MPavilion 2020 delivers optimism in response to year of challenge

Esther Anatolitis 'Grandstanding', 2017. Photo by Bec Capp for MPavilion

The program for Australia's leading architecture and design event, MPavilion 2020 has been launched.

Featuring a dynamic and optimistic spirit in response to the challenges of a year beset by the pandemic, this year sees a more significant investment in artists, performers, and collaborators.

Bringing together over 500 guests from across Australia and the world, MPavilion 2020 will feature special talks and events with esteemed international guests such as British design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn, London's Bompas & Parr, and Spanish architect and writer Andrés Jaque.

International guests (left to right): Bompas & Parr (London), Alice Rawsthorn (Britain), and Andrés Jaque (Spain).

The amplified new program—launching Thursday 12 November 2020 and running until Monday 5 April 2021—will occur entirely online in November, and then both online and in many physical locations from December onwards. The season comprises over 400 free events—including talks, workshops, performances, kid-friendly activities, and community projects and installations.

An expansive schedule of events and workshops will also be led by celebrated locals, including artist Atong Atem with Sabina McKenna, soprano and composer Deborah Cheetham AO, dance studio Chunky Move, photography festival PHOTO 2021, RMIT University, and many more.

MProjects—a series of special creations and residencies commissioned exclusively for MPavilion, include performances by local musicians for MERGE and for Walsh Street Music (recorded at Robin Boyd’s iconic South Yarra home, in partnership with Robin Boyd Foundation) and the First Nations Writers in Residence initiative. Other commissioned works include the M_Curators programming experience for emerging curators and the BLAKitecture series of talks and events on Indigenous architecture.

MERGE and upcycled uniforms by designer Chelsea Hickman.

MPavilion education guides for schools, upcycled staff uniforms by fashion designer Chelsea Hickman, physically-distanced stools for on-site events by interior designer and architect partners Holly Board and Peter Grove, an artistic / political / philosophical hair salon, and an inflatable work by globally celebrated leaders of sensory design experience, Bompas & Parr. Other highlights include collaborations with Bakehouse Studios, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne Music Week, and Open House Melbourne.

Each month of MPavilion 2020 is centred on a different theme. November's theme is Re-emerge: A Re-mix, December's is IRL: Exploring Social Space, January's is PRESERVATION: Propagating Knowledge, February's is 1+1: Who are we together?, and March's is SPACE: Experiments in Time.

The program will include workshops, performances and community projects. Pictured: Afrodance with Kwabo Grace (Photo: Ricky Manso)

The first event to start off the season is MMeets: MPavilion 2020 with the official launch happening on Thursday 12 November at, 6.30pm. In a series of dynamic and uplifting personal reflections and inter-video discussions, MPavilion founder Naomi Milgrom AC and a group of eminent guests officially launch MPavilion 2020. As well as sharing their own stories about what MPavilion means to them, each speaker will talk about MPavilion’s wider role as a cultural phenomenon, and explore the way its upcoming program is supporting creatives and reviving art and design in a time of pandemic.

Delivering a varied, exciting list of events, view MPavilion 2020's program with both online and live (in-person) events, be sure to check out their website for more info on programs!


Dates: 12 Nov 2020 - 21 Mar 2021

Location: Online and multiple locations from December onwards

Cost: Free

MP Pavilion Website