The year-long debate over plans to insert an Apple global store into Melbourne’s Federation Square highlighted the challenges of distinguishing civic and cultural values from commercial intent, with the Apple corporation particularly apt at adopting the language of creative place-making to legitimise their claims on civic space. With Australian government increasingly drawn to public/private partnerships, questions arise over how civic space will be funded in the twenty-first century. A diverse range of speakers will contemplate and debate the future design and management of civic space in the context of limited government investment.


Tania Davidge 

Tania Davidge is an architect, artist, educator, writer and researcher.  She is interested in the relationship of people and communities to architecture, cities and public space. Tania is the co-founder of OoPLA (formerly OpenHAUS) and the president of Citizens for Melbourne, the public space advocacy group who ran the ‘Our City, Our Square’ campaign opposing the demolition of Federation Square’s Yarra building and its replacement with an Apple store.

Kate Shaw 

Dr Kate Shaw is an urban geographer at Melbourne University, with a focus on the cultures of cities and the political-economic and social processes shaping them. She is currently writing a book on the redevelopment of deindustrialised docks in rich world cities, titled The squander and salvage of urban waterfronts.

Jacky Bowring 

As Professor of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University, Aotearoa New Zealand, Jacky teaches, researches, designs and critiques.  As a design juror Jacky has judged a range of competitions including the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial; Pacific Memorial; NZILA National Awards; Australian National Student Design Competition; British Council Student Award; and the Council for Educators in Landscape Architecture Awards.  Jacky is also on Christchurch’s Urban Design Panel, assessing proposals for the city.  

More Speakers To Be Announced 

Keep an eye on this session as we announce some additional speakers for The Hypothetical Debate.