The Open House Melbourne (OHM) Weekend returns in 2023 on Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 July with an exciting new program of events built around the theme, Collective City – addressing the question – as Melbourne expands to reach a projected population of 8 million by 2050, how will we reinvent, re-purpose and adapt our city to live better together?
The full 2023 OHM Weekend program will be released on Wednesday 28 June and to steer the organisation into its 16th year is new Executive Director, Tania Davidge – a design advocate, architect, writer and co-founder of th e architectural research practice OoPLA.
She is passionate about communicating the importance of good design to public audiences in ways that encourage people to think more deeply about the issues that shape our cities.
Tania has a long-standing involvement with OHM. With OoPLA, she delivered the OHM Weekend keynote program, Urban Tactility.
In addition, Tania curates the organisation’s Making Home series, which shines a light on the issues that drive homelessness and influence the provision of social and affordable housing in Victoria.
Tania brings to the role extensive experience across architecture, urban design and strategic design. She has a PhD from the University of Melbourne focused on the development of creative strategies for engaging public audiences with architecture and the public realm and a Masters in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University in New York. Most recently she has worked to help translate First Peoples cultural expression and values into large-scale architecture and urban design projects.
In addition, Tania cares deeply about our public spaces and places. She played an integral role in safeguarding Federation Square’s public space, helping to save the Yarra Building from demolition and its replacement with an Apple store. She believes public spaces play a key role in the city as they are the places that we all hold in common.
“As an architect with a strong interest in public engagement and participation, I’m excited to steer Open House Melbourne into its 16th year and to build on the legacy established by the previous Executive Directors,” said Tania.
“Open House Melbourne is one of the rare forums dedicated to building public conversation focused on the issues that impact the design of our cities, towns and public places. Its work is incredibly important.”
“I look forward to opening up Victoria’s unique places and spaces, presenting built environment issues important to Victorians and showcasing the metropolitan and regional projects that are shaping the future of our state,” said Tania.
“The Board of Open House Melbourne is terrifically excited to appoint Tania Davidge as our new Executive Director and Chief Curator,” said Open House Melbourne President, Stuart Harrison.
“Tania comes with exceptional experience and academic rigour in the world of public design advocacy, having completed her PhD in this area.”
“Her recent experience working in First Nations engagement will help develop further OHM’s First Nations First objective, and her focus on social housing in recent years, in programs undertaken with OHM, places her at the forefront of this critically important issue.”
“We welcome Tania to lead Open House Melbourne and look forward to her leadership and advocacy in our year-round events and programmes.,” said Stuart.
In addition to Open House Weekend, 2023 highlights include:
- Modern Melbourne premiere screening – Thursday 27 July
- This is Public, opening speaker series – Friday 28 July
- Heritage Council of Victoria’s annual Heritage Address – Thursday 3 August
Through collaborative, creative and impactful programs, Open House Melbourne leads critical public debate on the value of place and design, empowering all Victorians to understand the important role they can play in shaping our built and natural environments.
Essential to our mission is recognising First Peoples’ knowledges and sovereignty, campaigning for sustainability towards a net-zero future and advocating for good design that is inclusive and accessible to all.
Open House Melbourne is an independent, not-for-profit organisation with programs including the much-loved Open House Melbourne Weekend, Open House Bendigo, Modern Melbourne, This is Public, Open Nature (as part of Melbourne Design Week) and The Naked Architect series.
The Open House Melbourne Weekend is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, Major Sponsors the City of Melbourne, Efront and Studio Payne, valued Precinct and Practice partners, and a team of dedicated volunteers.
The 16th Open House Melbourne Weekend will take place Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 July 2023. For more information, visit: www.openhousemelbourne.org for details.
Image: Tania Davidge – photo by John Bahoric