Open Day 2019

There was plently on show for big and little kids alike as the project team were thrilled to welcome prospective students to the Parkville campus with jumbo-zised boardgames, art installations and pumping tunes.

Students playing with giant lego bricks - Open Day 3

The project team, along with our amazing Student Ambassadors were at the NSP Mon-Pop site this Open Day to welcome people onto the campus and spread the word about the Precinct. The day was made even better with our newest café on campus, home.two, standing by with yummy, vegan, sustainable treats.

But the fun and games didn't stop there. The New Student Precinct Project has partnered with Dr. Ben Deery, Researcher at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, to present Play it Up, The Science of Play. Dr. Deery implemented a series of jumbo-sized board games, and commissioned creative arts group 'Box Wars' to create a series of sculptures out of cardboard to add to the fun, including a cardboard replica of the University of Melbourne symbol, the goddess of victory Nike. We were thrilled to see prospective students connecting with one and other through play and are very excited for the future of Dr. Deery's research.

Students were also invited to a presentation by James Wilson, Director of Lyons Architecture, to get a closer look at the detailed design of the Precinct. The presentation took place in the Dulux Gallery, Melbourne School of Design, were students were able to take part in the Precinct's Furniture Exhibition.

Student infront of sculpture - open day no.2

About 'Play it Up'

The ‘Play it Up’ – Science of Play project designed by University of Melbourne is all about getting kids and adults (aka ‘big kids’) up and playing again using the magic of giant boardgames. They believe that by bringing playfulness back into public spaces and people’s everyday lives it can help reduce anxiety, stress, and loneliness, while increasing positive connections with others, improve learning skills and problem-solving, and just bring back some plain old fun. The pop-up play activations also want to raise community awareness that play is not wasted time or frivolous, and that the more we play, the stronger our brain architecture gets – all the way from nurseries to nursing homes

Dr Ben Deery is currently leading this collaboration between the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, the New Student Precinct Project, Melbourne School of Design, Museums Victoria, the Royal Children’s Hospital and MCRI. This project involves installing specially selected and fabricated giant boardgames and play props in various public spaces, such as hospitals, museums, and education institutions, in order to promote inter-generational and adult fun and games.

Students at Open Day - no. 1

Ben is an early-mid career researcher and lecturer in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE), University of Melbourne. He has uniquely worked as both a paediatric Clinical Neuropsychologist and as an early years Kindergarten Teacher, before moving into his current research and lecturing role at the University. Ben has written a mindfulness intervention for young children, called Minds@Play, which is currently being used in a 2019-2021 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project led by the University of Melbourne, in collaboration with Deakin University and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI).

As a part of the program, the Mon-Pop site was activated with jumbo boardgames. Dr. Deery’s research project seeks to enhance student wellbeing through encouraging informal social interactions and playful engagement with place.

an image of a red, cartoon pencil drawing a straight line

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Precinct team.