Reconnect: Open House Melbourne July Weekend transitions to a digital program

OHM-Nikolaus-Geyrhalter-Homo-Sapiens-2016-(film-still)Following the announcement from the Victorian Government of continued restrictions, Open House Melbourne will transition the Reconnect: OHM July Weekend over 24 + 25 July 2021 to a fully digital program.

An online Open House Melbourne will reconnect OHM audiences through a variety of digital formats that will showcase a virtual program of free, live, interactive and on-demand digital content to be enjoyed from the comfort of home. From VR tours, live-streams of panel discussions, building walkthroughs, online seminars, workshops, podcasts, and more.

While, due to the continued lockdown conditions, the 2021 program will not open the physical doors to the city’s most significant buildings, it will unlock the incredible enthusiasm, creativity and knowledge of many building hosts, architects and designers who support the program and contribute to Open House Melbourne 2021.

Open House Melbourne Executive Director Fleur Watson says: “The wellbeing of our public audience, program collaborators, partners, volunteers, and staff remains our utmost priority, and we are pleased to be able to respond quickly and make the transition to deliver Reconnect: OHM July Weekend – now in digital form and available to everyone wherever you are in Victoria or, in fact, the world. We thank everyone in our community for your ongoing support for Open House Melbourne’s Weekend program in these rapidly changing conditions.”

Now open to everyone across the globe, the following special events will be live-streamed and free to enjoy via the Open House Melbourne website and other digital platforms from collaborators.

Living Cities Forum x Open House Melbourne x ACMI Film Series
In partnership with the Living Cities Forum and ACMI, a suite of four films will be available that speak to the Forum’s 2021 theme, The Long View – a theme that asks how different perspectives on time can affect the growth of our cities. The suite features a series of short films presented online by speculative architect and director Liam Young  –Imagined Cities: Urban Futures Prototyped through Film – as well as a series of cinema screenings featuring Björk: Biophillia Live, Last and First Men, Homo Sapiens (with a live score by ARIA award-winning composer Heinz Riegler). Together the program applies a gradient of lenses that examine the macro and the micro of our presence on this planet. The series is presented by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation with Open House Melbourne and ACMI.

This Is Public
The 2021 July Weekend program kicks off with This Is Public – a live-streamed speaker series co-presented by Open House Melbourne, RMIT Architecture & Urban Design and The Capitol – RMIT University on Friday 23 July 2021. This Is Public will host speakers with different perspectives and seeks to answer big questions about the role of design and policy, rapid density, climate change, public space, access and inclusion and Indigenous knowledge and designing on Country in shaping the future of our city, amongst other thought-provoking topics.

The event will be live streamed on the Open House Melbourne and The Capitol websites, and later produced as a podcast. Guests can expect a series of thought-provoking and insightful presentations beginning with an address from Lord Mayor Sally Capp, and an introduction to the OHM 2021 theme, Reconnect.

Speakers will include: Jefa Greenaway and Tristan Wong – INBETWEEN; Jill Garner, Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) – Designing Policy for People; Nicole Kalms, XYX Lab – Your Ground: Towards a Safer and More Accessible City; Ewan McEoin and Liam Young – Planet City: Provocative Urbanism; James Brearley and Justine Della Riva (CEO) – Building Pride; and Beau de Belle, Christine Phillips and Jock Gilbert – Designing On Country.

Heritage Address: Secrets of the City – Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Melbourne
Archaeologist and Heritage Council member Meg Goulding, and Jeremy Smith, Heritage Victoria’s Principal Archaeologist, will present new discoveries from some of the city’s recent archaeological investigations as part of this year’s annual Heritage Address streamed via the Open House Melbourne website on Tuesday 27 July. For the first time, discoveries will be revealed from the Melbourne Metro dig enhancing the city’s reputation as one of the world’s best examples of a 19th century archaeological site. The Heritage Address is presented by the Heritage Council Victoria.

Popular VR and video tours returning to the OHM21 program include Orica House, Arts Centre Melbourne, Trades Hall, City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection, Victorian Archives Centre and more. ‘On Demand’ virtual building tours and online talks will be available over the Weekend. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Homo Sapiens, 2016 (film still)