Melbourne symposium to bring together indigenous designers from around the world

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Ngarara Place at RMIT city campus by Greenaway Architects.

Ngarara Place at RMIT city campus by Greenaway Architects. Image: Jefa Greenaway

A symposium, to be held at the Melbourne School of Design from 18 to 21 July, will bring together speakers from a variety of fields, including architecture, to examine Indigenous design in both Australian and international contexts.

The inaugural Indigenous Design Symposium is convened by Jefa Greenaway, director of Greenaway Architects, chair of Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria (IADV) and MSD lecturer in Indigenous Curriculum Development.

Greenaway said the theme of the inaugural symposium, Go Back to Where You Came From, was intended as a “provocation to explore the role of Indigenous design, to showcase a range of established local and international First Nations design practitioners across a diversity of disciplines and an opportunity to reveal design approaches, which straddle interconnected themes of culture, Country and identity.”

Architects among the line-up of international speakers are Mphethi Morojele (MMA Design Studio/South Africa), Daniel J. Glenn (7 Directions Architects and Planners/ Crow, USA) and Rau Hoskins (director of Tribe Architects/Ngā Puhi, New Zealand).

Australian speakers include Dillon Kombumerri (principal architect for Government Architect NSW/Yugembir), Paul Herzich (Aboriginal Landscape Architect and Visual Artist/Kaurna), Francoise Lane (Indij Design/Torres Strait Islander) and Sarah Lynn Rees (graduate of architecture, Jackson Clements Burrows and project manager, MPavilion/Palawa, Plangermaireeneer). 

From 18 to 20 July, the program will mix conventional conference fare, including presentations, workshops and keynotes, with yarning circles, dance performances and an Indig-akucha (a riff on Pecha Kucha that will see a number of “young guns” speaking on the future of Indigenous design). 

The symposium is being organized in collaboration with the Koorie Heritage Trust, Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria and Murrup Barak, the Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development.

The third day of the symposium also coincides with the opening of Blak Design Matters, the first Australian survey of Indigenous design, at the Koorie Heritage Trust on Federation Square.

For more information on the symposium, go here.


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