MPavilion reveals highlights of OMA-inspired event program

MPavilion17MPavilion has revealed highlights of its 2017-2018 program with a series of events across its four-month program. Designed by influential architects Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of international firm OMA, MPavilion will open to the public from 3 October 2017 until 4 February 2018.

New this year is a special regional-focused program devised in collaboration with Shepparton Art Museum and Geelong Gallery, as well as a series of events initiated through MPavilion’s inaugural public call for proposals in July 2017. International guests include London-based architect Jack Self, South African artist Candice Breitz, UK’s Soft Baroque, New-York based architect Elizabeth Diller, Albanian contemporary artist Anri Sala and Singaporean artist Sam Lo.

MPavilion 2017’s program of events takes its lead from this year’s amphitheatre-style design, and from OMA’s multi-disciplinary ethos. No stranger to shaking up conventions, OMA – and its research arm, AMO – has inspired this year’s MPavilion program to facilitate a mix of innovative and experimental activity.

“True to this year’s design, MPavilion 2017’s program will encourage the space to be used as a forum for debate, a stage for improvisation and a theatre of ideas,” said Naomi Milgrom AO of Naomi Milgrom Foundation. “It’s been inspiring for MPavilion’s programming team to collaborate with Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten in bringing their pavilion design to life through this year’s program of events.”

“MPavilion 2017 has opened up in new ways through our inaugural public call for proposals and our new regional program, both inspired by the cross-pollinated creativity and research interests of OMA. I can’t wait to see it all unfold.”

This year’s program commences with a series of events involving MPavilion 2017 architects, Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of OMA. On Tuesday 3 October 1.00pm, Koolhaas and Gianotten will introduce MPavilion’s inaugural event, set to feature some of Melbourne’s most influential architects, cultural leaders and design thinkers as they engage in quick-fire discussion using this year’s configurable pavilion as a moving stage.

That evening at 7.00pm, at the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne School of Design, Koolhaas will deliver a lecture on his vision of the countryside – a current preoccupation of OMA’s – followed by a presentation from Gianotten. On Wednesday 4 October 1.00pm, Koolhaas and Gianotten will appear with Naomi Milgrom AO in conversation with the ABC’s Virginia Trioli.

Keynote MTalks international highlights this year include a presentation on Thursday 5 October by London-based architect Jack Self, co-curator of the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, editor-in-chief of the Real Review and director of the REAL Foundation – a platform that promotes alternative models of ownership and offers resources to support cultural production.

On Sunday 10 December, acclaimed Berlin-based South African artist Candice Breitz will join Natalie King (curator of the Australian pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale) to discuss her career spanning video and photography, and the dynamics between identification, community and global culture. Other key talks include a conversation on Wednesday 25 October with Elizabeth Diller, founding partner of New-York based Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), and on Sunday 15 October with acclaimed Albanian contemporary artist Anri Sala.

Visitors to MPavilion can enjoy this year’s daily morning ritual – an intimate and personal audio storytelling experience recorded by N’arweet Carolyn Briggs – an elder of the Boonwurrung nation and language and linguistics expert dedicated to recording her heritage and history in oral and written form. From Friday 6 October onwards, MPavilion will erupt each evening into an audio-visual cosmophony developed by musician, composer and sound designer Philip Brophy in collaboration with lighting designer Ben Cobham of bluebottle.

The MProjects installation series flourishes this year with spatial interventions by Singaporean artist Sam Lo in MPavilion’s opening weeks, in collaboration with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Melbourne Festival; Melbourne-based experimental architect Matthew Bird in December, including an immersive opening event on Friday 8 December in collaboration with Phillip Adams (BalletLab); and London-based object-design-meets-art practice Soft Baroque (Saša Štucin and Nicholas Gardner) in January.

Also in January, New-York-via-Melbourne creative practice Tin&Ed will bring a portion of their Inflatable futures installation – initiated by QIC, to MPavilion as part of the ongoing MKids program – to be announced in full later this year.

Central to this year’s program is the figuring of MPavilion as an intergenerational space. On Wednesday 8 November, multidisciplinary architecture collective Sibling Architecture presents Designing the age-friendly city – where over the course of the day visitors of all ages can enjoy a workshop for grandparents and children led by local artist Tai Snaith; a workshop for designers led by Arup; live music; and a series of talks bringing experts together to discuss how we can design our cities for a diversity of ages and abilities, led by the Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative at the University of Melbourne.

Elsewhere throughout this year’s program, MPavilion will transform into a meeting place for new parents and their babies with A stage for new parenthood – a regular playgroup and discussion series aimed at addressing the ‘architecture of parenthood’ and how our cities and cultural events might better serve this demographic.

The popular MMusic program of free shows, performances, workshops and aural experiences is presented in collaboration with local and international artists, DJs and experimenters. This year, MPavilion is proud to partner with Bakehouse Studios to present a series of secret gigs and rehearsal-style shows – stay tuned for full line-up announcements, plus a very special Bakehouse-curated MTalks event during Melbourne Music Week.

Also joining the music program this year on Sunday 22 October is Our place, our home, Melbourne Festival’s closing event in collaboration with Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) featuring performances by Cool Out Sun, Mojo Juju with the Pasefika Vitoria Choir and many more. Also in collaboration with MAV, on Thursday 30 November Mapping Melbourne 2017 will launch its fifth annual festival celebrating Asian–Australian identities with an exciting suite of performances to be announced in October.

On Saturday 28 October, VoiceFest 2017 takes over MPavilion with a music festival by young people, for young people. Other MMusic highlights include performances from the Australian String Quartet (ASQ), the Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO) and the Victoria Guitar Orchestra with the Melbourne Guitar Quartet, plus a special Friday night DJ set by Sovereign Trax – a.k.a. Wiradjuri writer and artist Hannah Donnelly, creator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music blog Sovereign Trax.

This season marks the first time MPavilion has initiated a public call for proposals. Among the 30+ successful submissions submitted in July 2017 is Queer Some Space presented by Monash University Art & Architecture (MADA) XYX Lab (Monash Space Gender Communication Lab) and The Lifted Brow – comprising three panel discussions, a keynote lecture and a series of music performances over the course of one day, each interrogating the role of architecture, design, art, music and literature in conversations of inclusivity for LGBTQI+ communities.

Other highlights from the call for proposals include a two-part workshop series led by Lucinda Hartley, co-founder of design and placemaking experts CoDesign Studio; and a critical workshop by local design practice No Clients that asks, ‘What would the MPavilion flag look like?’

Newly added to the MTalks line-up this year is a series of debates with a rotating roster of curatorial teams, including the Australian Institute of Architects and their Student Organised Network for Architecture (SONA) and Emerging Architects and Graduates Network (EmAGN). The debates will take place on Fridays after work, followed by live DJs. Returning to MTalks is Open Journal’s High Density Happiness discussion series, not to mention a new-and-improved MRelay – which will reveal its full line-up of speakers in the months to come.

Inspiring the next generation of architects and designers, MPavilion’s 2017 program features a series of events hosted in conjunction with a number of Melbourne universities. This year sees the return of MADA’s hugely successful wearable architecture series Wearing the City – a collaboration between Monash University Art Design & Architecture students and leading local creatives on Saturday 11 November.

On Thursday 16 November, MPavilion will host RMIT University’s Masters of Fashion Design graduate show, plus a collaboration with RMIT Design Hub later that month. Also featuring in the program are a series of events with Swinburne University and La Trobe University – to be announced in the weeks to come.

A special partnered print issue of design publication Assemble Papers will be released to coincide with the opening of MPavilion. Taking inspiration from the cities-based dialogue around the Naomi Milgrom Foundation’s Living Cities Forum in July 2017, this issue titled Metropolis – launching at MPavilion on Friday 13 October – looks at people, ideas and movements that are shaping the way we live as local and global citizens: from global citizens of architecture OMA, via tiny houses in Los Angeles, to deliberative planning in Melbourne.

Among MPavilion’s MMeets series of free gatherings this year is early-morning meditation in October courtesy of A-SPACE, and the return of morning yoga with Happy Melon in November, plus more to be announced throughout the season. The ever-popular dog meets, led by Tom+Captain, also return this year as well as Dog Photog – the photo booth for dogs.

Commenting on this year’s program, Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said: “The Victorian Government has been an MPavilion partner since the beginning and it is wonderful to see how it has grown in profile, programming and partnerships each year,” said Minister Foley.

“MPavilion is a contemporary take on the civic space, a space for audiences of all ages and another example of why Victoria is the creative state. We’re proud to be part of it and look forward to another program of education, inspiration, stimulation and even relaxation at MPavilion in a few month’s time.”

MPavilion 2017 runs 3 October until 4 February 2018. For more information and full program, visit: for details.