Program Themes

Program Themes

Mpavilion 10 Program Themes

Mpavilion 10 Program Themes

We are enormously proud to welcome Pritzker Prize Laureate Tadao Ando as our tenth MPavilion designer. MPavilion 10 represents the inimitable Japanese architect’s first Australian project, a tremendous privilege – for MPavilion in our milestone year and all of Melbourne.
Our free, five-month design festival will be curated into three themes inspired by Ando’s design.

Memories of Place

November—December 2023

Tadao Ando searches for the key to ‘regeneration’ in the dialogues between architecture and its surroundings.  A water landscape which reflects the scenery as it changes with time, brings the artificial and the natural back together and defines the whole space as a united place. From the Birrarung to the Queen Victoria Gardens, this place encourages people to encounter, experience and feel the architectural space, finding spiritual bases for memories of community.

Why are landscapes significant to our collective memory – and how might we preserve them for generations to come? We explore the intricate relationships of water, gardens and changing landscapes that are inextricably linked – and how we might benefit from understanding and nurturing their tangible presence and ethereal stories.


January—February 2024

The art of Japanese craftsmanship is a time-honored tradition that has been passed down through generations. In Japan, craftsmanship is more than just creating beautiful objects, it is a way of life that embodies a philosophy of mindfulness, patience, and dedication. Ando’s work is informed by the natural and social worlds; he seeks the key to regeneration in the dialogue between architecture and its surroundings. “Architecture” Ando says, “has forgotten that space can be a source of inspiration. 

January and February at MPavilion looks at the beauty and significance of craftsmanship, as well as the values and people that underpin it.  We explore the importance of sustainable practices that benefit both the craftsman and the environment.  How will technology, AI and machines change, disrupt and enhance craftsmanship? We consider the ‘craftsmanship’ approach to design –  that taking one’s time to create something with care and attention is not only necessary for producing quality work but also essential for achieving happiness.

A Blank Canvas

March 2024

Ando describes this MPavilion as ‘an architecture of emptiness.’ His empty place with an indeterminate function – for coming together unexpectedly, for passing time – will invite visitors to ponder their surroundings in a profound way. It will capture events of immediate, incidental and accidental character. 

‘Experiencing spaces is important, but first and foremost, life is important. Live your life. The energy to live your life comes from strength and curiosity and the future. The future is to have hope and hope, others cant make for you, you have to make it yourself so I want to make things that cultivate hope. That’s what I must do!’ – Tadao Ando, The World Around Us

In March, we will celebrate Ando’s philosophy, his use of space and materials – from his stark minimalism and masterful conception of space, to his use of light, shadow and water to create a tranquil atmosphere of stillness. The emptiness will echo and enter the gardens to spark a constellation of creativity. Let’s fill it.

Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the clans of the Eastern Kulin Nations as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we connect, create and work. We pay our respects to their land, ancestors and Elders—past, present and future. We value the wealth of knowledge, creative practice and connection to Country of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and continue to learn from the oldest living culture in the world.