Finalist 2020

MPavilion: Encounters with Design and Architecture

Studio Ongarato / Thames & Hudson AU

A beautiful celebration of MPavilion’s journey to becoming a model for the promotion of architecture and design in Melbourne.

MPavilion is an architectural commission created by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, which annually engages a leading architect to design a pavilion for Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens. This then becomes an innovative civic space for the community to enjoy a diverse cultural program driven by artists, designers, thinkers and cultural institutions.

Studio Ongarato, the original creators of MPavilion’s identity and graphic language, document the six iterations of the MPavilion project in a book, MPavilion: Encounters with Design and Architecture. The book is a beautiful celebration of MPavilion’s journey to becoming a model for the promotion of architecture and design in Melbourne.

Design Excellence

Published by Thames & Hudson, MPavilion: Encounters with Design and Architecture is designed as a detailed monograph, collating each commissioned architect’s designs and essays, alongside contributions from  MPavilion collaborators.

The publication draws on the MPavilion brand identity, typeface and language with the signature MPavilion coral colour, which is a unifying motif across the fore-edge of the book and throughout. A very layered book, with many parts, the simple cover contrasts with the rich and diverse contents, mirroring the ‘container of ideas’ concept of the project and identity.

Design Impact

Inspired by the Foundation’s catalytic philanthropic model, often described as ‘collective creativity,’ the MPavilion identity has significantly captured the far-reaching effects of collaboration and audience engagement (collectively to date 6+ visionary architects, 2,000+ partners and collaborators, 18,000+ students, and 630,000+ visitors).

The MPavilion: Encounters with Design and Architecture is a repository of the many narratives and interventions which have enabled MPavilion’s mission: to foster discussion about the role of design in creating liveable, sustainable and equitable cities. Additionally artist Simon Terrill, movingly captures the ‘second life’ of the pavilions, once they are donated to the City of Melbourne at the end of each season, in his photographic essay within the book.

Design Transformation

On reviewing MPavilion: Encounters with Design and Architecture, Wallpaper* commented on the necessary reference the book makes to MPavilion’s “contribution to urban health”, while Icon Magazine said that the vibrant publication “unifies the community and reflects on the much needed broader conversation about design today”.

As we look ahead to a post-Covid world, the MPavilion identity will continue to re-connect people locally and globally in a more meaningful way, and play an important role in continuing to inspire cultural and social connections, as reflected in the book MPavilion: Encounters with Design and Architecture.

Design Innovation

Reflecting the community and design influence of the project, it was important that MPavilion: Encounters with Design & Architecture be about more than just the architecture and architects. There was a sentiment of ‘for people, by people’, and therefore it needed to capture the far-reaching effects of collaboration across the programming over the years, along with the diverse audiences that the MPavilions have attracted. The book is an elegant, contemporary commemoration of this, reflecting the many contributions and ‘encounters’ that have made MPavilion such an important and necessary part of Melbourne’s cultural calendar.

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