progressive change.

In this free public lecture Susan Fainstein will discuss these fundamental issues around planning and policy with a more just city in sight.

This lecture is supported by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and Melbourne Social Equity Institute.

Read more


16 October, 7pm, Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre

The Gold Medal is the Australian Institute of Architect's highest individual honour made in recognition for distinguished services by an architect for the production of works of great distinction which serve to promote excellence in architecture and the profession.

Peter Wilson has been awarded the 2013 Gold Medal in recognition of his outstanding body of architectural works and his contribution to the development of architectural drawing as a tool of representation and research. 

Born in Melbourne in 1950, Wilson studied architecture at the University of Melbourne.  In 1972 he went on to study at the Architectural Association in London where he met Julia Bolles. The Bolles Wilson partnership, originally established in London in 1980, ultimately evolved into Architekturbüro Bolles+Wilson based in Münster, Germany.

Image: Photo by Thomas Rabsch

Read more


17 October, 9am-2pm, Woodward Centre, Level 10, 185 Pelham Street

In recent times it has been common to hear designers, environmental advocates and others declaiming against older buildings based on their poor environmental performance. At the same time, heritage advocates have embraced the idea of embodied energy and made bold claims on behalf of the environmental benefits of preserving older buildings rather than replacing them. These seemingly contradictory perspectives have produced some confusion and recently heritage authorities in Australia have taken a keen interest in assessing the various claims and understanding the different arguments.

This half day symposium will provide an opportunity for architects, heritage consultants, municipal planners, capital managers and other built environment professionals, to discuss the principles and practices involved in assessing building environmental performance and the influence that the conservation of older buildings can have on protecting the environment.

This event is supported by the Heritage Council of Victoria.

Download the Program

RSVP to abp-events@unimelb.edu.au


ABP has partnered with the NGV to present a free public lecture on Californian Design 1930 - 1965 with American curator Wendy Kaplan on October 21.

By the 1940s, a regional style of architecture and design had emerged in California, where the modernist sensibilities of European émigré architects and native designers responded to California’s warm climate, relaxed lifestyle and pervasive optimism.

A casual, indoor/outdoor lifestyle was made available to a broad middle class by the post-war application of materials developed in California. The use of steel and large plate windows allowed the outdoors to become an extension of the interior living spaces and moulded plywood and fiberglass provided new access to light weight furnishings.

Wendy Kaplan, co-curator of the 'California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way' exhibition, organised by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will talk about the innovative processes and materials that forged a new era of architectural, commercial and craft design.

For full event details visit the NGV website.

The exhibition 'California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way' will run at the Queensland Art Gallery from 2 November 2013 to 9 February 2014


Envisioning the 20-Minute City is a strategic concern for many planners and politicians. As part of the Festival of Ideas, ABP challenged students to consider their vision for the future of Melbourne as a 20-Minute City. The winning team of Victor Wong, Ecknaathh Bala, Jessica Zhang, Kenneth Gho and Shervin Jaberzadeh from the University of Melbourne produced a video offering a vision of Melbourne at two scales; the neighbourhood with a focus on walking and cycling and a metropolitian area which considers other modes of commuting.

Victor, Ecknaathh, Jessica and Shervin are all students of architecture at the Melbourne School of Design (MSD) and Kenneth Gho is a Bachelor of Environments student. Their video demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of how the built environment impacts on society.

"What intrigued us about this competition was that it allowed us to draw on our everyday experiences of the city and bring our disparate ideas together to conceptualise a singular vision for Melbourne’s future urban development at a regional scale," Victor said.

Speaking to the students at the awards presentation, Alan Pert, Director of MSD, congratulated the shortlisted entries for their vision and the high standard of their submissions.

"This is a great example of the way in which policy documents could be transformed through film to communicate ideas that will shape the future of our towns and cities and ultimately impact on the communities in and around Melbourne," Alan said