Melbourne Design Week 2024: Learning Ecologies at North Melbourne Primary School

On the occasion of both Melbourne Design Week and National Reconciliation Week, ARM Architecture was proud to host a panel discussion and tour at the North Melbourne Primary School Molesworth Street Campus. This event explored the intersection of design and reconciliation in educational environments.

The discussion, titled “Learning Ecologies,” delved into the evolving research that shapes the design of contemporary learning environments. Key topics included the importance of creating connections to Country in primary school design, the use of narrative, colour, and pattern to establish a sense of place and identity, and the challenges of achieving a high-performance landscape with diverse play modes on a constrained urban site.

Panel members:

The design of North Melbourne Primary School Molesworth Street Campus is distinguished by its strong Connection to Country overlay. This approach informs the naming, wayfinding, and character of each of the five levels of the school. To ensure that this was done in a way that primary-school children could understand and value, ARM Architecture collaborated closely with N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM, a senior Boonwurrung Elder and Founder of the Boonwurrung Foundation. Aunty Carolyn shared her profound knowledge of Boonwurrung Country, language, and culture, enriching the project with a deeper understanding and connection to the land and each other for present and future generations.

A big thank you to our generous panel members, guests, and particularly North Melbourne Primary School for hosting this event. For those interested in learning more about this project, further details are available here.