installations and happenings

The University Of Melbourne

Project Description

Installations and Happening explores the potential of small-scale events and temporary spatial interventions to reimagine public spaces. From street art, pop-up parks, temporary installations, guerrilla gardens and street performances, it examines a diversity of political tactics and place-making tools that designer-citizens use to activate and revitalise urban spaces. The subject will include a series of lectures with accompanying readings, workshops, site-specific research and experience-based tasks. Students will be exposed to a number of hands-on strategies for working across sites and communities to uncover the social, cultural and environmental conditions of place. This will provide inspiration for students to realise their own small-scale and temporary spatial interventions that foster dialogue, build social capital and address critical global-to-local issues. This semester, students will have the opportunity to create temporary installations for The Living Pavilion (1 May - 17 May 2019) at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville Campus. The Living Pavilion is a transdisciplinary project connecting Indigenous knowledge, ecological science, sustainable design and participatory arts. The artworks created by the students will include responding to the site and context of The Living Pavilion, particularly highlighting ecological themes of climate change and biodiversity.

Learning Methodology

Students will work in groups of up to three people to create temporary architectural structures, spaces and environments that explore the potential of participatory arts practice to engage the public on ecological issues. Designs will be presented to the public on the 14th of May on The Living Pavilion site, with a dress rehearsal scheduled for the 7th of May. It is expected that the work will have a participatory component (to engage the public) as part of the work.

Students are assessed on:
Developing collapsible and storable structures
Use of sustainable design methodologies and materials
Originality and creativity - using variety of mediums (digital and analogue) that will also include wearable artefacts or performative structures.

Key Learnings:
1) Working with Bamboo (with Giant Grass)
2) Articulate histories, contemporary policies and design praxis governing installations and happenings in relation to public urban space;
3) Strategically use a range of theories (performative, artistic, environmental, historical, philosophical, scientific, etc.) to make them relevant to the task at hand;
4) Propose strategies, plans, designs and tactics to foster dialogue and address critical community issues.
5) Demonstrate a basic understanding of the compliance/OH&S issues surrounding small scale urban interventions and public

How does this studio match PlaceAgency Objectives?

Placemaking is often temporary and event-based. This can lead to criticisms of projects as not achieving a real sense of place. We firmly believe that temporary installation has an important role to play in developing long-lasting effects for the community, however, partnerships developed are critical to achieving them. The Living Pavilion is supported by a comprehensive research strategy exploring this question while this studio has been developed to harness this potential and expose students to place approach and research.

Activities – Studio Outline

ActivityDescriptionKey dates for activitiesKey learning objectives
Start of SemesterGeneral introduction to the project.5th of MarchPlace understandings
Pin-up PresentationsSite Analysis concluded19th of MarchPatterns of Place
Event space proposalA series of 10-minute presentations.16th of AprilVerbal communication
Installation Rehearsal3:00-5:00 pm. Live testing and rehearsal of community engagement7th of MayCommunity Engagement
Installation Opens3:00-5:00 pm. Invite your family and friends. All welcome.14th of MayFinal presentations
Studio ConcludesReflective essays and closing the studio31st of MaySelf-reflection

Location Description

Building 1888, UoM, Parkville Campus



The following students are enrolled in this studio and have chosen to appear on the Place Agency website. You may access more information about them and their interests by clicking each of their photos.

Evon YuQian
Samantha Yu Hsuan Tseng
Joshua Budgen

This subject is available to students enrolled in The University Of Melbourne throughout Semester 1 2019. You can access the handbook by clicking here where you will be able to find more information about the studio.

Studio Leaders
Munir VahanvatiMunir Vahanvati
Tanja BeerTanja Beer
Project champion

The Living Pavilion

- Architecture
- Landscape Architecture