MPavilion (24 01 24)

The canvas is never blank


Queen Victoria Gardens
Opposite National Gallery of Victoria View map

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Queen Victoria Gardens

Our cities, towns and landscapes are ever evolving, constantly changing and never blank for they are loaded with memories, cultural histories and physicality. In these circumstance how do architects take account of the natural environment or contextual elements like local climate, culture and the prior history of a project? In the Australian context, we can observe many and varied architectural responses, literal, political, propositional, mannered and more. It wasn’t that long ago the architectural debate focused on critical regionalism versus global modernism, but times have moved on and other issues seem more important.

Come and listen to a panel of Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medallists discuss some of the big issues confronting the contemporary practice of architecture and urbanism, curated Peter Elliott AM. How is the profession responding to the current challenges of climate, design for Country, housing equity, community infrastructure, cultural diversity and the manner of architecture?



Peter Elliott AM is a Melbourne architect and recipient of the 2017 Gold Medal from the Australian Institute of Architects. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Practice at the Faculty of Art Design & Architecture at Monash University. In 2015 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Architecture by the University of Melbourne. He has a special interest in the design of the public realm, and has lectured and written extensively on contemporary architecture and urban design. In 2015 he authored a monograph book titled “Episodic Urbanism – RMIT Urban Spaces Project 1996 – 2015’ published by URO Publications.

Gregory Burgess explores responsive architecture as a means of deepening our relationship with people, Country and purpose. Acknowledged as creating animated buildings filled with meaning and spirit, Greg is also a pioneer in working collaboratively with Indigenous communities. In recognition of its social, ecological and healing impact, his work has received many awards. These include the Sir Zelman Cowen Award, the Victorian Architecture Medal, the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal, as well as an honorary Doctorate of Architecture from the University of Melbourne, and a Member of the Order of Australia.

Maggie Edmond – For four decades, Maggie Edmond has been at the forefront of Australian architecture. Collaborating with Peter Corrigan, their partnership has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Australian architecture. Their impact on subsequent generations of architects in Melbourne and beyond has been extensively recognized and documented. Renowned for their thoughtful exploration of cultural themes, they’ve employed modest means to convey powerful public statements. Maggie is a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Melbourne and has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to architecture, to tertiary education, and to professional organizations.” Maggie was retroactively awarded the Australian Institute of Architects 2003 Gold Medal alongside Peter Corrigan at the National Awards in 2023.

Ian McDougall, along with ARM architecture co-founders Steve Ashton and Howard Raggatt, received the Australian Institute of Architects’s 2016 Gold Medal for their influential work spanning almost thirty years. Registered as an architect in Victoria since 1980, McDougall was recognized as a Life Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 2004, with his design work earning accolades, including the Federation Medal in 2000. McDougall’s academic contributions include roles as an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at RMIT since 1992 and teaching positions at various universities. Beyond commissioned projects, McDougall, Ashton, and Raggatt have actively contributed to architectural culture through exhibitions, lectures, and conferences, advocating for architecture’s critical cultural role. Their dedication to education and support for emerging designers is evident through their professorial roles and commitment to nurturing future talent. Additionally, their involvement in the Australian Institute of Architects, including presidency roles, reflects their commitment to the profession.

Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the people of the Eastern Kulin Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which MPavilion stands. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present – and recognise they have been creating, telling stories and caring for Country for thousands of generations.

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