2018 Wrap Up

The Place Agency germinated and grew over 2018.

Supported by the Myer Foundation, a consortium of University partners came together to provide education pathways for best practice placemaking.

The Richmond Studio undertook to unite a diverse communities through the creation of inclusive public spaces.

Sandbox Studio: Inclusive Public Spaces, Richmond

The desire for participatory design processes and community-led approaches to urban renewal are increasing but were largely unsupported by education and evaluation research. With a multitude of Universities on board, Sandbox Studios occurred from Bayswater (WA) to Hindmarsh (SA) and Ballarat (Vic). Place based projects allowed students and community champions to co-create the studio brief and undertake hands on community engagement to discover the inherent potential of that place and that community.

Regenerating Sustainability


Pilot projects facilitated the design of studio curriculum, which was developed leveraging the knowledge of various practitioner partners with years of experience in the field.

We completed 7 studios in 2018; celebrated numerous community engagement workshops and council presentation events; and were able to engage with community members and stakeholder groups through our various platforms including our events and social media.

2018 Project Snapshots:

University Studio Description
UoM Ballarat Regional Multicultural Hub

Semester 1

A historic landmark in Ballarat became the focus of a multicultural reawakening and explored the notion of placemaking over time and the necessary evolution of the public realm and a communities cultural expression.
UoM Newport Studio

Semester 1

The Newport Studio brought together practitioners, the local traders association, community and council to reimagine an underutilised public space
UoM Inclusive Public Spaces

Semester 2

The Richmond Studio undertook to unite a diverse communities through the creation of inclusive public spaces.
UoM Springvale Laneways

Semester 2

Informed by multimodal mapping of three underutilised laneways in Springvale, 12 master of urban planning students designed, developed and implemented one-day tactical placemaking interventions to reimagine the demographically complex public realm in the most culturally diverse city in Australia, the City of Greater Dandenong.

Number of student participants: 12 students

Number of events: 2 Events

(1) One day intervention on site

(2) Presentation to City of Greater Dandenong Council

Number of people engaged:

Event 1: 60 community members

Event 2: 15 council members  

UoM Performing Landscapes

Semester 2

The delight of the natural world was unleashed in the splendid Ballarat Botanical Gardens where students designed an event space that celebrates the Gardens as a multi-layered socio-ecological community.
Curtin Designing for Environmental Education at Baldivis Children’s Forest

Semester 2

This project centres around ideas of community, school-aged children, and environmental education. The aim for the project was to create a culture and art hub that could also act as a steward ensuring the future conservation of surrounding Bushlands.
UoA From Crawford Lane to Crawford Place

Semester 2

Charles Sturt City Council worked with University of Adelaide students to critique their previous community engagement processes and use the results to develop and present to the community a range of design concepts to improve the Crawford laneway.

Number of student participants: 29

Number of events: 2

Number of people engaged: 100+

Ballarat Regional Multicultural Hub:

Join us:

We are looking at opportunities to ensure the ongoing viability of these studios after our funding from The Myer Foundation ends.  If you are from the councils, a property developers or local community group and would like to have a sandbox studio in your area please submit an expression of interest on our website.

Next steps:

  • We are excitedly finalising each of the modules and determining the most appropriate ways to integrate them into the current subjects at each partner university.
  • Our subject will be supported by a placemaking textbook to be published by Palgrave at the end of 2019.
  • We are also looking at opening the single cohesive subject beyond the University of Melbourne as an online course.


Link to our annual report.


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