March update

In the little time we've been apart, the Student Precinct Project Team has been busy preparing for a dynamic year ahead.

Co-creation update

Quantitative Survey

A big thank you to students who completed the Student Precinct survey in February. This survey, conducted by Nature Research, was designed to confirm the co-creation feedback gathered through the online Co-creation Community in 2016. Almost 900 students responded to questions about the facilities and amenities they would like to see in a new student-centred space at Parkville and to design concepts developed by the Co-creation Community.

A detailed  report outlining the results will be presented to the Steering Committee,  alongside a combined qualitative and quantitative report, in April. These  findings will then be used to inform the architectural design briefs for the  Project.

Conceptual design phase

We’re excited to be moving into the conceptual design phase  of the Project, with designs being informed by feedback, suggestions and data collated  via co-creation surveys, face-to-face consultations and student-led research  projects. The concept design phase involves the development of initial design  ideas by architects and will build on the aspirations of the urban design  framework. This phase is then followed by schematic design, where designers  further develop the concept, taking on board more functional and practical  considerations. We look forward to sharing these initial designs in the coming  months and seeking your feedback via varied channels to ensure the design of  the Precinct is aligned with the aspirations of our students.

Micro-climate research

Nestled amongst the foliage in the proposed Student Precinct site, micro-climate sensors are working hard to assess the temperature changes of this varied landscape.

Landscape Architecture PhD student, Wendy Walls, is using the Student Precinct as a testing ground to analyse the various micro-climates in the space. Wendy’s research investigates temperature behaviour in micro-climates and how designers can use this information to create external space for use all year round. The Student Precinct is an architecturally complex site exhibiting various solar, wind and material characteristics. The challenge for design is to address the multiple applications and intensive use by the University’s large student population in all seasons, which Wendy’s research is seeking to inform.  Additionally, Wendy’s research will provide some interesting data about the Parkville campus that we will be sharing with you in the months to come.

FUN FACT: These sensors were originally created to ensure food delivery trucks kept their cargo refrigerated. Brr!

Semester 2 Design Studios

Nine design studio and elective briefs, prepared chiefly for postgraduate Architecture students, are currently in development for Semester 2. The multidisciplinary briefs will ask students to develop hypothetical design solutions for real-world elements of the Student Precinct redevelopment. Design  solutions will inform the Precinct design, build and planning and provide  invaluable opportunities for students to contribute to this major  infrastructure project.

Out and About

Destination Melbourne

The Student Precinct Project Team was fortunate to be part of Destination Melbourne in February, a pre-orientation program for new students who have been accepted to the University of Melbourne (UoM). As part of the three-day program, the Team presented an overview of the Project, focusing on our co-creation work in 2016 and the opportunities available to students in 2017.  It was affirming for the team to hear feedback from the newest students at the University that they too value ‘connection’ as a core to their anticipated student experience – aligned to the sentiments shared by students during co-creation activities last year.

Orientation Week

The Graduate Welcome Fair,  presented by the Graduate Students  Association (GSA) was held during O Week with the  Student Precinct team joining in the festivities. This was a fantastic  opportunity to not only introduce students to the Project, but also to gain  valuable insights into their campus needs through our quantitative survey. We  were also fortunate to connect with new and returning students at the first University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) barbeque for the year, complemented by a vibrant backdrop of  bands, good food and cheer.

2017 EcoCity World Summit

We are delighted to be presenting on the development of the Student  Precinct at the 2017 EcoCity World Summit,  specifically on the Project’s approach to user-centred design and co-creation  within the theme of Culturally Vibrant Cities. Presented in Melbourne from 12-  14 July, the Summit’s focus, Changing Cities: Resilience and Transformations, seeks to highlight the need  for all cities to deploy expert knowledge – academic, professional, civic – to  make cities resilient in the face of rapid change. Former US  Vice President, Hon Al Gore, will be the Principal Speaker at the Summit, providing  insights on the role of cities in meeting the global climate challenge.

Activating the Student Precinct

An important feature of our work this year will be activating the Precinct space, to familiarise the student population with the Project, and providing students with a space to showcase their creativity, passions and research.

Outdoor Gallery

The unveiling of the first exhibition in the Student Precinct’s Outdoor Gallery will take place in May, celebrating student creativity in a student-centred space. The Outdoor Gallery will provide Parkville students with a permanent creative space that will reference the energy and activity of Melbourne’s creative laneway culture. The  Outdoor Gallery – located on the North Western corner of 747 – will open with an exhibition during National  Reconciliation Week from 29 May.

Fair Food UniCycle

Cruising onto campus Semester Two will be a mobile kitchen in the shape of the Fair Food UniCycle. The Fair Food UniCycle is a cargo-bike designed to make fair and sustainable on-campus catering and cooking easier, whilst also providing opportunities for food education, skills development and outreach programs for students and the broader community.

This kitchen on wheels will provide staff, students and student groups with opportunities to come together to cook, eat, share and connect through food while learning about the practice and principles of ‘fair-food’. As part of this initiative, PhD candidate and founder of the Fair Food Challenge, Sophie Lamond is collaborating with the University to develop fair-food principles and policies for the Student Precinct and the campus more broadly, in line with the University’s broader sustainability agenda.

Are you on the interwebs?

Our campus

Have you visited the Our Campus 21 (OC21) website? The OC21 site provides an opportunity to learn more about the significant development projects and conversations happening across University campuses, including our very own Student Precinct Project.

In addition to this, the Student Precinct Project will be launching a dedicated website in mid-April which will be your go-to site for event information, co-creation opportunities and interactive ways you can contribute to the design of this student-centre village.  Stay tuned!


…stay tuned for more news on our Student Precinct Engagement Office, we are on the move!

We are committed to sharing and involving as many students, staff and stakeholders with the Student Precinct Project as possible so drop us a line if you would like us to present at your next meeting, event or forum.