The Capitol acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. We respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. We also acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.
A Culture Salon for Melbourne Design Week

Radical Melbourne: City of Ideas

Reflecting on the radical design ideas of the 80s that made Melbourne the vibrant city it is today.


Melbourne in the 1980s was a testing ground for new ideas to emerge and flourish in design disciplines across the spectrum from fashion to architecture. Driven by inclusive and imaginative subcultures, often supported by a sympathetic state government, the social and cultural infrastructure of the city and inner suburbs was radically transformed.

Reflecting on the radical ideas that made Melbourne the vibrant city it is today, this Culture Salon delves deeper into the exhibition Radical Utopia: an archaeology of a creative city, now on at RMIT Gallery.

Radical Utopia co-curator and Journal co-editor, Harriet Edquist AM, joins Journal contributing author and Melbourne School of Design senior lecturer Karen Burns in a conversation moderated by Professor Sarah Teasley.

Shaped by Burns’ essay Collage City: Melbourne Architecture in the 1980s, the Salon will explore how architecture students, academics and progressive professionals – driven by inclusive subcultures and supported by a sympathetic government – spearheaded the city’s transformation and established a character still recognisable today.

This Salon also launches RMIT Design Archives Journal Radical Utopia, Vol. 13 No. 1, 2023. Copies of the edition will be on sale at the event.