The Cobbler, The Architect, & The Planner: Shoe Emporium

The Cobbler's Store

Green Room
Lower Basement (B2)
Glyn Davis Building
Melbourne School of Design
University of Melbourne

More Information

Rees Quilford

  • Exhibition

November 22, 2019. p. 3

On Thursday last, distinguished ladies and gentleman, on their way to the theatre, were accosted by one man and were beguiled of their cherished time.

The assailant is an unskilled drudge, armed with an uncouth disposition. The party, after being robbed, very wisely gave a very clear description of the man; but the thief has hitherto avoided custody.

We are informed that the assailant regularly frequents nearby taprooms. The fact is, there are so many sly grog shops, called in slang terms "speakeasy's" in this part, which are receptacles for thieves, bushrangers, and stolen property, that unless they are immediately put down by the local authorities it will be impossible to work in the neighbourhood; indolence too, has of late been very prevalent in this quarter.

About the exhibition: a weird and wonderful BE—150 retrospective

Curated by Rees Quilford and programmed as part of the University of Melbourne’s BE—150 program, this exhibition undertakes an unusual investigation into the overlooked and influential. Embracing the unusual and unconventional, it showcases artifacts that both represent and have informed the evolution of built environment disciplines at the University.

Featuring a speakeasy whiskey bar, found objects, artifacts, archival material and multimedia displays this exhibition is a survey of the eclectic and eccentric history of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning – its people, its forgotten relics, and some of its secrets.

A vast array of curios – architecturally instigated cowboy boots, Glaswegian smoking jackets, through to the University’s most expensive paperweight – provide an opaque yet evocative new lens through which to view the history of one of the University of Melbourne’s most well-known and well-established disciplines.

Exhibition photos

The Cobbler, The Architect, & The Planner: Shoe Emporium
The Cobbler, The Architect, & The Planner: Shoe Emporium exhibition.

Cowboy Boots
Texan cowboy boots (used) which, rumour has it, were worn to provide inspiration for the design of Federation Square.

Eileen Good
Exhibition display including a signed memorial plaque gifted to the School's first female graduate Eileen Good (1957).

Brian Lewis
Exhibition display including former Architecture Building signage and a self-portrait by former Dean, Brian Lewis  (date unknown).

Exhibition with people
Guests discussing and viewing the exhibition.

Julie Willis
Faculty Dean, Professor Julie Willis, inspects a 2003 photograph of herself.

The Cobbler.
Rees Quilford as the Cobbler, fronts the exhibition's speakeasy.


BE–150 Celebrating 150 Years of Built Environment Education at The University of Melbourne

Presented by the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, this exhibition is part of the BE–150: celebrating built environments education at the University of Melbourne 2019 program.

msdx 2019 logo

This pop-up exhibition featured on the Opening Night Program of the 2019 MSDx End of Year Show.