MPavilion is Australia’s leading architectural commission and design event, created by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation. Annually, a pavilion is erected in Melbourne that becomes an innovative civic space for the community to enjoy a free diverse cultural program. Canberra Design Lab were commissioned to design the seating for MPavilion 2022.
The brief presented to Canberra Design Lab was to create seating for audiences attending MPavilion 2022’s cultural events, that would both compliment and activate the light and colourful design of the MPavilion by all(zone), Thailand. Furthermore, the seating had to be weatherproof, stackable, lightweight, durable and versatile in order to cater for the 175,000 visitors, attending over 350 events across a 5-month season. Additionally, it was imperative that sustainable materials and production practices were used where possible.
Canberra Design Lab’s response was a light-footed, low-waste and highly sustainable chair, produced from robotically extruded recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) plastic. Dubbed ‘Re-pete’, the MPavilion 2022 chair demonstrates a circular-design approach by using entirely salvageable, recyclable and re-manufacturable materials.
Drawing inspiration from the billowing and cellular forms of all(zone)’s MPavilion 2022 design, the chair’s complex doubly-curved shape enhances its stability, offering a combination of support, flex and suspension in all the right places. The translucent yet highly textured surface animates the chair, amplifying its residence under MPavilion 2022’s vibrant canopy through flickering plays of light and colour.
The ‘Re-pete’ chair is a true celebration of the aesthetic and functional possibilities of emergent sustainable material techniques and robotic fabrication technologies. Furthermore, it celebrates objects as function reservoirs of material with each ‘Re-pete’ chair utilising 220 plastic bottles, which can be melted down and reconfigured into something else at the end of its life cycle. The ‘Re-pete’ chair is an ephemeral exemplar of object-custodianship and how this creative philosophy holds the potential to be a transformational step towards a decarbonised future within the realm of product design.
The Naomi Milgrom Foundation champions art, design and architecture to improve Australian lives. The ambition of the MPavilion project and the MPavilion chair commission, specifically, is to bring exceptional design and architecture to all Australians, in a free and accessible manner, promoting deeper public engagement with urgent design, planning and environmental issues.
all(zone)’s pavilion and the Canberra Design Lab’s ‘Re-pete’ chair have created the perfect space for MPavilion’s most ambitious season to date. Over the course of its 5-month program it has welcomed over 350,000 visitors, worked with over 600 collaborators to create 350 free events including talks, workshops, installations, music performances and kid-friendly experiences. MPavilion 2022 has also provided design education programs to 661 students from 18 schools and 3 universities.