university campus as place in a post-covid world

The University Of Melbourne

Project Description

How can universities adapt to the Post-Covid reality while maintaining a cohesive learning community?

During the COVID-19 crisis, universities around the world faced enormous economic impact. In particular, the University of Melbourne estimates a loss of over 1 billion dollars across 3 years in response to student decline. Furthermore, it is no surprise that the mental health of the community as a whole was also severely impacted in response to physical distancing restrictions.

The COVID-19 crisis as well as other public health threats will only increase as climate change continues thus universities [and businesses and people] will need to adapt to these conditions. While some green spaces have enjoyed an influx of activity with people seeking walking pathways to remain active, public and semi-public spaces will need to engage perceptions of safety and health. How will people feel safe to be out and how can we keep engagement up even during physical restrictions and lockdown phases?

Learning Methodology

This brave group of students designed a series of placemaking processes to support the University of Melbourne. This subject was delivered as a 2-week intensive subject thus, it used the other students as the pilot community to engage with throughout a series of the learning activities and used this information to guide their placemaking process.

At the end of the studio, the final designs were presented to a select judging panel - Gilbert Rochecouste (Village Well) and Joanne Taylor (Place Leaders Asia Pacific) - and chosen for one of two awards available.

How does this studio match PlaceAgency Objectives?

This studio explores online teaching pedagogies for place-based learning. Furthermore, it places students as agents of place. Being part of the community and ideating ideas to make the university feel more theirs.

Activities – Studio Outline

ActivityDescriptionKey dates for activitiesKey learning objectives
Start of IntensiveStudio Begins with exploration of placemaking13 July 2020Theory
End of IntensivePresenting placemaking process in video conference27 July 2020Verbal communication
Internal AwardJudged by Gilbert Rochecouste and Joanne Taylor, two projects chosen for their thinking31 July 2020Celebration
ImplementationWinning team to implement their ideas on the groundTBDProject implementation

Location Description

University of Melbourne


Studio Leaders
Cris Hernandez SantinCris Hernandez Santin
Derlie Mateo-BabianoDerlie Mateo-Babiano
Matt Novacevski
Project champion

University of Melbourne

- Architecture
- Landscape Architecture
- Planning
- Construction