The Future of the Suburbs Panel Discussion

Lecture Theatre 1 (B117), Glyn Davis Building (MSD), Masson Road, The University of Melbourne Parkville Campus

  • Event

Melbourne is the suburbs, and the suburbs are Melbourne.

And yet this vast expanse where most of us live and work is often overlooked by the architecture and design professions. Despite this, some individuals are actively working to change this. They rightfully question why less attention should be given to those living on the outskirts than to those residing in the city center.

This panel brings together designers who are pioneering the way forward in the suburbs:

  • Vivek Subramanian founder and CEO of SRL, a developer and manager of town centres and logistics hubs, has enlisted the services of world-renowned architects OMA to design their first Melbourne-based projects
  • Paul Jones, director of OMA’s Australian office in Brisbane, is the lead designer for the Sunbury South Town Centre and the Wollert Town Centre
  • Judy Bush, a senior lecturer in urban planning at the University of Melbourne
  • Jane Homewood, Executive Director Integrated Transport Policy, Precincts and innovation, Department of Transport and Planning.
  • Chaired by Rory Hyde, associate professor at the University of Melbourne, focused on the suburbs.

This session addresses key questions facing the design disciplines as they become increasingly involved in the suburbs. Should we acknowledge the suburbs for what they are or attempt to change them? What levers can we pull as designers, and can we have an impact, or do we need to operate at the level of state planning policy or infrastructure funding? What is the role of architects? How can we reinvent our practices to operate at scale, rather than only on individual houses? What is our vision for the future of the suburbs, and how can we bring it to fruition?

This event is part of Melbourne Design Week 2023, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.