performing landscape

The University Of Melbourne - Semester 2 2018.

Project Description

This project will focus on The Ballarat Botanical Gardens, 160-year-old reserve best known for its Victorian style gardens located on the western shore of Lake Wendouree. It will respond to the opportunities of the Lake Wendouree Master Plan (2017) which includes the creation of an Indigenous Sculpture Park for the North Garden Wetlands – a proposal that sits in stark contrast to the well-established conventions of Botanical Parks and Gardens to the South. Opportunities exist to explore the potential of the underutilised North Garden spaces that connect the two sites.
The aim of the studio is for students to work with multiple local stakeholders to design an event space that celebrates the Ballarat Botanical Gardens as a multi-layered socio-ecological community. The North Garden presents opportunities for both permanent and temporary design features – including a flexible event space that also maintains its open parkland character, and a connecting corridor between the North and South that acknowledges and celebrates the site’s ecological and cultural layers. Part of the brief will be for students to design a small-scale temporary ‘event space’ (as part of their larger vision). One of the designs will be selected by the community to be realised as part of the Begonia Festival in 2019. The winning design will be inhabited by performances created by Federation University theatre students that respond to the socio-ecological stories of the site.

Learning Methodology

A 12-week studio including four full-day visits to the Ballarat site for site analysis and community engagement. Through their site visits, students will engage with knowledge consultants and community partners as part of their project development to explore the use of place-making tools to come up with their hypothetical designs for the Ballarat Botanical Garden. Students will have the opportunity to work with a range of experts and stakeholders including the City of Ballarat to respond to a diversity of perspectives, insights and provocations provided by community groups as well as conduct activities that demonstrate the site’s potential. Students will work individually and collaboratively in small groups to plan, design and implement strategies for community engagement and respond through hypothetical designs that reimagine the North Garden Wetlands. These proposals and architectural renders will be presented to community partners, resulting in an exhibition that showcases the work to the general public. As part of creating the vision for the site, students will design a small-scale temporary event space which will be pitched for realisation at the 2019 Begonia Festival (with performances by Federation University’s Arts Academy students). Students enrolling in this studio will be able to develop:
• Hands-on skills for community engagement;
• Increased understanding of Indigenous perspectives of place;
• Experience in placemaking processes to inform and refine design outcomes;
• Project pitch and communication strategies.

How does this studio match PlaceAgency Objectives?

This studio will assist, strengthen and promote many of the 2014 Ballarat Botanical Gardens Visionary Plan recommendations. The project responds directly to stakeholder’s aims to involve the community in scientific, educational, historical, cultural and recreational functions of the Gardens and builds on the community’s advocacy in promoting the use and appreciation of BBG through cultural and historical research and educational activities. It will extend planned programs concerning regeneration of the plant life around the perimeters of the BBG and its connections to Indigenous knowledge through the participation of Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung.

Activities – Studio Outline

ActivityDescriptionKey dates for activitiesKey learning objectives
Introduction & methodologyBallarat, Indigenous frameworkWeek 1Place and placemaking
Site Visit: sensory mappingTour of the Botanical GardensWeek 2Community engagement
CRIT - (Pin-up) presentationsPresenting sensory mapsWeek 3Conceptual design
Site Visit: cross-disciplineLandscape & performanceWeek 4Conceptual design
Design developmentSmall scale event spaceWeek 5Conceptual design
CRIT - (Pin-up) presentationsPresenting initial conceptWeek 6Communication
Site Visit: prototypingStakeholder workshopWeek 7Placemaking
Design developmentFrom place to designWeek 8Place strategy
Design developmentFrom place to designWeek 9Place strategy
Design developmentFrom place to designWeek 10Place strategy
Design developmentFrom place to designWeek 11Responding to feedback
Site Visit: Final ExhibitionAudience Choice Award & PanelWeek 12Project pitch



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.

Wenyi Wu
Danning Wei
Christopher Tobin
Yanuo Yu
Lishuang Li
Yufei Chen
Angelica L Wang

This subject is available to students enrolled in The University Of Melbourne throughout Semester 2 2018.

I am enrolled in this studio, add me to the studio profile.
Studio Leaders
Tanja BeerTanja Beer
Project champion

Angela Campbell

- Landscape Architecture