Women in design lead summer events at MPavilion 2018

MPavilion today announced its December program of free cultural events to take place in the Queen Victoria Gardens under the celebrated pavilion designed by Carme Pinós of Barcelona’s Estudio Carme Pinós. Highlighting women in leadership and digital technologies, international guests include Dr Elizabeth Churchill, director of User Experience at Google USA; Gabi Ngcobo, curator of the 10th Berlin Biennale; acclaimed New York theatre-maker Lila Neugebauer for MTC; and architect and author Carlo Ratti, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s research group Senseable City Lab.

The first English translation of The Odyssey by a woman — Emily Wilson — receives an epic twelve-hour performance by Stork Theatre; MPavilion’s Artist in Residence, Esther Stewart, will create a larger-than-life interactive installation in the gardens, and the National Trust of Australia and advocacy group Parlour join together to present a compelling panel discussion, HERitage: How women have shaped Melbourne’s cultural landscape. Deep Soulful Sweats, Side Project Sessions and MPavilion’s Friday Night Fiestas DJ series continue summer activities led by women.

Naomi Milgrom AO, founder of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, which commissions MPavilion, said, “This summer at MPavilion we welcome vital discussions and workshops with women who are changing the world through design at the centre. It’s a fantastic time to come together as a community, enjoy the city and share ideas and experiences.”

Forming part of a four-month season of talks, workshops, performances, installations, kid-friendly events and more at MPavilion from 9 October 2018 – 3 February 2019, the December program highlights include:


Stork Theatre presents ‘Homer’s Odyssey: A twelve-hour epic on Sat 1 Dec, 11am–11pm, brings together over thirty actors and famous faces to perform the world premiere of Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey, the first English translation by a woman. Audiences are invited to settle in for the day or drop in for part of the mythical journey.

Melbourne Theatre Company presents two events in December. Hailed as the new voice of theatre, New York’s Lila Neugebauer will discuss her practice with MTC literary director Chris Mead on Thu 6 Dec, 6.15–7.45pm. And playwright Dan Giovannoni will read from his new work, The Body, on Thu 13 Dec, 6.15–7.45pm.

The hugely successful Deep Soulful Sweats comes to MPavilion on Sat 8 Dec, 7.30–9.30pm; an open aerobic dance class that mixes movement with astrology, led by choreographers Rebecca Jensen and Sarah Aiken.


In conversation with Elizabeth Churchill of Google USA on Mon 3 Dec, 6.15–7.45pm, sees the director of User Experience at Google in Mountain View, California joining Associate Professor Jeni Paay, lecturer and researcher in Interaction Design at Swinburne University, to discuss how we can shape future cities through digital design.

Leading doers and thinkers come together for a tag-team talk as part of MPavilion’s MRELAY series presented by VicHealth. Wayfinding and Wellbeing on Sat 8 Dec, 11am–1.30pm, will see influential guests considering out-of-the-box strategies for those faced with social inequality, from health to housing and education.  Speakers include University of Melbourne’s Dr. Isun Kazerani; HoMie Streetwear whose mission is to build confidence and job skills for young people; The Period Project — an organisation caring for women, transmen and  non binary people experiencing homelessness; Dr Nigel Taylor ESM, Chief Executive Officer of Life Saving Victoria; Gilbert Rochecouste, founder of placemaking consultancy Village Well; visual artist, academic and game designer Troy Innocent; and Rohan Brooks of international rock/pop act Rudely Interrupted.

South Africa’s Gabi Ngcobo, curator of the upcoming 10th Berlin Biennale, comes to MPavilion on Sun 9 Dec, 2.30–4pm, to discuss her vision and the Biennale’s first all-black curatorial team, presented by the Monash University Museum of Art.

The third of MPavilion 2018’s Indigenous architecture forums, BLAKitecture: Indigenising education sponsored by Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne is on Mon 10 Dec, 6.15–8.15pm—bringsDr Kelley Greenop together with students and practitioners to discuss the representation of Indigenous built environments in education.

The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and Parlour present HERitage: How women have shaped Melbourne’s cultural landscape on Tue 11 Dec, 6.15–8.15pm, exploring the many undocumented and undervalued ways in which women have built our city through civic leadership, advocacy and activism. The discussion will be facilitated by Felicity Watson, advocacy manager at the National Trust of Australia (Victoria).

Side project lessons: How to start and sustain your creative project on Sat 15 Dec, 10am–2pm, is a four-hour open workshop to generate ideas, build routines, manage money and talk self-care. Curated by writer Madeleine Dore of Extraordinary Routines, the session will include SBS reporter and filmmaker Santilla Chingaipe, author Lisa Currie and ‘Starving Artist’ podcaster Honor Eastly.


Friday Night Fiestas turn MPavilion into an ideal summer evening destination with DJs providing the soundtrack and boutique drinks by Four Pillars Gin, Two Birds Brewing and Shadowfax wines. DJ Soju-Gang (Sugar Mountain, Girls To The Front) will appear on Fri 7 Dec; and bebé (3RRR, Hope St Radio) on Fri 14 Dec.

Coming from Singapore as part of Multicultural Arts Victoria’s Mapping Melbourne 2018, SA the Collective play their only live performance in Melbourne at MPavilion on Sat 15 Dec, 7.30–10.30pm, mixing traditional instruments with live looping and a video projection light show.

On Fri 21 Dec, 6–10pm, Bedroom Suck Records presents Music in Exile: Mindy Meng Wang x Sui Zhen finds the loved independent label connecting two Asian Australian musical talents — classical Chinese-Australian composer Mindy Menh Wang and acclaimed dance-pop songwriter Sui Zhen — for a performance exploring place and identity.


MPavilion 2018’s Artist in Residence, Melbourne’s award-winning Esther Stewart, will create a family-friendly, interactive installation in the gardens, opening on Mon 24 Dec until Sun 6 Jan.

MPavilion is supported by principal partners City of Melbourne, the Victorian State Government through Creative Victoria, and ANZ.

Open every day from 9am to 4pm through MPavilion’s season is the onsite licensed Kiosk, which features locally sourced coffee and beverages. An eclectic set of DJs appear regularly at Friday Night Fiestas —an ideal open-air hangout on warm spring and summer evenings. Tastings by Two Bird Brewery (DJ Soju Gang) on Fri 7 Dec, 5-7pm; and by Shadowfax wine (DJ Bebe) on Fri 14 Dec, 5-7pm.

All events are free and can be viewed here.

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