Detailed Learning Methodology

This subject is the first one to bring together all the modules created by the Place Agency Consortium as developed for tertiary built environment students. Different from the other sandbox studios, this acts more as a theoretical basis for place and placemaking understanding taking the students through the journey of a place-based project timeline. The subject follows a general outline of

  • People: who are the stakeholders that should be engaged? (incorporating nature as a stakeholder)
  • Process: how can we extract the story of the place? – Through site analysis, community engagement, integration of Indigenous perspectives, etc – and asking the students to develop a community engagement plan.
  • Product: asking the students to develop a conceptual design for a place-based intervention for the Preston Market Precinct, exploring different case studies and principles for the evolution of the project beyond its original timeline.
  • Program: how will the site and the people who visit it will constantly re-engage with the story of the place?
  • Place evaluation: how will they know if their initiative has worked? – asking the students to develop an evaluation framework for their initiative.

With a total 12 modules delivered across 10 sessions, the class consisted of 4 hr sessions (10 am – 2:00 pm) each day followed by self and team-study time. Based on the reduced timeline of this subject, the learning approach more heavily targets cognitive understandings of place, with the practice achieved through role play exercises and panel speakers rather that having the students actively engage with the target community.

The table below briefly describes the modules as applied in this subject.  By the end of the subject, the students presented their initiatives to the Council opening up an opportunity for long-term impact of this exercise.


  Module Sessions outcome based on exercises. Key learning objectives
1st July People in Place: Fundamentals Place experience – embedding the students into the Case Study Spatial context
2nd of July Nature in Place Identify ‘totem’ and indicator species and identify strategies to support biodiversity in place. Understanding ecological needs.
3rd of July Community Engagement Develop an engagement strategy for the site Stakeholder analysis
4th of July Site Thinking in Placemaking Behaviour mapping, diversity and the historical timeline of the place Spatial analysis
5th of July Designing for change Develop strategy to enable a place to evolve Long-term impact
8th of July Engaging with Government and developers
Governance in placemaking
Panel discussion – Darebin and Frasers Property

Map out the relationships and power dynamics in place, identify best strategy to approach placemaking in the site.

Value of placemaking for different stakeholders

Power dynamics

9th of July Digital placemaking


Utilise digital tools for place analysis

Identify key place opportunities and begin working on a conceptual design for the site

Spatial analysis Creative thinking and visual communication
10th of July Place evaluation and economics of Place Develop an evaluation strategy for Preston markets and carry out a basic economic evaluation Quantitative Literacy
11th of July Leadership Allow self-reflection for students to understand their leadership skills and how they fit in place-based activities.


Self-reflection in practice.

Facilitation and collaboration

12th of July Case studies and implementation Explore case studies to identify their process, product and program. Ongoing evolution of place
15th of July Draft Project Pitch Present to council placemaking strategy for Preston markets Verbal communication
19th of July Progressive Case‐Study Delivery Each session, the students were provided with a key exercise to complete and a reflection on their learnings. Acting as a progressive case study, these reflections document the student learnings. Cognitive placemaking skills and Self-reflection skills.
26th of July Final Proposals Hand in case study of Preston Markets Written communication for place-based projects




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