- Article by Elisa Scarton
The MPavilion 2020 season will be “dynamic and optimistic” in response to the year of challenge, say organisers.
Australia’s leading architecture and design event will run from 12 November 2020 – 21 March 2021 in Melbourne and feature more than 500 artists and designers from Australia and overseas.
This amplified number of guests is partly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the 2019 season to close early in March.
“Dynamic in approach and optimistic in spirit, the season responds to the challenges of a year beset by a pandemic with a more significant investment in artists, performers, and collaborators,” say MPavilion organisers.
This included commissioning five local artists to perform in various locations as part of the event.
The more 400 free events—including talks, workshops, performances, kid-friendly activities and community projects and installations will be organised in two main formats.
Those scheduled for November will occur entirely online, while from December onwards, events will be a mix of online and in person gatherings in locations across Melbourne.
Earlier in the year, MPavilion made the announcement that it would not be commissioning a pavilion to mark the 2020 season, deciding to instead valorise the six pavilions from past editions.
The organisation also recently published a book chronicling these first years of the project with contributions from each of the MPavilion architects from 2014 to 2019.
This year, MPavilion 2020 will feature a different theme for each month.
November is ‘Re-emerge: A Remix’, December is ‘IRL: Exploring Social Space’, January is ‘PRESERVATION: Propagating Knowledge’, February is ‘1+1: Who are we together?’, and March is SPACE: Experiments in Time.
A highlight from the newly unveiled program is an appearance by London studio Bompas & Parr, which will collaborate with scientists, makers, musicians, technologists and performers to realise an inflatable work that promises to be a “sensory design experience”.
Also headlining the season is a talk on 25 November 2020 with British critic and author Alice Rawsthorn about the life-changing possibility of design, and another from Spanish architect and writer Andrés Jaque on architecture as the ‘trans-scalar’ entanglement of life, bodies, technologies, and environments (scheduled for 30 November 2020).
Both will be broadcast live on the MPavilion website.
Later in the year and into 2021, you can catch an expansive schedule of events and workshops led by celebrated locals, including artist Atong Atem with Sabina McKenna, who will be answering the question: What does your hair mean to you?
BLAKitecture also returns to the 2020 season with a series of panel discussions featuring Indigenous architects and designers. The first is on 12 November 2020 and will explore how we engage or don’t engage Traditional Owners during the design process. The conversation will feature Parbin-ata Carolyn Briggs, senior Elder of the Boon Wurrung People.
“Encouraged by our mission to nurture, aid, and boost the creative life of our city, MPavilion 2020 will unify the community in an emotional, exciting new way,” says Naomi Milgrom Foundation founder Naomi Milgrom.
“Viewed optimistically and approached boldly, this challenging moment in history has opened up new programming possibilities—opportunities that will open up different conversations, ideas and connections about our city, our public spaces and the world.”
Explore the full MPavilion 2020 program on the official website.
Lead photo: Collaborators in MPavilion 2020. Photo supplied.