Open Nature highlights architectural design with nature in mind

Gippsland-Performing-Arts-Centre-2022-photo-courtesy-of-Latrobe-CityBe enlightened to the thoughtful transformation of the north bank of the Yarra River – Birrarung as it becomes the centrepiece of Melbourne’s culture, economy, and liveability with Greenline – The Big Picture.

Open House Melbourne hosts the free presentation and panel discussion exploring the project’s design strategy and its contribution to Melbourne’s built and natural environment as part of the Open Nature Program for Melbourne Design Week 2022.

Held at Arbory Afloat, the event will include an informal presentation by the Lord Mayor, Sally Capp and panel discussion with experts in sustainable architecture, First Nations knowledge and those greatly invested in the health and longevity of Melbourne’s urban landscape.

In December 2021, the Future Melbourne Committee endorsed the Greenline Implementation Plan to transform the Yarra River – Birrarung’s north bank into an inspiring public waterfront in the heart of urban Melbourne.

Delivering an uninterrupted, 4km journey from Birrarung Marr to the Bolte Bridge, the Greenline will become a premier destination for Melbourne and celebrate the precinct’s rich Aboriginal culture and city heritage, while enhancing the river environment.

The 4km pathway will connect diverse, vibrant riverside destinations while re-establishing the watercourse and its surrounding environment as an ecological corridor, creating new habitat and encouraging the return of wildlife.

The expansion will increase the accessibility for walkers, cyclists and visitors to learn and appreciate the culture, history and surroundings of the Yarra River – Birrarung.

Featuring a special keynote presentation by Lord Mayor Sally Capp, the session will be hosted by Stuart Harrison, well-known architect, media presenter and Open House Melbourne Board President.

Additional speakers include:
• Fleur Watson, Executive Director and Chief Curator at Open House Melbourne
• Skye Haldane, Principal Strategic Design for Greenline, City of Melbourne
• Charlotte Sterrett, the Yarra River Keeper
• Alex Felson, Dame Elizabeth Chair of Landscape Architecture at Melbourne University
• Jason Eades, Director, Aboriginal Melbourne
• Tim Black, Principal Architect at BKK Architects.

Open Nature: Greenline – The Big Picture
Arbory Afloat, Flinders Walk, Melbourne
Event: Wednesday 23 March 2022 (8.30am – 10.00am)
Free event – bookings required:

Gippsland Design Day
While the CBD looks at increasing sustainable design practices, the Latrobe Valley considers its role as a centre for sustainable design and food production during Gippsland Design Day, taking place at the brand-new Gippsland Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) in Traralgon designed by Jackson Architecture and Katsieris Origami: Architects-in-Association.

The curated day will explore ecologically responsive and ‘more than human’ design and creative production practices, the potential of solar engineering and agriculture, the Latrobe Valley as a clean, green and trusted food producer and the power of creative entrepreneurship in driving innovation.

The day will be spearheaded with talks from creative sustainability consultant Ross Harding from Finding Infinity; Nick Harding from Ha Architecture; Paul Katsieris, Design Director, Katsieris Origami: Architecture & Urbanism and Design Director for the Gippsland Performing Arts Centre; and Bec Cole the director of creative arts at Latrobe City Council.

The talks will also features Gabrielle and Chris Moore from Sailor’s Grave Brewing with their collaborator Bruce Pascoe, author of Dark Emu; John Calabro from The View From Here design studio and co-founder of Gippslandia magazine; Mim Cook from ABC Radio Gippsland and other special contributors to be announced soon.

Sessions include:
Creative Entrepreneurship and the Latrobe Valley with Ross Harding presenting the milestones to a self-sustaining city and region developed through Finding Infinity’s 10-point strategy A New Normal. An illustrated talk from Nick Harding further contextualises this vision with Ha Architecture’s Valley of the Sun project, prototyping the potential for solar agriculture in the Latrobe Valley.

Paul Katsieris will offer possibilities for the future of sustainable engineered timber construction in the region, before the three presenters broaden their discussion on a panel led by Myf Doughty, Curator, Contemporary Design and Architecture, NGV.

Changing perceptions of Latrobe Valley from an industrial centre to one of sustainable food production forms the theme of a second session of talks presented by creative entrepreneurs from the Gippsland region.

John Calabro, director of the Traralgon-based design practice The View From Here will discuss motivations for co-founding the non-for-profit publication Gippslandia, its rapid success engaging community members and catalysing awareness around clean, green and trusted consumables production in the Gippsland region.

Local craft brewers Gabrielle and Chris Moore will share their story of creative entrepreneurship at their Orbost brewery, Sailor’s Grave. Bruce Pascoe joins them to unfold the journey behind their collaboration on the Dark Emu Dark Lager brew.

Together they will elaborate on their considered approach to merging seasonal ingredients from local producers with foraged Indigenous botanicals from the banks of the Snowy River. These presentations will be followed by a panel discussion hosted by Mim Cook, presenter and producer ABC Radio Gippsland.

Finally, guests will be invited to participate in informal tastings with local producers and guided building tours of GPAC personally co-led by principals from Jackson Architecture and Katsieris Origami: Architects-in-Association of the new building.

Open Nature: Gippsland Design Day
Gippsland Performing Arts Centre and Latrobe, Creative Precinct, 32 Kay Street, Traralgon
Event: Friday 25 March 2022 (10.00am – 2.00pm)
Free event – bookings required:

These events are part of Open Nature for Melbourne Design Week 2022 – an initiative of the Victorian Government, Creative Victoria in collaboration with the NGV. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Gippsland Performing Arts Centre, 2022 – courtesy of Latrobe City Council