MPavilion is Australia’s leading architectural commission and design event in Melbourne’s historic Queen Victoria Gardens conceived and created by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation in 2014. From October through February, the MPavilion becomes a design and cultural laboratory, and home to a series of talks, workshops, performances and installations.
Designed by Netherlands-based architects Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of OMA, MPavilion 2017 is inspired by Koolhaas’s current preoccupation with the countryside and urban design. As a result, for the first time, this year MPavilion has joined with Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) and Geelong Gallery to deliver a new regional program of workshops and public events designed to connect community groups, cultural institutions and government bodies, and to foster meaningful conversations around design.
Naomi Milgrom AO, Founder of MPavilion said;
“A main focus of OMA’s current research is the notion of countryside. It was important to us that we interrogate this theme with a focus on the unique Australian context. Through this project, we will investigate regional Victoria as a product of its Indigenous continuous living histories and its colonial history, as well as how it continues to evolve through immigration, infrastructure and agriculture.”
With Shepparton and Geelong as central case studies, the program considers how regional Australia might address issues of inclusion, diversity, innovation and evolving industrial landscapes through the lenses of architecture, design and the built environment.
Director of Shepparton Art Museum, Rebecca Coates, said;
“Shepparton is undergoing a period of exciting civic, social and economic growth. A major infrastructure project to build a new SAM Art Museum is currently underway – one of the many major new projects which will change the face of Shepparton over the coming years. The new SAM demonstrates that great art and design can be central to how we live and who we are. Working with leaders in the architecture, design, and creative thinking fields, we look forward to continuing to interrogate ideas around what good design can look like in a unique part of regional Victoria.”
Director of Geelong Gallery, Jason Smith, said;
“…Over the past year the Gallery has contributed to the thinking and planning for the community-led blueprint for Greater Geelong to be recognised regionally, nationally and internationally, as a clever and creative city-region.”
The program will comprise a series of workshops and events including regional workshops in October 2017 in Geelong and Shepparton with international guest Jack Self (Director, REAL Foundation, UK; co-curator, British Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2016) and Sarah Lynn Rees (MPavilion Regional Program Manager; Indigenous Architecture & Design Victoria); a Melbourne workshop with Rem Koolhaas & David Gianotten (OMA), Jack Self, Sarah Lynn Rees, Shepparton Art Museum and Geelong Gallery.
In February 2018, Sydney-based interdisciplinary artist, Keg de Souza will present a collaborative project with program participants at SAM in Shepparton and Geelong Gallery. With particular interest in the built environment and the social spaces and communities that inhabit them, de Souza’s wide-ranging practice is informed by her architectural training and encompasses video, performance, installation, publishing and inflatable architecture.