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MPavilion 2015 Announces Program Highlights

The free four-month public program nurtures the relationship between design and contemporary culture, with playful crisscrosses of diverse creative disciplines embedding ideas of architecture in the public mind. Indesign Live reporter Linsey Rendell looks at what’s in store for visitors attending MPavilion 2015.


August 12th, 2015

The pavilion itself creates a place to foster connectivity and community, with each year’s unique design then inspiring the various forms of interaction that transpire. “This year’s structure draws from the surrounding habitat and environment, so we’ve configured the talks around those concepts,” says Natalie King, creative associate at MPavilion. The organic structure by British architect Amanda Levete of studio AL_A will fluidly adapt to shelter a program that ranges from spoken word and meditation workshops to orchestral performances and an evening dusk ritual.

The nightly Sunset Ritual will be a fully immersive cohesion of light, sound and design – a collaboration between Levete, lighting designer Ben Cobram (bluebottle) and sound artist Matthias Schack-Arnott (Speak Percussion). Colour and light will channel through carbon fibre threads within the swaying resin petals that shape the pavilion, responding in time to a percussive soundscape. “The channels will have the ability to both surround the audience and draw the audience’s attention to different spatial elements of this venue,” Schack-Arnott says.

An in-conversation with Levete, MPavilion creator Naomi Milgrom AO and Victoria and Albert Museum director Martin Roth will trigger debate on commissioning innovative cultural spaces, while Assemble Papers will host a panel to ignite conversation around ‘The Architecture of Wellbeing’. “It will look at how art, design, architecture and urbanism can create wellbeing, but also look at the mental and internal wellbeing you can feel in various spaces in the city,” says editor-in-chief Eugenia Lim.

With the architecture responding to its surrounding geography, this year’s cultural destination will see the gardens better integrated into the structure, with flowering salvias cascading towards the pavilion, increasing the audience’s engagement with nature. “MPavilion is very much inspired by all things botanical, and how plants support us in our urbanised lives,” says Emma Telfer of The Office for Good Design, who is curating the MMeets workshops and tours.

Local architect Matthew Bird and choreographer Philip Adams have also paired up to explore the possibilities of “performative architecture” or “architecture that is not static” for Art Tram, a collaboration between MPavilion and Melbourne Festival. The public art project sees the skins of eight trams take on visuals that reflect the theme ‘Architecture and the City’. “It’s the unexpected figure moving in the landscape,” says Adams of how the project extends ideas of architecture to commuters outside the festival borders.

MPavilion also plays a significant role in positioning Melbourne as a design hub on a global scale, strengthened by this year’s collaboration with London Design Festival and Google’s Creative Lab. The resulting project, 25XDesign, will virtually capture 360-degree story spheres of Levete’s design inspirations from around Melbourne. Accessible on a smart phone locally and online for global audiences, the initiative will then be replicated in other cities internationally.

MPavilion will run from October 5, 2015 to February 7, 2016 at Queen Victoria Gardens in Melbourne. Further program announcements to come.


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