Stories

Community in Process: Cultivating Belonging

If 2020 taught us anything, it is that strong, local social connections are vital when communities are faced with life-changing disruptions. Even in the absence of bushfires and global pandemics, or the unknown shock events that are yet to come, local-level social cohesion is important to maintaining thriving, safe and healthy communities. In established places, […]

Gig Workers & Home Consumers

The gig economy is here to stay. Convenience is comfort for many, but how are the people working for that convenience faring?Now more than ever, our lives are being delivered at all hours, mostly by gig workers and facilitated by the digital platforms built and run by multi-national corporations. Exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic, a […]

Unseen Labours: Deathcare as Essential Service

The origins of this photo series lie in a desire to explore the hidden-in-plain-sight spaces of death and memorialisation that exist in every city as well as to celebrate the labour of Melbourne’s deathcare workers. It started as a collaboration between scholars from the DeathTech Research Team at The University of Melbourne and Bri Hammond, […]

The Eight Hour Commute

For some, life is a constant imbalance of commute and labor, often with no end in sight. Commuting these days is a means to an end and shortening the time it takes, a drive towards optimal productivity. From Elon Musk’s ‘hyperloop’, claiming to carry passengers in 29 minutes from New York to Washington, or closer […]

Tree-change: Notes on Rural Ireland

Last year my family and I moved from London, our home of 10 years, to settle in rural Ireland. Because of the arbitrary fact that I deal with words and numbers – rather than, say, my hands – my work can be done almost anywhere. Our parting with the city was bittersweet – we’re passionate […]

Free to Feed: Soul Food

Free to Feed is a Melbourne-based social enterprise that creates empowering employment opportunities for refuges and people seeking asylum through the creation of shared food experiences. They facilitate community interconnectivity and break the stifling sense of social isolation often faced by these new arrivals. Through the delivery of cooking classes, catering, and one-off seasonal workshops, […]

The Cost of Womanhood

I first wrote this piece in 2017. I had been writing a lot about the gender pay gap and how the official figure was not just underestimating the problem, it was actually misleading in how little it described the realities of women’s economic lives. I wanted to write a data story about how a lifetime […]

Sinking In: Queering Spaces

In 2018, during the exhibition series WORKAROUND at the RMIT Design Hub, musician and architecture academic Simona Castricum took matters of gender into her own hands. Creating her own bathroom sign pictograms, she replaced the male and female bathroom signs – with a colleague’s help – with her own signs, that focused on whether or […]

Building Safer Ground: Towards Safer Public Spaces

For many of us, moving through streets, during the day or at night, is a complex exercise.

Public Moments: Reconnecting to Place

Since the first stone was laid in 1839 on Melbourne’s first building, St James’ Old Cathedral, buildings and infrastructure have determined the ways in which we move through the city.

Inbetween Lands

In INBETWEEN, the exhibition selected to represent Australia at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, Australasian architecture takes centre stage. Curated by Jefa Greenaway, a Wailwan and Kamilaroi man and director of Greenaway Architects, and Tristan Wong, director at SJB; the installation offers a filmic response to the Biennale’s theme: “How will we live together?”.

Work

Life feels a little like a work in progress at the moment, doesn’t it? The centre of business is no longer in the city, surpassed by the screen and long-distance working. The way we work has shifted – emerging technologies, big tech and shared economies have created both opportunity and unexpected outcomes.

Ears #44: Waves by DRMNGNOW

Next up on our Ears mixtape series featuring Triple R radio presenters, we talk to Indigenous hip-hop artist and Yorta Yorta man DRMNGNOW, a.k.a. Neil Morris. Shining a spotlight on Indigenous voices that set out to uphold traditional cultural practices, Neil’s mixtape titled Waves gives a snapshot of what his Triple R show Still Here […]

Ears #43: Mooncake by Small FRY

This year for our mixtape series EARS, we are featuring presenters from Triple R’s community radio station in Brunswick. To kick it off, we asked DJ Small FRY to create us a mixtape riffing off her radio show on Triple R, Mooncake. Her show crosses soundwaves from Tokyo to Taipei, Seoul to Saigon and through […]

Working Cooperatively: Earthworker Energy

For nearly a century, the Latrobe Valley has provided most of Victoria’s power. While there are distant views of chimney stacks and cooling towers from the Princes Freeway, the enormous size and scale of energy production is revealed along the Power Drive Scenic Route. Between the towns of Morwell and Moe, the route heads north […]

Sydney’s Arkadia: a green revolution

Flanked on one side by major city artery Sydney Park Road and on the other by the fine-grained and increasingly trendy Sydney suburb of Alexandria, Arkadia was always going to appeal to Sydney’s coolest professionals. But thanks to its beginnings, this apartment building is special. Developed by Defence Housing Australia (DHA) as a hybrid of […]

Ears #42: Mix by Hope St Radio’s Pete Baxter

Hope St Radio’s founder Pete Baxter has his finger in many pies — from DJ, to music curator, and maker of fine wine. With Hope St Radio, his roaming radio station broadcasting from different venues around Melbourne, he brings people from all walks of life together through music. In 2021 Hope St Radio will find […]

Hot Pursuit: Melbourne’s Queer Nightlife

It’s not difficult to imagine why those most often at society’s fringe would dream of spaces immune from everyday living. Utopias crop into focus in many queer theories and texts… a paradise, a promised place absent from malice or complication. For many queers, like myself, an extended Melbourne lockdown has us dreaming of sweat and […]

Footpath Trading: Pavement & Public Realm

Melbourne is (touch wood) finally exiting a dark winter of homebound isolation, hour-long walks and delivery food. As good weather arrives and rules are loosened, the government has outlined a pathogen-conscious plan for restaurant reopening that relies heavily on outdoor dining. This has already spurred debate about how we allot space on our streets and […]

Back to the Burbs

Morrison on the Verge “Can everyone get off the grass, please?” a man yells, pointing at his front yard. “I’ve just re-seeded that.” An unremarkable appeal, except that it is made to the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, in the middle of briefing the press, orchestrated to have homes under construction as the backdrop. Morrison then […]

Mind the Gap

All of us, on some level, need support. This was highlighted by the events of the past year, when we all watched as our systems and bureaucracies, these invisible infrastructures that govern and coordinate our worlds, crashed under the pressure of a virus invisible to the human eye. Through this time, we noticed another invisible […]

Ahakoa He Iti He Pounamu*

In the heart of the far north of Aotearoa New Zealand sits the small farming town of Kaikohe. Often referred to as the centre of local iwi (tribe) Ngāpuhi, whose hapū (smaller tribes) spread all the way to Cape Reingā, the area is steeped in Māori history. Rolling farmlands that surround the small town are […]

Future Homes: Density Done Well?

Design for civic and for everyday realities have always been at the centre of architect Jill Garner’s practice. Since 2015, in her role as Victorian Government Architect, she has advocated for civic buildings and infrastructure to be considered thoughtfully, acutely aware that design decisions impact Melburnians in their day-to-day lives. Recently, Garner has been working […]

Slow Movements

For many of us during lockdown, our lives inside were whipped into a frenzy of screens, devices, disembodied voices and the internet. As the boundaries between work, entertainment and living collapsed, in some ways, public and private spaces inverted. In Melbourne’s northern suburbs people sought peace in outside worlds. Photographer Ben Clement documented people’s introspection […]