Illumination: data, knowledge and design

Following months as the world’s most locked-down city,’ the people of Melbourne began to re-emerge into the Australian summer, celebrating the city and season with a series of events across the city.

Our friends at Place Intelligence marked the occasion by presenting Illuminating Conversations’- an event at Australia’s leading architecture commission MPavilion to explore the role of data in cities, in public institutions and how its role has changed with COVID-19 and the climate emergency.

We’re excited to share an illuminating conversation that drew together some of the city’s brightest minds (pun intended) to explore the role of data, knowledge and design in creating and amplifying access to the ideas moving around the city. 

Listen to event makers, lighting and interaction designers, architects and more as they explore the role of design in illuminating and engaging people in public institutions.


Special: Illuminating Conversations’ at MPavilion


Steve Coster, Hassell Managing Director 2017-2022


Su Lim, Global Managing Director of FreeState
Hannah Fox, Co-Artistic Director & CEO of Rising
Tim Hunt, Melbourne Lighting Leader, Arup
Ross Harding, Principal at Finding Infinity
Bonnie Shaw & Norion Ubechel, Place Intelligence
Marion Terrill, Transport & Cities Program Director
Sarah McArthur, Head of Innovation Practice, CityLab
Niels Wouters, Senior Design Researcher, Paper Giant
Bree Trevena, Arup Research Lead & Urban Strategist
Tom Bentley, Executive Director of Policy & Impact, RMIT
Eugenia Lim, Artist
Rory Hyde, Associate Professor of Architecture, at University of Melbourne


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It’s about creating visceral and physical experiences… that make us stop in our tracks, bring us to the present… so that we become open to new ideas.”

Su Lim Global Managing Director of FreeState


In the first of a three-part series, urban data experts discuss how new forms of city data make hidden patterns visible and public, illuminating access to knowledge, and how our knowledge institutions are responsible for the ways that ideas move and spread through a city.

In the player below you’ll hear from Co-Founders of Place Intelligence Bonnie Shaw and Norion Ubechel, Transport and Cities Program Director Marion Terrill; Head of Innovation Practice at CityLab Sarah McArthur and Senior Design Researcher at Paper Giant, Niels Wouters.

MPavilion · MTalks—Illumination: Data, Knowledge, & Design Part Three


Cultural and knowledge sector leaders shine a light on the role of their institutions in providing public access to knowledge and illuminating new ideas, and how this role is changing with COVID and the climate emergency.

Hear from Arup Research Lead and Urban Strategist Bree Trevena, Executive Director of Policy and Impact at RMIT, Tom Bentley; Artist Eugenia Lim; Associate Professor of Architecture (curatorial design and practice) at University of Melbourne, Rory Hyde

MPavilion · MTalks—Illumination: Data, Knowledge, & Design Part Two


Leading architects, lighting and interaction designers explore the role of design in illuminating and engaging people in these important public institutions.

Hear from Global Managing Director of FreeState, Su Lim, Artist, Curator and Co-Artistic Director & CEO of Rising, Hannah Fox; Melbourne Lighting Leader at Arup, Tim Hunt and Principal at Finding Infinity, Ross Harding.

MPavilion · MTalks—Illumination: Data, Knowledge, & Design Part One

The Illumination: data, knowledge and design’ event was part of the MTalks series at MPavilion 2021. You can listen to more of the fantastic recordings and podcasts from MTalks in their program library.

MPavilion is an ongoing initiative of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation. Each year since 2014, the Foundation has commissioned an outstanding architect to design a pavilion for the Queen Victoria Gardens, in the centre of Melbourne’s Southbank Arts Precinct. MPavilion is a cultural laboratory where the community can come together to engage and share.