Researching the power of temporary spaces for placemaking

Pop-up placemaking: temporary festivals for lasting connection

A team of researchers from across Melbourne are undertaking a series of studies to understand whether a temporary festival space can successfully transfer knowledge and evoke a sense of ‘place’, and they need your help.

What draws us to a place? What keeps us there? And why do we remember the places we have loved? We, a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Melbourne and RMIT, are trying to unpack some of these questions in a study of temporary placemaking.

Places are spaces that hold meaning to people because they are somewhere people value and enjoy spending time in. Think about your local park, or your favourite restaurant as examples. You are connected to those places because they mean something to you. Placemakers aim to create spaces where people can develop a long-term emotional attachment.

The Living Pavilion festival is a temporary placemaking project co-produced by the THRIVE Hub (Melbourne School of Design), Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub (CAUL) of the National Environmental Science Program and The New Student Precinct. The festival will be held at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville Campus on May 1 – May 17 2019 as part of CLIMARTE’s ‘ART+CLIMATE+CHANGE 2019’ Festival (April 23 – May 19 2019).

While The Living Pavilion is primarily a festival celebrating the site’s cultural and ecological stories, it is also a research project. We ask ourselves; can a temporary event space meaningfully evoke a sense of place?

To answer this question, we drew upon the preliminary results of the Rating Place project and combined this with the place-specific values for The Living Pavilion, as identified by key project partners and community members during the Creative Development Workshop. The method is informed by a series of sub projects that will capture the essence of placemaking during the festival.

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Our Research Sub Projects

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'.


Activities conducted by the consortium as part of this project are funded by The Myer Foundation.

The Myer Foundation