Hidden Rippon Lea: A Sonic And AR Experience Of Underground Water Stories
Past Event

Hidden Rippon Lea: A Sonic and AR Experience of Underground Water Stories

Presented by Monash Architecture


Sun 28 May 2:00pm - 4:00pm
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Rippon Lea Estate
Rippon Lea Estate, Hotham Street, Elsternwick VIC, Australia


All gender bathroom Seating available Wheelchair accessible

The watery landscapes which once characterised the south-eastern shore of Port Phillip bay (Boon Wurrung Country), were gradually filled, piped underground, drained, or built over through a process of colonial urbanisation. But the water must always flow and ecologies find a way to survive, even underground.

Hidden Rippon Lea is a sound and AR experience at Rippon Lea Estate in Elsternwick, which explores the hidden and underground water narratives that underpin this well-known colonial site. By weaving together the voice of Boon Wurrung elder N’arweet Carolyn Briggs, recordings of pre-colonial watercourses running under Glen Eira Road, and AR imagery of the intricate 19th-century water reticulation system at Rippon Lea, this interactive experience, delivered through a mobile device, demonstrates the complex and vulnerable hybrid natural/artificial water ecologies under our cities. The app also explores how sustainable water management at Rippon Lea has supported the site to become a haven of biodiversity, including for the migratory shortfin eel, as well as endangered migratory birds.

A panel discussion will follow the Hidden Rippon Lea experience, featuring representatives from the National Trust of Australia, Melbourne Water, and Boon Wurrung Land and Sea Council, as well as geographers, planners, and designers. They will discuss how to reposition sites like Rippon Lea as part of Country and consider their role in supporting ecologies in the urban environment. The discussion will be followed by a guided tour of the estate and its hidden water.


Laura Harper

Laura Harper is a practicing architect, educator and researcher as part of Monash University Urban Lab.

Ana Lara Heyns

Ana Lara Heyns is an anthropologist and researcher as part of the Repair of Memory and Place project at Monash Urban Lab.

Oscar Raby

Oscar Raby is the founding director of VRTOV and researcher as part of Monash Sensilab.

David Chesworth

David Chesworth is a Sound Artist and Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at RMIT University

Xavier Ho

Xavier Ho is an interaction designer and creative software researcher at Monash University

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