Manila, Philippines

2020 Travelling Studio Philippines

Studio Leaders: Kim Dovey, Reden Recio (MSD)

in collaboration with

School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) & College of Architecture, University of the Philippines

Information session - 12-1pm, MSD-Japanese Room, 12-1pm, Friday 25th October

Applications closed: 30 November 2019


This studio facilitates interdisciplinary teaching and learning approaches in the fields of architecture, urban design, urban planning and landscape architecture. It will bring together staff and students of the Melbourne School of Design and the University of the Philippines. These engagements will enable students to understand and to develop design and planning responses to informal urbanism as a global phenomenon. Students will undertake analysis and design/planning inventions on one or more of the following issues: informal settlement, in-situ upgrading, citizen-based planning, informal land tenure, informal transport, walkability, informal street trading and governance.

These projects will be focused on the North Triangle area of Manila (14°39'07.93" N 121°02'10.38" E) and the settlement of San Roque with its associated transit networks, trading and employment opportunities. We will work with the San Roque community (and the San Roque Alliance) who seek help in exploring visions for on-site redevelopment with upgraded infrastructure and maintenance of livelihoods including street vending and transport. This is a community faced with forced eviction from houses they own, land they have occupied and livelihoods they have developed over 40 years. The focus of particular student projects may include community planning, housing, community buildings, infrastructure, open space, walkable access networks, governance frameworks and political strategies.

This subject will:

  • Provide students with opportunities for cross-cultural, interdisciplinary education through immersion and active collaboration with local academics, students, planners, practitioners and community members.
  • Provide student with opportunities to understand the complexities and multiple, conflicting perceptions of informal urbanism in Asian cities as both positive and negative contributors to urban life and vibrancy.
  • Expose students to real-life problems confronted by inhabitants of informal settlement, and discover how these issues are currently addressed by the city’s planners and designers.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to assess the role of design professions in understanding the problems/issues associated with informal urbanism.

Funding Available:

Participating students will receive a one-off subsidy of $800 from the Faculty utilised towards student’s accommodation costs, be awarded $1900 from the Ackman Trust shortly after the subject census date, and may be eligible to receive a one off payment of up to $1,000 from Melbourne Global Mobility (conditions apply).

Information Session

12-1pm, MSD-Japanese Room, 12-1pm, Friday 25th October


Applications closed: 30 November 2020
Teaching Start Date: 28 January 2020
Subject census date: 14 February 2020
Overseas travel dates:  13 February - 23 February 2020 
Teaching End Date: 17 April 2020
Final submission/presentation: 17 April 2020
OH&S information session: TBA

To Apply:

Applicants will be assessed and selected based on a 200-word expression of interest including evidence of commitment, and academic merit based on discipline. Enrolment from a mix of disciplines is sought.

To apply, go to the EDSC Travelling Studios page at and click the ‘Travelling Studio Application Form’. Complete all mandatory fields and submit by 30 November 2020.

You will be informed of the application outcome via your University of Melbourne email account.

Contact Handbook

Need enrolment assistance?

Stop 1 provides enrolment and other support to Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Environments and Melbourne School of Design students.