Melbourne is a city of big ideas and creative thinking. Everywhere you look there’s a new way to up your smarts – and have fun along the way.
There’s an entire festival devoted to the future
Melbourne Knowledge Week (26 April – 2 May) is a showcase of innovation. Workshops, conversations, tours, performances and parties explores the Melbourne of tomorrow. Kids might enjoy The Future of Toys. They'll learn how to transform an old toy into something new. Conscious foodies can attend Round Plate, an innovative, informative, zero-waste lunch. And gamers will want to get in on a round of Biometric Dungeons and Dragons, which uses facial scanning to generate game characters.
We're a UNESCO City of Literature
In 2008, Melbourne was designated a UNESCO City of Literature. In 2010, the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas officially opened. Fittingly, in a wing of the State Library of Victoria. The centre programs a whole range of thought-provoking events. These include the annual Premier's Literary Awards and the Deakin Lectures. There are also book launches, expert writing workshops and discussions, readings and recitals. The centre is also a hub for the Melbourne Writers’ Festival.
Our laneways have gone green
Laneways aren’t all just gritty little enclaves. The Green Your Laneway program transforms laneways into green and useable spaces. Think vertical gardens, planted trees and pocket parks. Like Guildford Lane, now transformed into a secluded green oasis. Dozens of plants flourish amidst the boutiques and cafés. Diverted rainwater keeps them thriving. The lane also features a Mike Makatron mural referencing the laneway’s industrial past.
Laneway learning is a thing
Want to learn interesting stuff without signing up for a whole term of lessons? Laneway Learning is a not-for-profit organisation that offers relaxed, affordable one-off evening classes. Online and onsite sessions are led by passionate experts, with many running from the iconic Nicholas Building. Skill up in everything from gnocchi making to styling your online presence.
An off-the-grid urban farm is a tourism attraction
Hidden in plain sight behind Fed Square is Futurefoodsystem, the city's first 100 per cent sustainable urban farm. Created by florist-turned-eco warrior Joost Bakker, the farmhouse is currently home to chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett. And it's complete with aquaponics, solar power, micro-farms, a charcoal tank and rooftop garden. Enjoy a lavish dinner using what the duo grow on site, or take a guided tour for just $10 per person.
Our libraries are next level
Libraries are not what they used to be. Library at The Dock is a super cool building with a state-of-the-art sustainable design. And it doesn’t just offer books. It also has a recording studio and creative editing suites. There are community meeting spaces, study areas, a performance venue, and gallery space. You can even sign up for tai chi on the deck of the Dock! Or sign up for a range of book clubs, focusing on everything from Chinese novels to true crime reads.
Our trams are moving works of art
Melbourne is known for art and trams. With this year’s inaugural RISING festival, the two come together in the most fabulous way. From 21 May, the Melbourne Art Tram program will showcase six First Peoples artists. Trams will move around the city every day, making the CBD a flowing, moving gallery. See amazing works by artists like Deanne Gilson, Thomas Marks, Aunty Rochelle Patten, Jarra Karalinar Steel, Ray Thomas and Aunty Zeta Thomson.
Last updated on Tue 27 Apr 2021
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