words@bld50 monthly talks


Building Democratic Cities

Architects for Peace 15 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Saturday 6th October 2018
The Red Stair Amphitheatre @ Queensbridge Square
10.30am - 4.30pm


Nicole Mechkaroff
Pauline Ng
Yang Bai
Lorenza Lazzati

Graphic Design:
Farah Rozhan


On 6th October 2018, Architects for Peace celebrated its 15th anniversary by hosting 'Building Democratic Cities' at the Queensbridge Square.

This day-long event provided us the opportunity to collaborate with other urban activists and practitioners and venture into the public space to meet and engage with the general public and built environment community. The free-to-public activities responded to the theme of Democratic Cities and we were privileged to be joined by other practices and experts who together offered a range of interactive activities throughout the day.

Munir Vahanvati from Giant Grass shared his vast knowledge on bamboo constructions and facilitated a bamboo installation.  With Munir’s guidance, the public was invited to freely contribute to the installation with AFP volunteers using the bamboo poles harvested by our volunteers during a fascinating trip arranged by Munir. Many people participated in this transforming sculpture.

Public Assembly's colourful van also attracted attention from people of all ages. Inside the specially fitted van, Lynda Roberts held thoughtful and creative conversations with visitors.  Outside, Ceri Hann encouraged everyone to add their creative strokes on the pavement using simply water and sponged sticks.

As an extension to our public talks and campaign against the Apple Store at the Federation Square, Tania Davidge and Shelley Freeman hosted a walking tour between Queensbridge Square and Federation Square.

Tania and Munir later joined Tanja Beer and Andrea Cooke as speakers at the public discussions. Each speaker provided lively and informative presentations on their projects designed to empower communities or to promote democratic discussions. This took place inside our display marquee, with an exhibition of posters curated by Nicole Mecharoff and Farah Rozhan from AFP which showcased the works of AFP, each of our participants mentioned above, as well as Visionary Design Development and STREAT.

To further encourage active public participations, volunteer Lara Brown led community rope jumps which was popular with with people of all ages and abilities.

Many volunteers dedicated countless hours to this successful event but special thanks must be given to Pauline, Nicole, Yang and Lorenza. 

- Pauline Ng, Architects for Peace volunteer


The Architects for Peace team would like to thank everyone who dropped by and supported Building Democratic Cities on October 6th. There were many familiar and new faces, curious of the playful and thought-provoking activities at the Red Stair Amphitheatre.

On the day there were opportunities to have creative discussions, connect with others and play games, skip, tour the city with someone you have never met, learn about another building tradition and laugh with friends.

We hope these experiences sparked new feelings of enjoyment, relaxation and inner peace!

- Nicole Mechkaroff, Architects for Peace volunteer


Photo Journal

Queensbridge Square, Melbourne

activities at Queensbridge Square

bamboo ties

Munir and Mittul Vahanvati teaching the team and curious public about lashing techniques

anniversary exhibition

community rope jump

community rope jump

"Party Lines" by Lynda Roberts and Ceri Hann

"Party Lines" by Lynda Roberts and Ceri Hann

public talks with Tanja Beer, Andrea Cook, Tania Davidge and Munir Vahanvati

public talks with Tanja Beer, Andrea Cook, Tania Davidge and Munir Vahanvati

Lorenza and Ran at the welcome pavilion!

lashing and tying

City tour with Shelley Freeman and Tania Davidge

City tour with Shelley Freeman and Tania Davidge

City mappings from Visionary Design Development and STREAT Melbourne

water games with Ceri Hann

Image credits
Farah Rozhan
Yang Bai
Pauline Ng
Nicole Mechkaroff
Saumya Kaushik
Bahar Zamani



"As architects, planners, urban designers, engineers, artists, landscape architects and citizens we all have the capacity and the responsibility to be agents of change for an equitable and environmentally sustainable society based on social justice, solidarity, respect and peace."

From the team at Architects for Peace



Event preparations are underway!

There are a few spots available for the city walking tour with Citizens for Melbourne (11.30am - 1.00pm)

Register on Eventbrite here: 




"I see my role as one that facilitates re-connection and spurs contribution by creating moments of 'wonder', of 'awe-inspiring beauty' and potential' that reunites us with the natural world."
- Tanja Beer

Tanja will present for the public talk sessions between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.



"The street is our most immediate place of encounter and surprise, a place where complete strangers can share an experience and become neighbours, collaborators and friends"
- Andrea Cook

Andrea will present during the public talk sessions between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.



"200 hands is a democratic art project that will explore how people from different backgrounds come together to build something following simple rules"
- Munir and Mittul from Giant Grass

Munir and Mittul will teach public participants about bamboo lashing and tying techniques and make a bamboo sculpture as part of this event.



Event Program: 10.15am - 10.30am

Welcome and opening ALL DAY:
bamboo sculpture and community building workshop with Giant Grass ALL DAY
Interactive arts laboratories with Public Assembly ALL DAY
Community rope jumping activity with Architects for Peace ALL DAY
Exhibition - including Visionary Design Development and STREAT Melbourne 11.30am-1.00pm
City walking tour with Citizens for Melbourne Reserve your spot on eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/building-democratic-cities-city-tour-tickets-50720327866 1.30pm - 3.30pm
Public talk sessions with Tanja Beer, Andrea Cook, Munir Vahanvatni and Citizens for Melbourne



"Public space is the space in which democracy plays out - it is for all people"
- Tania and Shelley from Citizens for Melbourne

Tania and Shelley will run a city tour on the event day leaving from the Red Stair Amphitheatre at 11.30am and ending at Federation Square. Reservations are essential - please follow the link to Eventbrite:




"Democracy is not consensus but the process of re-articulating difference through ongoing dialogue and sustained action"
- Lynda and Ceri from Public Assembly

Lynda and Ceri will run a number of interactive arts activities and laboratories as part of this event.



BUILDING DEMOCRATIC CITIES is a day long event marking the 15 year Anniversary of Architects for Peace. It aims to explore the ways in which we all - as citizens and builders of cities, heritage and history - can come together and exercise a collective power to reshape processes for sustainable urbanisation, one based upon solidarity, respect and peace.

On the 6th October 2018 we invite all members of public, as well as, architects, planners, urban designers, landscape architects, engineers, environmentalists and artists to join us at the Red Stair Amphitheatre at Queensbridge Square, Melbourne, for a day of celebration, conversation and collaboration.

We would like to express our most sincere thanks to our sponsors: FytoGreen, Genton, Architectus, and Dimase Architects, as well as, our supporters: Cast RMIT and Giant Grass for making this event possible.

Saturday 6th October 2018
"Red Stair Amphitheatre" at Queensbridge Square
10am - 4.30pm

Free public activities, talks and exhibitions will include:
Exhibition and community rope jumping activity with Architects for Peace
Interactive public art activities with Public Assembly
Bamboo sculpture with Giant Grass
City tour with Citizens for Melbourne
Public talk with Tanja Beer
Public talk with Andrea Cook
Exhibition - city map by Visionary Design Development
Exhibition - city map by Streat Melbourne

Hope to see you there!

From the team at Architects for Peace.

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