What does the future look like for public space?

With the decline of public-interest journalism, the merging of social media and corporate surveillance, the privatisation of public space that almost resulted in an Apple Store in Federation Square, and of course our current serious global contagion concerns, the role of active citizenship has never been more critical.

How do we make public space? What happens when we don’t make our public spaces, and instead they’re made for us? Who designs the spaces – both online and off – where our most impactful conversations are taking place? How can we design such spaces into our cities? And what’s at stake for democracy?

Publicpowerlab is the latest in a series of events in which Esther Anatolitis draws on MPavilion as a cultural laboratory. Following from 2016 and 2017’s collaborations on Independent Convergence, 2017’s MPavilion opening event Grandstanding: A Reconfigurable Future with OMA’s Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten, 2018’s Let’s Do This and 2019’s In these critical times, this workshop is designed to reactivate our civic agency and reconnect us to public space.

Here’s the plan:

Publicpowerlab begins with a panel discussion characterising the key issues, politics and opportunities. Esther will be joined by –

  • Architect, academic and publisher Rochus Hinkel, Associate Professor of Architecture and Design at the University of Melbourne, whose work focuses on experimental and artistic explorations of the various environments humans inhabit, interact with and experience, including the private and the public realm, the urban and the rural, the analog and the digital;
  • Writer, feminist and incoming City of Melbourne Director, City Strategy and Place, Justine Hyde, former Director of Library Services & Experience at the State Library of Victoria, and formerly head of arts and culture at the City of Port Phillip, whose work in strategic and creative leadership has created transformational change;
  • Writer, educator and international governance expert Julien Leyre, founder of the Marco Polo Project for Chinese-global cultural exchange, co-founder of the Future of Governance Agency, and currently COO of energy company reVolt, where he’s collaborating on world-leading business models to fast-track a large-scale transition to green energy.

We’ll then shift into a lab format with small-group contests to rethink and redesign the publics of the future.

Join us.

Join artists, architects, communicators, planners, journalists, policy-makers and citizens at this free MPavilion event.

This event was cancelled due to pandemic restrictions on gatherings.

IMAGE: Photo by MPavilion.