Action-based learning: The Living Pavilion as a case study for creative placemaking as a pedagogical opportunity

This research project forms part of a series of subprojects associated with The Living Pavilion, a temporary festival that aims to illuminate Indigenous and ecological knowledge of past and present, foster collaboration across disciplines, and share and celebrate the uniqueness and potential of ‘place’.

Research team

Rachel Iampolski

Project objective

The aim of this project is to consider, and evaluate the success of The Living Pavilion as an alternative form of ecological and Indigenous knowledge transfer, and a space for action-based learning. The research aims to understand how, and to what degree of success, audience interaction with the wider TLP site, and participation in the programmed events facilitated a form of unique learning and a communication of the pavilions key aims. In doing so, this research should help highlight the benefit of, and need for, alternative ways to teach and raise awareness of ecological and Indigenous issues and knowledge.

Key research questions

  • how can interaction with The Living Pavilion site and programmed events foster greater awareness of, and engagement with the pavilions key knowledge themes (ecological/environmental, Indigenous, urban)?
  • how successful was The Living Pavilion (both as a site and a programmed festival) in conveying these key knowledge areas (and did audiences walk away having understood this, and having learnt something knew)?


This research will build on other examples of ‘living labs’ – real-life places and sites that facilitate the coming together of different people, communities and stakeholders to work together to co-design solutions and transfer knowledge around key issues facing society. The living pavilion is considered within this living labs model and builds on the lessons learned from other place-making examples and case studies which have facilitated site and action-based learning and knowledge transfer.

Why is this research important?

This research has the potential to highlight the need for and benefits of alternative models of learning and knowledge transfer, that can exist outside of and complimentary too the existing, more traditional models of learning and teaching. It should allow us to gain insights in the ways that people can learn through site/place-making and through doing, which can then be hopefully implemented into strategies and policies around how we teach and communicate information (around environmental, Indigenous, urban issues, and beyond) within the public sphere, in a way that is more hands-on and explorative.