A gathering of Victorian Local Government designers was held at the City of Manningham in April, with lunch and a panel of stimulating guest speakers – and networking drinks at the end of a very interesting afternoon. The highlight of the afternoon was a presentation by Jim Sinatra of Sinatra Murphy on a recent project in Noble Park Shopping Centre in the City of Greater Dandenong. Jim presented a beautifully illustrated talk on the community consultation and design process for a multi cultural neighbourhood which he dubbed a “cultural mosaic”.
It was decided by those in attendance to formalise the group so as to ensure its continuance, and to better facilitate a more concentrated and united impact on public design and design in public places in Victoria. It was a diverse group of architects, landscape architects, urban designers and other design professionals, with almost 80 professionals in attendance.
The next step, initiated by Felix Hemmingway of the City of Geelong, was to encourage people to nominate themselves or another person for a committee whose first task will be to develop a charter for the group for adoption at the next gathering. The City of Knox has already shown a strong interest in holding this meeting. The committee will comprise of six people and it is hoped that the committee regularly changes membership so that new people and new thinking is encouraged. This group is important not only as a collection of a vast array of skills and experience but also for individual practitioners at ‘the coal face” of delivering good design locally. It will hopefully grow into a network which can help push the broader agenda of better more integrated design outcomes.