Alumni Survey Series: NH Architecture

Black and white birds eye view of an architectural model of Melbourne's CBD

Dulux Gallery, Ground Floor, Glyn Davis Building, University of Melbourne, Parkville Campus

  • Exhibition

The Melbourne School of Design is proud to launch our 2022 Dulux Gallery program with an Alumni Survey series exhibition that examines the complexity of publicness in contemporary architecture, There is no/only public Architecture – by NH Architecture.

There is no/only public Architecture doesn’t seek a defining moment for ‘public architecture'. Rather, the exhibition circles around key intersecting themes such as manufacture, operation (and access) and engagement (processes), which account for the shift in understanding and reasoning of ‘public’ or ‘not public’ and recognizes that this is an evolving space.

The works also encourage contemplation of the less tangible, enduring qualities of public architecture, such as materiality and memory as a way of highlighting the impossibility and uncertainty of There is no/only public Architecture.

Using familiar techniques such as photography, model and film, public buildings are disassembled and fragmented to elicit on the one hand notions of scale, mass production and occupation, while on the other a rich material display that evokes the ephemeral and haptic qualities which lie firmly in the tradition of public buildings.

The exhibition hopes to reveal the uncertain nature of public buildings, in a contemporary practice setting where public projects are increasingly challenging, complex and time consuming to procure.

It is an invitation for students, the public and practitioners alike to understand the current situation, and to speculate on the future of public architecture.

The exhibition, while drawing on the work of Melbourne-based practice NH Architecture, it includes perspectives from key stakeholders and advisory bodies. The public buildings exhibited are situated in a context where public architecture has been decoupled from the public purse, and where media and technology have undeniably warped the conventions of publicness, such as is the case of a broadcast studio.

The exhibition uses contemporary public buildings of varying scale, programme, type and location, ranging from infrastructural (flytower) to tennis court, to establish the field of public architecture in this moment of time.

There is no/only public Architecture is open as part of Melbourne Design Week.

The exhibition assumes the collective version of the question, “Design the world that we want”, as it draws on varied industry, stakeholder, and user perspectives to constellate an understanding of the shared built environment and speculate on its future.

Dulux Gallery opening hours

Monday - Friday
10.00am - 4.00pm

The Dulux Gallery and Glyn Davis Building is wheelchair accessible. If you have any questions about your visit don't hesitate to email us at

The University is operating under Victoria's COVIDSafe Settings. All visitors to University of Melbourne campuses, including galleries, must be fully vaccinated (or have a valid exemption). Your vaccination information will be checked prior to entry. Find out more.

What's On

Keynote Public Lecture - Hamish Lyon on public architecture 

Tuesday, 15 March, 2022
Glyn Davis Building, University of Melbourne Parkville campus 
More info

Exhibition floor talks

11.30am, Tuesday 22 March, 2022
2.00pm, Saturday 26 March, 2022
Dulux Gallery, Glyn Davis Building, University of Melbourne Parkville campus
More info

Festival of Publicness

Saturday 26 March, 2022
In conversation: Hamish Lyon and Tiriki Onus 
Concrete Lawn, University of Melbourne Parkville campus
More info

Image: Liam Oxlade.

This event is part of Melbourne Design Week 2022, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

Major partner