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By Sarah Ward
June 07, 2020
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MPavilion 2020

Instead of building something new, the event is reactivating its previous six eye-catching structures.
By Sarah Ward
June 07, 2020
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Each year since 2014, Melbourne's Queen Victoria Gardens has scored an impressive new addition, all thanks to MPavilion. When the end of each year rolls around, a new, specially commissioned temporary structure pops up to host a summer-long festival of free events — with the pavilion itself designed by a top architect, and the accompanying community-focused cultural program covering talks, workshops, performances and installations that highlight design as well.

In 2020, however, something different is happening. Yes, that's an easy way to sum up this strange and chaotic year in general; however, for MPavilion, it means that a new structure won't be commissioned. Instead, in a decision made in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will activate the six pavilions from previous years rather than build something new.

Accordingly, if you loved 2019's white lantern-like piece by Glenn Murcutt, you'll get to see it again. The same applies to 2018's floating geometric building from Spanish architect Carme Pinós, 2017's inside-outside contemporary take on the ancient amphitheatre by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten, and 2016's huge bamboo structure from Indian architect Bijoy Jain as well. And, Amanda Levete's forest-esque 2015 piece and Sean Godsell's 2014 creation will also be part of the fun, which'll be spread around different locations across the city.

Rory Gardiner

Expect to find the six MPavilions around town from Thursday, November 12, 2020–Sunday, March 21, 2021, all as part of a program that'll contemplate sustainability and architectural reuse. The events lineup is being announced in stages, but it focuses on supporting emerging creatives and designers. Each month will highlight a different theme, too, with celebrating the power of community on the agenda in November, exploring both physical and virtual social spaces in December's spotlight, and preserving and propagating knowledge getting attention in January. February will highlight relationships of all kinds, while March will wrap things up with a month of temporal experimentation.

Among the already-revealed highlights: a chat with British design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn about design in the time of COVID-19, livestreamed music from different spots around the city, weekly dance classes, morning yoga sessions and an online library curated by various guests. Chunky Move will also undertake a residency at MPavilion Monash, MPavilion Docklands will be transformed into an operating hair salon and London's Bombas & Parr will create an inflatable design work, called Happiness Now, that's meant to evoke that very emotion.

Top images: Simon Terrill; Buckingham jelly by Ann Charlott Ommedal.

Updated October 13.

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