Reconnect: OHM July Weekend – transition to a digital program

Following the announcement from the Victorian Government of continued restrictions, Open House Melbourne will transition the Reconnect: OHM July Weekend over 24 + 25 July 2021 to a fully digital program.

An online Open House Melbourne will reconnect OHM audiences through a variety of digital formats that will showcase a virtual program of free, live, interactive and on-demand digital content to be enjoyed from the comfort of home. From VR tours, live-streams of panel discussions, building walkthroughs, online seminars, workshops, podcasts, and more. 

While, due to the continued lockdown conditions, the 2021 program will not open the physical doors to the city’s most significant buildings, it will unlock the incredible enthusiasm, creativity and knowledge of many building hosts, architects and designers who support the program and contribute to Open House Melbourne 2021. 

Open House Melbourne Executive Director Fleur Watson says: “The wellbeing of our public audience, program collaborators, partners, volunteers, and staff remains our utmost priority, and we are pleased to be able to respond quickly and make the transition to deliver Reconnect: OHM July Weekend – now in digital form and available to everyone wherever you are in Victoria or, in fact, the world. We thank everyone in our community for your ongoing support for Open House Melbourne’s Weekend program in these rapidly changing conditions.”

Now open to everyone across the globe, the following special events will be live-streamed and free to enjoy via the Open House Melbourne website and other digital platforms from collaborators.

Living Cities Forum x Open House Melbourne x ACMI Film Series 

Online and Cinema 

In partnership with the Living Cities Forum and ACMI, a suite of four films will be available that speak to the Forum’s 2021 theme, The Long View — a theme that asks how different perspectives on time can affect the growth of our cities.  The suite features a series of short films presented online by speculative architect and director Liam Young –Imagined Cities: Urban Futures Prototyped through Film – as well as a series of cinema screenings featuring Björk: Biophillia Live, Last and First Men, Homo Sapiens (with a live score by ARIA award-winning composer Heinz Riegler). Together the program applies a gradient of lenses that examine the macro and the micro of our presence on this planet. The series is presented by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation with Open House Melbourne and ACMI. 

Imagined Cities: Urban Futures Prototyped through Film available via ACMI’s Cinema 3.  

Thursday 29 July – Tuesday 3 August (subject to government restrictions).
Björk: Biophillia Live, Last and First Men, Homo Sapiens screenings.  

This Is Public

Friday 23 July, 5.30 – 8.30pm
Live-streamed on the Open House Melbourne and The Capitol websites

The 2021 July Weekend program kicks off with This Is Public, a live-streamed speaker series co-presented by Open House Melbourne, RMIT Architecture & Urban Design and The Capitol — RMIT University on Friday 23 July, 2021. This Is Public will host speakers with different perspectives and seeks to answer big questions about the role of design and policy, rapid density, climate change, public space, access and inclusion and Indigenous knowledge and designing on Country in shaping the future of our city, amongst other thought-provoking topics. The event will be live streamed on the Open House Melbourne and The Capitol websites, and later produced as a podcast. Guests can expect a series of thought-provoking and insightful presentations beginning with an address from Lord Mayor Sally Capp, and an introduction to the OHM 2021 theme, Reconnect. 

Speakers will include:

Jefa Greenaway and Tristan Wong – INBETWEEN 

INBETWEEN presents a series of architectural projects, through a film compilation to show how architects, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are working with First-Nations peoples as a way of embedding cultural authenticity into our built environment. The works were originally conceived for exhibition in Australia’s pavilion on the Giardini in Venice and has been reimagined as a film that presents a powerful set of works from across Australia and the Pacific. The works demonstrate architecture’s capacity to strengthen cultural connections and understanding between non-Indigenous and First Nations peoples.

Jill Garner, Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) – Designing Policy for People

Jill Garner took the helm of the Office of the Victorian Government Architect in 2015, stepping into the role as a public advocate for architecture and design after more than twenty years in practice. As an architect, her practice – Garner Davis – has received numerous industry awards for delivering sensitive, crafted public and private work. As a design advisor and advocate in government, she strongly promotes the value of contextual, integrated design thinking and a collaborative approach across design disciplines. Jill Garner will further explore these issues with Hamish Lyon, Director of NH Architecture, in a virtual walking tour taking place over the OHM Weekend. 

Nicole Kalms, XYX Lab – Your Ground: Towards a Safer and More Accessible City 

Your Ground is a digital mapping platform that aims to advance knowledge of safety in public spaces. In the context of social changes brought about by COVID-19, Your Ground is backed by research and seeks allow women and gender-diverse people to call out safe and unsafe experiences and geographically identify spaces where they have been made to feel unsafe, scared or even safe and happy. The project seeks to empower women and gender-diverse people to advocate for change through their lived experiences. 

Ewan McEoin and Liam Young – Planet City: Provocative Urbanism

 Planet City is a film exploring the productive potential of extreme densification. The project – commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria – imagines a future where humanity exists in one hyper dense metropolis, leaving the rest of the planet to thrive in wilderness. Liam Young, author, filmmaker and architect, is joined by Ewan McEoin, the Hugh Williamson Senior Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the National Gallery of Victoria, to discuss the future of city existence. Liam joins ‘This Is Public’ courtesy of the Living Cities Forum and the Naomi Milgrom Foundation where he has curated a film series as part of the OHM X Living Cities satellite program. 

JamesBrearley and Justine Della Riva (CEO) – Building Pride

Five years in the making the Victorian Pride Centre is a place of belonging, support and pride for LGBTIQ+ communities. As Australia’s first purpose-built pride centre, this is where everyone can come together, honour the past, celebrate the present, and work towards a more inclusive future. The Centre is home to important resident organisations, engaging cultural programs, vital health services and inspiring social spaces. In January 2018, BAU (Brearley Architects and Urbanists) and GAA (Grant Amon Architects), were selected winners of a two-stage design competition. Inaugural CEO Justine Dalla Riva, will be joined by architect James Brearley to discuss what it takes to create inclusive spaces that respect an individual and collective vision to belong.

Beau de Belle, Christine Phillips and Jock Gilbert – Designing On Country

Gamilaraay architect Beau de Belle and non-Indigenous design academics, Christine Phillips and Jock Gilbert consider the question: What will Melbourne look like in the future when we embrace design as an act of reconciliation? The discussion for This Is Public will set the scene for an expanded event the following evening at The Capitol, with ABC’s Jonathan Green, Boon Wurrong elder N’Arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM, along with RMIT Architecture & Urban Design’s Reconciliation Ngulu team exploring these questions in further depth. 

Heritage Address: Secrets of the City – Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Melbourne 

Tuesday 27 July, 6 – 7.30pm  

Presented online via the OHM website here

Archaeologist and Heritage Council member Meg Goulding, and Jeremy Smith, Heritage Victoria’s Principal Archaeologist, will present new discoveries from some of the city’s recent archaeological investigations as part of this year’s annual Heritage Address streamed via the Open House Melbourne website on Tuesday 27 July.  For the first time, discoveries will be revealed from the Melbourne Metro dig enhancing the city’s reputation as one of the world’s best examples of a 19th century archaeological site.  The Heritage Address is presented by the Heritage Council Victoria. 

 Popular VR and video tours returning to the OHM21 program include Orica House, Arts Centre Melbourne, Trades Hall, City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection, Victorian Archives Centre and more. ‘On Demand’ virtual building tours and online talks will be available over the Weekend, visit the Open House Melbourne website to learn more. 

Further program updates will be made via the Open House Melbourne website, newsletters and social media.

About Centre for Architecture | Open House Melbourne

As the new umbrella organisation for all things Open House in Victoria, the Centre for Architecture Victoria (CAV) is an organisation with a big ambition – to inform the public about the importance of design in the built environment and why it matters to the future liveability of our cities. Providing creative and curatorial leadership, CAV oversees additional events and programs beyond the much-loved Open House Melbourne Weekend, including Open House BendigoModern MelbourneThis is PublicWaterfront (part of Melbourne Design Week) and The Naked Architect series. Open House Melbourne (OHM) continues to be an independent organisation that fosters public appreciation for architecture and public engagement in design in the built environment.