In 2018 the Victorian Government undertook a program to re-home 130 disused rail vehicles. After more than 1500 applications were sifted through, the selection process was completed and the relocation logistics began.
The iconic Melbourne trams have been repurposed for seating within a food truck park in Launceston, a social enterprise coffee shop in Diamond Creek, a prop on the drama series ‘Neighbours’ and in the case of Deakin University Burwood Campus, as an informal learning space for use by staff and students.
But what of these activated art pieces to enhance the living learning environment? We asked PhD Candidate Bella Bower from the School of Architecture and Built Environment what benefits these renovated Melbourne icons bring to the urban environments and the communities they service?
“As a distinct iconic structure, the repurposed Melbourne Art Tram will lend itself well for a campus reference point to meet others. It will also be interesting to observe from a research perspective how the space is used by the Deakin community. For instance, observing patterns of use (individual study versus team collaborations), time spent within and around the structure (short bursts or intense concentration) and how it is used to assist wayfinding with new students and visitors to the campus.”
Art has long played a part in building community. From murals to street furniture, sculptures to landmarks its benefits are many. The opportunity to bring art to the public arena, but also in the case of collaborative design, it allows the public to exercise power over their built environment.
Deakin offers an undergraduate Bachelor of Design (Architecture) that allow students to explore innovative real‐world projects and learn about architectural ideas, building science and design. Find out more about the Bachelor of Design (Architecture).
Victrack updated list of the relocated trams