FreeState is delighted to be participating in this year’s Melbourne Design Week. In response to the theme ‘Design The World You Want’, we are exploring the question ‘Can the suburbs save the city?’. Join us for a lively debate between Team Cities and Team Suburbs, hosted by FreeState, and joined by a panel of radical thinking brand-builders, city-makers and high-street shapers. It’s a topic that impacts us all, so come and be provoked, challenged and be a part of the solution.
Not unlike a virtual virus, COVID has exposed our urban vulnerabilities too. Cities provide the working, living and leisure environment for the majority of the population and with this comes extreme pressures and challenges, but our reliance on the city-driven economy is a model that could be questioned. Is it outdated?
What have the suburbs taught us about better community-making in the times of COVID? Could the commerce-serving model of our cities be better inspired by the society-serving model of the suburbs? Conversely, what do we love about convening en-mass in cities that could bring more activation and intimacy into our suburbs?
Featuring radical thinkers
Dr Oliver Vodeb
Oliver is an extradisciplinary designer, pirate researcher and educator. He is an academic at the RMIT School of Design in Melbourne, and is teaching in the Master of Communication Design. Oliver has designed and directed dozens of public communication campaigns/interventions and is the principal curator of the Memefest festival for Radical Design + Communication and facilitator of the Memefest international network.
Kate is a fine artist, an urban designer and a co-founder of Hello City, a big-picture agency that thinks up new strategies and solutions for cities, precincts, public places and everyday spaces. Recently with Hello City, Kate has worked with Darebin City Council to develop an identity project for the northern Melbourne suburb of Reservoir, uncovering what it feels like, looks like and means to be a local.
Stephanie is currently Service Design Lead at City of Melbourne where everyday she uses the design process to solve problems. Design Thinking and human-centred problem solving are the foundations of Stephanie’s work, but she also believes business acumen is critical to successful design and strategic outcomes.
Ernez is the General Manager at Paper Giant, and an experienced design leader. Over the course of his career, Ernez has led large-scale digital strategy and transformation programs across the public, private and social sectors. Ernez has a deep understanding of these sectors and is passionate about helping clients experiment with new ways of working to generate new types of value.
Nathan Bell, FreeState
Chief Provoker and MC
Nathan is the Regional Director for FreeState – a global network of experience designers and part of the Hassell family. He’s a firm believer in the power of experience design to elevate design outcomes for people, places and brands – creating richer, more meaningful experiences for organisations – but most importantly, for real people.