Bushfire education, science and reflection centre survey


Image above: Supplied, Engage Victoria

The OVGA, Creative Victoria and Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions have been working on an online consultation survey to help inform a place for education, science and reflection around bushfires. In 2018 a Bushfire Advisory Group recommended the creation of a program or space that would provide bushfire education and raise awareness of recent and historical bushfires that have impacted Victoria. This survey seeks community views on the best way to realise the concept. 

You can see the survey and contribute here

Winners revealed: 2019 Victorian Landscape Architecture Awards

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Image above: Monash University Eastern Precinct Garden by TCL.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Victorian awards. Excellence in landscape planning and design was recognised across 14 categories.

The Parks and Open Spaces Award of Excellence was won by Monash University Eastern Precinct Garden, TCL. The jury acknowledged the emergence of exemplary masterplanning and public realm design in tertiary settings. The Infrastructure Award of Excellence went to Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal, noting its contribution to the creation of high-quality public space below elevated rail. The President’s Award went to ‘Living Melbourne – our metropolitan urban forest’ by Resilient Melbourne and the Nature Conservatory. Oculus Landscape Architects won the Civic Landscape Award of Excellence for their restorative and inclusive design of Bendigo Hospital’s grounds.

For more awards information click here.

Evolving City – OVGA @ Melbourne Knowledge Week 2019


Photo Above: North Melbourne Town Hall, photo by OVGA

Melbourne’s population is increasing - but how can we design well for change while keeping our city’s unique character? The OVGA is running an event at Melbourne Knowledge Week on this very issue, Evolving City – Designing for Change.

At this event we’ll hear from three local designers and get a glimpse of how our city is evolving in North and West Melbourne with the launch of walking map. Come and see James Legge from Six Degrees, Joshua Wheeler from MGS Architects and Skye Haldane from the City of Melbourne talk about their projects. Jill Garner the Victorian Government Architect will moderate the session.

The map is a snapshot of how North Melbourne is adapting to change. See examples of new buildings next to old, adaptations of former industrial buildings, high density pockets, modern classics from the 20th century, and reimagined and expanded green spaces. Hear stories about the suburb’s built history – what’s been loved and what’s been lost. Densification is changing the city fast and good design of buildings and places can help effectively manage this change.

The map can be downloaded here

OVGA Recap of Melbourne Design Week

Geelong event

Image above: Stefan Preuss chairing the Design Leadership in the City of Design event, with panel members (from L to R), Dr Robert Treseder, Dr Fiona Gray, Dr Yolanda Esteban, Dr Mirjana Lozanovska, Ralph Webster and Nicole Walters.

This year Melbourne Design Week was celebrated with over 200 events across Victoria. The Office of the Victorian Government Architect was involved with a number of talks, launches and forums.

To kick off, the Office led a series of talks with members of the Victorian Design Review Panel, responding to Design Week’s theme of ‘Design Experiments’, exploring provocations for the future and reflections on how we design our cities and lives.  

An exciting highlight for the Office included Jill Garner, Victorian Government Architect, chairing the Jury for the 2019 NGV Architecture Commission, which was announced during Design Week.

For the first time this year the program extended to Geelong, Australia’s only UNESCO City of Design. The OVGA ran a public forum on Design Champions, chaired by Stefan Preuss, Associate Victorian Government Architect, at the Geelong Library. In addition to the forum, the Office led and participated in invited events with targeted industry and stakeholder representatives to stimulate discussion on what design leadership and advocacy might look like for Geelong.

Rounding out our involvement, Jill Garner was also part of a panel on Good Design and Heritage, co-presented by Open House and Heritage Council Victoria in Geelong.

Melbourne Design Week is an initiative by Creative Victoria in partnership with NGV.

OVGA at Melbourne Design Week

melbourne graphic

Graphic created by Yiling Shen, OVGA

As part of Melbourne Design Week, the Office of the Victorian Government Architect presents a series of Lucky Dip Lectures on design experimentation. Hear from a variety of experts, drawn from the Victorian Design Review Panel, presenting a series of short and sharp talks exploring provocations for the future and reflections on how we design our cities and lives. This event is part of Melbourne Design Week 2019, an initiative by Creative Victoria in partnership with NGV.

This free event is held at 41X, 41 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, on Tuesday 19 March from 6:15pm – 7:45pm. Details of speakers and how to register can be found here.

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2019


Image above: Intrernational Women's Day Logo 2019

Today we celebrate International Women's Day (IWD) and the achievements of women all around the world. The United Nation’s Women’s global theme for IWD 2019 is ‘Think equal, build smart, innovate for change’. This global theme resonates strongly with the aspirations and remit of the OVGA which seeks to promotes an awareness about how good design can make great places for people.

The OVGA enjoys strong female representation in our team. We believe this representation broadens our perspective on built environment issues and enhances our ability to advocate for and ensure that principles of equity, inclusion, diversity, freedom and safety are understood as synonymous with design excellence.

Shepparton Art Museum gets a green light

Art Hill_High

Image above: SAM Art  Hill View from North. Graphics by Denton Corker Marshall

Great news for Shepparton! Greater Shepparton City Council have announced that the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) will progress to the next stage. This project came to Design Review for our advice and support. The proposal has been developed into a compelling design response, an outstanding example of exciting, best-practice contemporary museum architecture. We congratulate the Council’s leadership in delivering this important project which is expected to be completed by late 2020.

VPS5 Senior Adviser Opportunity


Image above: Public Housing Renewal Program

Would you like to be part of our team? The Office of the Victorian Government Architect has an exciting opportunity for a Senior Adviser to join the team to foster innovation in Victoria's housing to be better designed, affordable and sustainable. The Senior Adviser is responsible for leading the delivery of specific OVGA advice, policy and projects that improve the quality of outcomes for government projects generally, with particular focus on medium to higher density housing.

Closing date is 21st March 2019.

Read more about the role and apply at careers.vic

Summer wrap-up – OVGA at Business of Design Week Hong Kong 2018

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Image above: Seminar on Liveability, Sport and Design. Photo by Sophie Patitsas

It’s been a busy summer for the OVGA and a summer wrap-up wouldn’t be complete without featuring one of the highlights. In December 2019, the OVGA joined the Victorian Government’s largest ever design-focused trade mission, led by Creative Victoria. Melbourne was the official partner city for Business of Design Week 2018 in Hong Kong. The theme of Melbourne’s presence in Hong Kong was Think-Collaborate-Create which captures our attitude to design excellence and inventiveness.

At this international event, Jill Garner, Victorian Government Architect presented on Liveability, Sport and Design highlighting the OVGA’s sustained focus on design quality at Melbourne and Olympic Park. Sophie Patitsas, Principal Adviser, joined the delegation as a Victorian Design Ambassador promoting Melbourne’s Sharing Values exhibition curated by NGV’s Ewan McEoin and Phip Murray which showcased 100+ projects and highlighted the diversity and impact of Melbourne’s design culture.

Read more: Creative Victoria – Business of Design Week

Thought provoking MRelay event on gender and design

MRelay Jill

Image above: MRelay @ MPavilion. Photo by Marie Luise

One of the most stimulating MPavilion events of the season, “The Future is Gender-Neutral Design” was held on Saturday 2 February 2019 as part of the MRelay series. Jill Garner, Victorian Government Architect, discussed gender and design with an esteemed panel of speakers. The discussion questioned how gender has affected the design of places and looked at the potential for a gender-neutral approach to the design of our cities. 

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