Shaping The World With Urban Activation, Public Arts And Placemaking
Past Event

Shaping Cities with Urban Activation, Public Arts and Placemaking

Presented by Jingwen Jina He


Tue 23 May 6:00pm - 7:30pm


Booking required


Testing Ground Emporium
Testing Grounds, 391 Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia


Assistance animals welcome Low sensory / relaxed Wheelchair accessible

This event is designed to examine and navigate city shaping and designing through the lens of public arts and placemaking and activation as the invited guests will contribute their knowledge in creating public artworks and unveil their thinking on placemaking and movements. This event aims to share with the public successful examples in shaping the city, behind the scene stories and to learn from other experts’ perspectives of making. Through the initiatives of placemaking, urban activation, and public arts, it is making the city better and making design accessible.


Jo Mair

Jo Mair leads the development and delivery of a range of creative projects, including public art, as Creative Urban Places Project Lead at the City of Melbourne. Most recently this has included Flash Forward, the creative laneways program, which supported more than 160 artists, groups, and creative industry professionals during the pandemic, and creative placemaking in Fishermans Bend as part of cycling infrastructure improvements. Previously she supported a range of public realm outcomes including community-led projects, temporary artworks, major festivals, and events in Ōtautahi / Christchurch through the post-earthquake period.

Jo advocates for the independence of artistic vision, alongside more collaborative and community-based approaches to city-making.

Stacie Ng

Stacie is motivated by placemaking as an act of imagination and reinvention by many if not all. She is a design strategist at Relative Projects and is involved in thinking through precinct developments at the human scale. She is involved in researching interfaces between private and public realms, underpinned by site activation opportunities, programming, and public art.

Stacie is a registered architect with the ARBV and tutors at the MSD for Architecture and Urban Design subjects. She is curious as to how development finance and placemaking are not binary but when considered and continually reimagined, are a city’s greatest asset.

Lynda Roberts

Lynda Roberts is an interdisciplinary practitioner exploring the social dynamics of public space.

Drawing on a background in architecture, public art, and community radio, Lynda often makes projects in situ, co-creating experiences that playfully explore the world and the spaces between us through sound, jewellery, sculpture, and performance; constantly defying explicit definition.

As a passionate and energetic advocate for experimental and exploratory projects, Lynda is committed to supporting emerging practitioners, tactical action, and interdisciplinary research. She continues this work as Senior Advisor of Creative Communities at RMIT University and as Public Assembly, a collaborative arts practice.

Simon Abrahams

Simon Abrahams is Creative Director & CEO of Melbourne Fringe (2015-present), where he is recognised as one of Australia’s arts and cultural leaders. Simon’s work explores the intersection of art and civic participation. He is a life member of Theatre Network Australia, an organisation he co-founded then Chaired from 2010-2017. Simon has previously served as Head of Programming at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing & Ideas (2013-14) and as Executive Producer and Co-CEO at Polyglot Theatre (2007-12). Simon regularly works as a facilitator, host, peer assessor, mentor, judge and arts consultant, known for his expertise in inclusive leadership, advocacy, dramaturgy, work for children, and art in public space. Simon currently sits on the Theatre Panel for the Helpmann Awards, the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Board Programming Committee and the City of Melbourne’s Night Time Economy Activation Taskforce, and is a Trustee for the Betty Amsden Foundation.

Simon conceived and co-produced the film “Multiply” (MIFF 2021)  with Stephanie Lake and Rhys Graham, directed the cabaret The Show Of The Year with Casey Bennetto, and created the large-scale live artwork “20 Questions” with Ian Pidd and Martyn Coutts. With Polyglot, he performed in We Built This City across Australia, the USA, Korea, England, Ireland and Scotland.

Previously, he has sat on the Victorian Government’s Ministerial Council for Volunteering, Green Room Awards’ Contemporary and Experimental Arts Panel and has served as Peer Assessor for the City of Melbourne, Creative Victoria and the Australia Council for the Arts. In 2014, Simon was awarded a CHASS Australia Prize for leadership. and in 2015, Simon completed a research project investigating theatre for young people in Belgium, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.

Simon was named among Arts Hub’s Top Ten Arts Leaders in 2010 and one of F+P Magazine’s Movers and Shakers in philanthropy in 2019.

In his personal capacity, Simon is a proud foster carer, caring for vulnerable and at-risk children in his home.

Millie Cattlin

Millie is Co-Director of These Are The Projects We Do Together. Working with large site-based projects including Testing Grounds, Siteworks and The Quarry, the work of the practice is unique in its approaches to public space, creative infrastructures, and site-based programming.

These Are The Projects We Do Together has earned a reputation for working predominantly with ‘problematic’ sites. Through architecture, design, embedded education, maintenance, caretaking, operations, creative program and open access, the collaborative team seeks to reposition these ‘problematic’ sites as crucial, creative and socially inclusive spaces and communities. Currently, Millie is doing a practice-based PhD in the School of Architecture and Urban Design and RMIT titled ‘This Place is Alive — Provisional Creative Infrastructures’. This research is exploring ways in which her practice designs infrastructures that support and enable creative practice.

Jingwen Jina He

Jina is a creative based in Melbourne with an art, design, and architecture background. She had her proposed architectural installation built on-site and published in the local newspaper at the Bisenzio River, Italy in 2014. With a keen interest in public arts, she was selected as the external arts grants assessment panel member with the City of Melbourne in 2020. In 2021 she was commissioned to develop an augmented public artwork in Flinders Quarters with the support of the Metro Tunnel Creative Program. In 2022, she completed a placemaking project with ground and wall mural art commissioned by the city of Boroondara in Canterbury. She believes placemaking strategies are a way to shape and design the world as well as recalibrate and regenerate neighborhoods. With a passion for creating and fostering social cohesion, she joined Woman Support Incorporated to further connect and support women from diverse backgrounds.

She worked collaboratively with Kimberley Hui for the Archemist Podcast for a season titled ‘Is it what you wanted?‘ to bring out the voice in the creative industry. This series is shortlisted for Bates Smart Award for Architecture in Media in 2021. She also is an active contributor to a few publications and exhibitions. She is always making and exploring but sometimes she is planting.

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