International Women’s Day: MPavilion Celebrating Women in Design

Last week, in the lead up to International Women’s Day, we hosted a special Women in Design lunch with our visionary founder Naomi Milgrom AC to celebrate MPavilion 2022 architect Rachaporn Choochuey, and MPavilion’s long-standing commitment to gender equity and diversity. 

Recognising MPavilion’s proud tradition of commissioning and collaborating with women who are not afraid to test the limits of their creativity and explore new design and technical possibilities, we saw Rachaporn’s return to Melbourne as the perfect opportunity to bring together some of the many inspiring and talented female collaborators of the MPavilion project—both past and present. 

Taking place at the MPavilion site on the land of the people of the Eastern Kulin Nations, the event commenced with a warm Welcome to Country by longtime collaborator and friend of MPavilion Boon Wurrung senior elder N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM.

Guests sat beneath the enchanting and billowing canopy, designed by Rachaporn Choochuey and her internationally acclaimed, female-led architecture practice all(zone), based in Bangkok, we were proud to have some of the other powerhouse women at the table who were intrinsic in helping realise all(zone)’s MPavilion—including project architect Leanne Zilka, project director Louise Nicholson and Oasis engineer Chloe Dang.

Rachaporn is the fourth female architect to design an MPavilion, following in the distinguished footsteps of Amanda Levete from London, 2015, Carme Pinós from Barcelona, 2018 and Traudy Pelzel from Venice, 2021.

Some of our other very special guests included Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne Sally Capp, Victorian Government Architect Jill Garner, Melbourne Arts Precinct Corporation CEO Katrina Sedgwick, Architect and curator of MPavilion’s BLAKitecture program, Sarah Lynn Rees., We were also thrilled to have many talented designers including Holly Board (2020 Stool Dolly), Chelsea Hickman (2020 uniform), Georgie Cleary of Alpha 60 (2014 uniform), Amy Coombes of Kloke (2015 uniform) and Beci Orpin (2019) in the ‘house’.

To all of our MPavilion collaborators, each and every speaker, designer, performer and attendee, thank you for your individual and collective contributions to making MPavilion such an incredible project and place. We couldn’t do it without you—happy International Women’s Day!

Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the people of the Eastern Kulin Nations as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. We pay our respects to the land, their ancestors and their elders—past, present and to the future.