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RBGV Insights : Informing a comprehensive brief

posted on 2021-11-05, 00:00 authored by Tonya MeyrickTonya Meyrick, Russell KennedyRussell Kennedy
RBGV Insights : Informing a comprehensive brief



Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria - Insights Document 5.11.21 - v1






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Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic.



Recognition, awards & prizes

Recipients of a Cat 2-4 25K Design Commission

Research statement

The project examines contested spaces, post-colonial dialogues and Indigenous cultural knowledge in contemporary Australian design practice. Underpinned by the RQ - How can the design thinking research method be used to actively inform the development of a signage and wayfinding system for the 174-year-old Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria (Melbourne and Cranbourne)? This work culminates in new knowledge to aid the organisation embarking upon an ambitious new navigation strategy, only the third in the RBGV 174-year history. Developed from a synthesis of 60+ RBGV and government - policy, research, heritage and planning documents which inform the operational, strategic and scientific, development and growth of the Gardens. The work contributes a design agenda for culturally sensitive locations in 21st Century Australia. The RBGV high-profile location and position on the international Botanic Gardens maps renders prominent these considerations. Funded by a 25K commission the work contends with layers of cultural, historical, and pragmatic place-brand considerations informing the research outcomes. RBGV houses the National Herbarium of Victoria, and the irreplaceable State Botanical Collection with 1.5 million preserved plant specimens dating back to the 1600s. The collections underpin Victoria’s response to urgent issues in climate change, biosecurity, natural resource management. Significantly, implementing the International Indigenous Design Charter alongside multi-faceted requirements of internal and external stakeholders, diverse audience sectors and the necessities of the 400-hectare sites establishes a national and international benchmark in design practice for Botanic Garden’s around the world by working with Indigenous cultural owners, post-colonial botanic gardens and government and planning stakeholders.

Publication classification

A6 Research report/technical paper


Jacinta Kay, Dennis Ioannou, Jefa Greenaway

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