Page 1

N3 o




Where the walls of Melbourne’s infamously deplored

The campaign performs as a representation of

public train system were once littered with scrawled

the psychological dimension in which personal

vandalisms or, in more recent years, advertising

and collective relationships engage, instead of

space warning commuters about the supposed

simply encompassing the purely geographical

‘karma’ of fare evasion, decal stickers of poetry from

and environmental dimensions of shared common

professional and novice poets are affixed on over

ground. The poems beckon strangers to share into

forty trains travelling daily throughout the City Loop

the private lives of the people of Melbourne, to

and extending lines. Initiated in 2005, the ‘Moving

experience not only the city, but to feel its pulse

Melbourne Through Art’ campaign publishes verses

and understand it with all of their senses, collectively

from a distinctly humorous Australian perspective

defining an inclusive city. As in the example of

of rooku poetry, personifying Melbourne’s cultural

Phillips’ case (1989), it provides a viewpoint of

identity and engaging a diverse audience in the

design operating on a complex interdependent

intimate narratives of its social relations.

level as an exploration of local, social and cultural concepts that create dialogue within individuals

As the 5pm shuffle of tired feet cram into the

and communities and blurs the boundaries

overcrowded trains to return to the urban sprawl,

between private and public domains.

distractions of muffled music from iPods, the shuffling of the pages of the MX or vacant stares

Within this shared realm, people move in, out and

out windows of rushed scenery busy the weary

around the city, exploring not only the physicality of

commuters dreaming of home. In this common

the urban environment, but the personal narratives

space of public domain, interaction is extraordinary,

of those who inhabit it, telling the intimate stories

with tight-lipped smiles and averting eyes creating

of individual lives and establishing an integrated

an environment apt for personal reflection and

relationship between the individual and the city.

private thoughts. In the ‘Moving Melbourne Through Art’ campaign, like the cases evidenced

Design has filtered into the culture of Melbourne and

by Sharp, Pollock and Paddison (2005), physical

firmly embedded itself into its artefacts, forming part

spheres and localities are blurred and attempt to

of the landscape, culture and identity of the city.

provide a sense of collective identity and ownership

Through the diversely influenced architecture such

for the city and its social relations, challenging the

as Her Majesty’s Theatre, the Museum of Chinese

idea of design and its aestheticisation purposes.

Australian History and protected sites of artistic expression such as Union Lane, we recognise the

The campaign represents the quintessential culture

cultural value and heritage of our city’s celebrated

of Melbourne, but is expressed intimately and

multiculturalism. As expressed by Wilson, design is

independently, avoiding the cultural domination of

about ‘creating an environment that people want to

identities commonly falsified by tourism and popular

be in, stimulating people creatively and intellectually,

culture. These personal narratives are designed to

providing new experiences and generally improving

activate and stimulate commuters’ daily travel in,

the liveability of the city as a whole’.

out and throughout the city of Melbourne, much as

(Wilson, 2009, p.2)

the eclectic architecture of Her Majesty’s Theatre and the Museum of Chinese Australian History and the graffiti of Union Lane does from an aesthetic perspective. As Sharp (2007) points out, ‘success in this context is getting a response, whether this is active involvement or just rethinking where you live, your neighbours and the community’. (Sharp, 2007, p. 288)

Daniel Bowen January 7, 2010

REFERENCES Phillips, P 1989, ‘Out of Order: The Public Art Machine’, the City Cultures Reader, Ed. M.Miles, T.Hall & I.Borden, Second edn, Routledge, New York, pp. 190 – 196. Sharp, J & Pollock, V & Paddison, R 2005, ‘Just art for just a city: Public art and social inclusion in urban regeneration’, Urban Studies, Vol. 42, Nos 5/6, pp. 1001 - 1023. Sharp, J 2007, ‘The life and death of five spaces: public art and community regeneration in Glasgow’, Cultural Geographies, Vol. 14, No 2, pp. 274 – 292. Wilson, M 2009, Melbourne: Design City?, course notes from Communication and Social Relations (COMM2411), RMIT University, Melbourne, viewed 22nd May 2010, RMIT University Learning Hub.

ARTEFACT 2 – HER MAJESTY’S THEATRE Bethany Manning (s3285392)

Since its creation in 1886, Her Majesty’s Theatre

Her Majesty’s Theatre has an interesting and unique

has stood tall and proud at its home on Exhibition

heritage; the designer, Nahum Barnet, was inspired

Street in Melbourne. With its central and accessible

by European designs from England and France

inner-city location, the theatre has proven itself to

at the time, so created this building which forms

be the ideal host for numerous world renowned

a marriage between the classic English style and

shows such as ‘Mamma Mia’ and ‘Mary Poppins’,

contemporary French design. The Victorian House

(Her Majesty’s Theatre 2009, History section)

discusses the ways that renaissance buildings

inviting tourists to come and watch whichever show

were typically designed and why decisions

is currently in season. The building itself is listed on

regarding different elements of this style have been

the Victorian Heritage Register and is just one of

incorporated into their buildings (Lewis, 1985). Her

the numerous examples of renaissance architecture

Majesty’s Theatre is also listed on the Victorian

that can be found in Melbourne (Historical Buildings

Heritage Register, which specifically outlines why

Council 1986, Statement of Significance section).

even the most intricate details were chosen when

Architecturally, its design was inspired by English

building this architectural masterpiece of Melbourne

and French renaissance buildings and has since

(Historical Buildings Council 1986, Statement of

become quite a well-known landmark within the city.

Significance section).

Architectural design in Melbourne City is an eclectic mix of both modern and period buildings that

Buildings such as Her Majesty’s Theatre are integral

enhance the city’s diverse and intriguing

parts of the city of Melbourne. Admittedly, it may

nature; transforming Melbourne into a world-

not be the biggest or most fancy building found

renowned city (Ashihara, 1983).

on our streets, but its story and history make it an appealing venue for shows, functions, events or even

The combination of buildings that have been

just visits. It is the landmarks within a city that make

around for centuries with modern, state-of-the-

it recognisable to the people who live within it and

art skyscrapers create a landscape in Melbourne

to others from all around the world (Ashihara, 1983).

that truly reflects the people found living within

The compilation of both old and new structures

it. Intelligent, independent, creative and unique

within Melbourne makes it the interesting and

people find themselves intrinsically existing in a

fascinating space that is quickly becoming widely

space that provides inspiration from essentially

recognised as a world-class city.

every standpoint. Her Majesty’s Theatre is just one example of the eclectic architecture found within the city along with structures such as the Museum of Chinese Australian History, which combine to create the diverse Melbourne we find ourselves a part of. If a city were to consist entirely of designs from the 19th and early 20th century it would look old and dated and if a whole city was made up of designs no more than ten years old it would seem dull, boring and lacking in history and character. Melbourne City has established a delicate balance in its design between the old and the new, buildings such as Her Majesty’s Theatre and the Museum of Chinese Australian History are daily juxtaposed with the contemporary graffiti that lines the walls of our laneways along with modern campaigns such as the ‘Moving Melbourne through Art’ campaign.

Rex Libris, July 8, 2008

REFERENCES Ashihara, Y 1983, ‘External Appearance in Architecture’, The Aesthetic Townscape, First edn, Iwanami Shoten, Japan, pp. 38-66. Her Majesty’s Theatre 2009, History, viewed 26 May 2010, <>. Historic Buildings Council 1986, Statement of Significance, viewed 12 April 2010, <>. Lewis, M 1985, ‘The Victorian House’, Irving, R The History and Design of the Australian House, First edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp. 64-86.


The Museum of Chinese Australian History

There are various different sections of the city

celebrates the ethnic mix of Eastern Oriental with

that reflect both traditional and contemporary

Western European. In an attempt to treasure and

Chinese impressions, especially around the area

preserve this unique blend, the museum aims to

of the Chinese museum; there are strong flavours

educate both young and old of the history of the

of oriental architecture and design. Chinatown,

Chinese in Melbourne. In turn, the museum also

located on Little Bourke Street is one of the most

emphasises the distinctive recipe of oriental and

authentic Chinese places in Melbourne. There is

European architecture that exists on Little Bourke

such authenticity within that street that can be e

Street, otherwise known as Chinatown.

xplained by the isolation of the Chinese families when they first arrived in Victoria. These families

Multiculturalism, especially the Eastern influence

who arrived in the 1800 segregated themselves

that comes from China, is a massive element

from the white Australians and in turn, preserved

of Melbourne city life. Design is considered an

their own national traditions. Perhaps because of

expression of a situation, and the emigration of

this, there is today such a strong sense of Asian

Chinese people to Melbourne really furthered the

aesthetics embedded within our city walls, some

eclectic design of our city, just as the European

which date back to the 19th century.

origins influenced the cosmopolitan architecture of buildings such as Her Majesty’s Theatre. Situated on

This museum celebrates Australians of Chinese

Little Bourke Street, just off Swanston and Russell

descent and the mesh of multiculturalism that thrives

are imperial archways, which alludes to the Chinese

within Melbourne. As Bon-Wai (1993) considers, it

influence within the city of Melbourne. There are also

is this level of togetherness and unity of two very

two authentic, marble five-clawed Chinese dragons

different races, which helps to gives life and energy

outside the main entrance of the museum. As

to the city environment of Melbourne, just as the

Pegler (1995) discusses, the inclusion of the Chinese

‘Moving Melbourne through Art’ campaign generates

museum in the city, may possibly be one of the

social inclusion. Evidently, this combination of the

major benchmarks for what the Chinese Australian

East and West coming together can be symbolised

blend represents. The evidence of Chinese aesthetic

through the traditional Chinese architecture of

influence on Melbourne is said to have come about

the museum which is then juxtaposed with the

through the diaspora of Chinese Australians within

European buildings of Melbourne Central Business

Melbourne city. In relation to this, the museum of

district., including Her Majesty’s Theatre Traces of

Chinese Australian history attempts to educate

our Chinese Australian history are seen through

both the Chinese and Australian people about their

the four Imperial archways that lead to the Chinese

combined history. In doing so, they highlight the

Museum. The gold roofing of the grand archway that

oriental intricacies that appear on the streets of

leads off of Little Bourke Street is one of the reasons

Melbourne which are juxtaposed against sites of

for the architecture to be classed as Imperial.

subcultures such as Union Lane, and preserve the

This is because gold is the official regal colour. As

present multiculturalism of the two nationalities.

previously stated one of the many functions of the Museum of Chinese Australian history is to illustrate and conserve the long line of history of the Chinese community within Australia.

Prince Roy, October 27, 2005

REFERENCES Bon-Wai, C 1993, ‘The Chinese in Victoria: a Longterm Survey’, PhD, University of Melbourne, vi-xii, p. 165-176. Christine, I 1972, ‘Chinese in Australia’, International Migration Review, Vol. 6, No 3, pp. 266-281. Pegler, T 1995, ‘What has 160 legs and brings rain?’, The Age, 6 February, viewed 11 April 2010, <> Shatzman Steinhardt, N 2004, ‘The Tang Architectural Icon and the Politics of Chinese Architectural History,’ The Art Bulletin, Vol. 86, No 2, pp. 228–254.

ARTEFACT 4 - UNION LANE Terces Pok Fong Ping (s3262037)

Union Lane, located between Elizabeth and

Recently, Melbourne’s local government has formally

Swanston Streets and extending from Bourke Street

recognised the cultural significance of local graffiti,

to Little Collins Street, is set amongst the hussle

with Union lane considered a graffiti ‘tolerance zone’

and bussle of Melbourne’s Central Business District.

by the Melbourne City council. It is a public space

Frequently visited by tourists or acting as a shortcut

that has been aesthetically redesigned to project

amongst the maze of laneways for city workers

the quintessential culture of the new Melbourne.

trying to avoid the swarm of pedestrians and trams

The introduction of such zones have questioned

along Melbourne’s shopping district, Union Lane

the concept of artist originality and the lack of

has become the canvas for the City of Melbourne’s

projected messages other than the identity formed

Street Art Project. The development has transformed

by rivalry, pubic relation and advertising schemes.

what was once a ‘high profile location in the heart

As Heathecoate (2000) notes, graffiti is artistically

of Melbourne’s retail hub (which) was increasingly

underdeveloped, obstructing true creativity, with real

uninviting and heavily tagged’ (City of Melbourne

innovation criticised,

2010, Union Lane Street Art Project section). It now serves as a street art mural spanning 550 square

Just as the eclectic mix of architecture such as

meters on both sides of the lane and a constant

Her Majesty’s Theatre and The Museum of Chinese

reminder of the commercially celebrated

Australian History have proved of cultural heritage

subculture of Melbourne’s graffiti artists.

and significance to the city of Melbourne, sites such as Union Lane are forming part of the new

The Union Lane street art murals were first produced

urban landscape. Design is a powerful tool that is

in combination with professional street artists

challenging and transforming the notion of public

mentoring young volunteers over several weeks in

space and the local character of neighbourhoods

late 2007 and early 2008 (City of Melbourne 2010,

for the interest of an inclusive social relations for

Union Lane Street Art Project section). Like the

Melbourne. As Rice (2005) notes, the association

‘Moving Melbourne through Art’ campaign, the

between graffiti and ‘the remnants of the industrial

local government and city council has provided

age’, including building walls and hidden alleys were

ongoing support for encouragement of the creative

once associated with crime. The presence of design

industry and are seeking the inclusion of new works

has become popular for tourists and visitors, and

created by contemporary, well known street artists

beautifies the obscure laneways that form the urban

(City of Melbourne 2010, Union Lane Street Art

environment of Melbourne.

Project section). Ranging from the vandalism of scrawled tags to the talent of independent artists, street art is as diverse in its aesthetics as it is in its opinions, dividing the conservative and progressive; from pedestrians to politicians, with Union Lane now serving as a backdrop for many contemporary wedding photographs, as well as tourist snaps. The heated public discussions about the value of local examples of graffiti echoed similar debates about the place of live music in inner-city venues in Melbourne and Sydney (Homan, 2003).

f2g2, February 25, 2009

REFERENCES City of Melbourne 2010, Union Lane Street Project, viewed 12 April 2010, < UnionLaneStreetArtProject.aspx>. Homan, S 2003 ‘The Mayor’s a Square: Live Music and Law and Order in Sydney’, Context: Journal of Music Research, No. 26, Spring 2003, pp. 69-72. Heathcote, C 2000, ‘Discovering graffiti’, Art Monthly Australia (Canberra), September 2000, no. 133, pp. 4–8. Rice, J 2005, ‘21st century graffiti: Detroit tagging’, 1000 Days of Theory, td005, viewed 27 May 2010, <>.

Comm2411 Assessment Task 3  

We selected four communication artefacts that we then analysed in terms of the social meaning it communicates about Melbourne and the profes...