Navigate our city in new ways with Open House Melbourne’s July program

Open House Melbourne 2019 will challenge us to view Melbourne in new ways. Partnering with Cushman & Wakefield, our keynote exhibition Urban Tactility will take place at Immigration Museum, along with an expanded program of new events happening throughout July and August.

Urban Tactility is a site-specific public installation designed to inspire us to walk in the shoes of those living with low vision and blindness and the way they navigate the city. The installation will be in the courtyard of Immigration Museum from 22 July until 11 August with free entry.

Tactile indicators are raised dots and lines that work like road signs to help people living with blindness or low vision to navigate the city. The exhibition will use oversized tactiles in a playful and exploratory way, visually guiding people from the street to installation, where many sensory experiences offer up ways people with blindness or low vision might experience the space.

The project is presented by OoPLA architect’s Christine Phillips and Tania Davidge and new inclusivity and access partner Cushman & Wakefield, along with Open House Melbourne.

“Our Access and Inclusion partnership with Open House Melbourne is one we’re excited about,” said James Patterson Chief Executive, Australia & New Zealand. “Supporting this installation, we hope the community can experience a different way to navigate our city. At Cushman & Wakefield we champion diversity and inclusion in our workplace, thinking and culture.”

The exhibition showcases how public art and design can make a significant contribution to conversations around important urban issues such as social inclusion and social connectivity. The expansive program also includes a selection of talks and tours that delve deeper into the exhibitions theme, including:

Urban Tactility Talk 
24 July, 6–7.30pm
 – A discussion with OoPLA about the rationale behind Urban Tactility, and how codes and legislation such as the Equal Opportunity Act, Australian Standards and the Building Code of Australia take physical forms in the city.

Rights to our City Talk
31 July, 6–7.30pm – Whose rights? Whose city? What role does design play in addressing urban inequality? A discussion about the unique and not so unique challenges Melbourne is facing in addressing urban inclusivity and right to the city for all users.

Urban Tactility Guided Tours
22 + 29 July, 5 August, 12–2pm
27+ 28 July (Open House Weekend) 10am–4pm –

In these guided tours, leaders will take people through the installation blindfolded, encouraging people to use their senses to navigate the work. The tours will focus on what the exhibition feels, smells and sounds like, rather than what it looks like.

Sensory City Talk
7 August, 6–7.30pm – A discussion about the growing awareness of a multi-sensory approach to design in our cities.

Sensory City Tours
Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 July, 2–3pm
 – Along with the Urban Tactility Tours, Open House, OoPLA and Vision Australia are hosting a series of city tours which will contemplate the sensory qualities of our city.

Monday 15 July, 6–7pm
Free – bookings essential

The Heritage Council of Victoria is excited to announce that leading architect Kerstin Thompson will deliver this year’s 2019 Heritage Address, with a thought-provoking look at the role heritage plays in our cities and lives at Federation Hall, Southbank.

Passionate about integrating our heritage into the future of our city, Thompson has worked on notable architectural projects with heritage in their heart. Her recent project The Stables at VCA Faculty of Fine Arts & Music, University of Melbourne, received the 2018 Heritage & Educational Architecture Award and will be open to explore in the upcoming Open House Melbourne Weekend.

22 July to 20 August

Taking inspiration from the latest book on Australian modernism Australia Modern: Architecture, Landscape & Design 1925–1975, this exhibition at the Dulux Gallery – Melbourne School of Design, celebrates twentieth-century architecture through newly commissioned photographs and archival images that vividly capture how modernism has shaped Australian society.

The exhibition will also feature filmed interviews and rich archival material from the Modern Melbourne series that documents the extraordinary lives and careers of some of our most important architects and designers including Peter McIntyre, Mary Featherston, Daryl Jackson, Graeme Gunn, Phyllis Murphy, Allan Powell and will be host to a special premiere screening of the most recent interview for the series with Dione McIntyre. More information:

Australian Modern Floor Talk 
Saturday 27 July, 2–3pm
Join Hannah Lewi and Philip Goad, editors of Australia Modern: Architecture, Landscape & Design 1925-1975 for a discussion about the book and accompanying exhibition.

DESIGN CITY: BUILT MELBOURNE! Thursday 18 July, 6pm–8pm
Design City is a rare opportunity to hear from experts on the design process behind the built outcome, to be held at the newly renovated Capitol Theatre. This annual talk presents a diverse cross-section of design disciplines and building typologies that make up the built fabric of Melbourne. The projects discussed range from commercial buildings, educational buildings, heritage buildings, to the humble home, and a not-so-humble landscape. Speakers include:

  • Sam Lock – Director, Cox Presenting: Design of Melbourne Jet Base
  • Samantha Westbrooke – Conservation Architect, National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Presenting: Design and legacy of Napier Waller House
  • Sheree Proposch – Principal, Hassell Presenting: Design of Western Edges Biosciences Building, University of Melbourne
  • Peter Malatt – Director, Six Degrees Presenting: Refurbishment of The Capitol

RMIT Design Hub has partnered with Open House Melbourne to present new exhibition Super Tight, taking place from 27 July until 21 September at RMIT Design Hub Gallery.

Super Tight explores the culture of space deficiency emerging in Asian cities and its creative potential. This immersive exhibition considers techniques for living closely, unpacking the delight and difficulty that arises from the dense occupation of large cities. Professor Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, celebrated Japanese architect and founding partner of studio Atelier Bow-Wow will be co-curating the exhibition and delivering a public lecture discussing the concept of spatial and architectural tightness in the context of Japan, and the work of his practice.

The exhibition program includes a public launch event and over the Open House Weekend itself there will be a curated city walking tour featuring the best examples of density and intense urban living in Melbourne, a series of discussions about the creative potential of intense over-population in the Super Tight Bar in RMIT Design Hub and Tsukamoto’s public lecture at The Capitol.

Super Tight
27 July – 21 September

Tuesday to Friday, 10am-5pm
Saturday 12pm-5pm
Free entry
RMIT Design Hub Gallery

Super Tight + Open House Melbourne 
Weekend Launch

26 July, 6–8pm Free entry
RMIT Design Hub Gallery

Super Tight Lecture + Discussion
Featuring Yoshiharu Tsukamoto
27 July, 4.30–6pm
Free entry, bookings required The Capitol, RMIT University

Visit for the full program of talks, exhibitions and events happening throughout July and August.

Open House Melbourne is an independent organisation that fosters public appreciation for architecture and public engagement in design in the built environment. We exist because we believe a more engaged public will result in better design outcomes for our buildings, our streets and our cities. We are registered as a charity (as Melbourne Open House Inc) with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission ABN 68295482310, we are part of the Open House Worldwide network, and we are an initiative of the Committee for Melbourne Future Focus Leadership Program.