Event Feature

2018 MSDx - Redefining the Future

Melbourne, VIC, Australia

James Lyall Smith

Australian design is in a state of constant evolution. Each new year establishes an innovative narrative defining the architectural trends that will best respond to the social, cultural and environmental climate.

It is this transformative and responsive nature of Australian design that establishes the industry as a global leader. At the centre of Australia’s built environment thinking and teaching is the Melbourne School of Design, which will soon host its end-of-year exhibition – MSDx.

The Melbourne School of Design, as the graduate school of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, is tasked with guiding and activating future generations of built environment professionals. It provides an educational platform for young minds who will one day create and influence Australian design. The biannual MSDx takes the general public on a journey of discovery in built environment innovations, providing an insight into the bright future of the industry.

The 2017 exhibition received much acclaim from the viewing public.

On Thursday 22nd of November, the Melbourne School of Design will transform into a visually stunning multi-floor gallery showcasing the innovative ideas and studio work from future influencers of design throughout Australia and the world. The exhibition includes projects that are the culmination of years of commitment and dedication by graduating students, among a wide range of work from both undergraduate and Masters-level students. Work produced through more than 60 design studios in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Graphic Design and Performance Design will feature in the exhibition, providing visitors with an insight into the direction of the industry’s next generation.

The Melbourne School of Design is located at the University of Melbourne.

A hallmark of today’s university students is their determination to shape a brighter future for generations of Australians as they experience significant shifts in the common social, cultural and environmental climate. The MSDx truly highlights the quality and diversity of educational output being created by the Melbourne School of Design. The exhibition will showcase studio works ranging from highly speculative propositions to more practice-oriented efforts, from small design interventions to large urban proposals and beyond.

“We are framing design not simply as a collection of professions, disciplines or techniques, but as a vantage on the world from which things can be seen and achieved”, says Professor Alan Pert, director of the Melbourne School of Design. “Our studios frame problems and test solutions from different perspectives, and they are as much about the complex systems of the city as they will be about resolving things at a building scale and a human scale. Our end-of-semester exhibitions represent an explicit critique of the Melbourne context, seen through the lens of over 80 studios (architecture, landscape, planning and urban design).”

The design of the building does justice to the impressive work that is produced within.

One highlight of the 2018 MSDx will be the work of the 17 Masters students who participated in the Venice Travelling Studio over the past semester. The Venice Travelling Studio, led by Professor Alan Pert and Scott Woods, is designed to provide students with the ideal means to observe, document and critically engage with the vanguard of contemporary curatorial practices that are re-defining architectural exhibition making, representation, publicity, museology, and indeed the role of the architect today.

Master of Architecture student Lauren Granek.

Master of Architecture student Lauren Granek will be displaying her project ‘The Monument to Memory’ at MSDx. Her final project is a graphic series that depicts the progression of space / object and how it can be in a permanent, temporary or obsolete state dependent on collective memory.

Earlier in the year, Lauren and 16 other Masters students spent a week at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Each student was allocated a nation in the Giardini section of the Biennale. Lauren used her experience working within the Arsenale and Giardini spaces of the Biennale to shape her final project and, ultimately, redefine her perspective towards architecture. “The Venice travelling studio experience has definitely changed the way I view architecture. The proposals at the Biennale were not solely architecture for architecture’s sake – they had political, social and cultural purpose and content”, she says. “Learning in the same environment over the years has narrowed my thinking in the discourse, which was why seeing work that really challenged architectural norms has had such an impact on my perception of architecture”.

The Monument to Memory.

Lauren is naturally excited at the prospect of having her work displayed among the high-calibre architectural concepts produced by bright young design thinkers, and proud of what the cohort has produced.. “Being a part of a large exhibition like the MSDx is a fantastic opportunity as a student to be part of a collective of new design ideas,” she says. “It’s an exciting chance to exhibit my own concepts on a large platform and also see the various proposals from other students. An exhibition like the MSDx is quite unique with work that ranges from highly speculative proposals, large scale urban work to small scale community interventions. Collectively as a cohort there is a sense of pride in the work produced with a collection of diverse and innovative propositions”. Lauren’s project ‘The Monument to Memory’ draws on past architectural lessons to help redefine the future. This piece, plus the collective works of the 2018 Venice Travelling Studio, are among the array of projects on display at this year’s MSDx.

This graphic series is the culmination of Lauren's impressive work through the Venice Travelling Studio.

The 2018 MSDx is ultimately a vessel for the Melbourne School of Design’s cohort of talented students to showcase their concepts for the built environment. It is an opportunity for the general public to view and gain insights into the evolving work of the next generation of design thinkers and practitioners.


Opening Thursday 22 November, 6pm

Exhibition dates: 23 November – 7 December 2018

Melbourne School of Design building University of Melbourne

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm.

Cost: Free

Register for the 2018 MSDx here.

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