Naomi Milgrom Foundation

Naomi Milgrom AO

MPavilion is commissioned by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation—a new not-for-profit organisation that exists to initiate and support great public design and architecture projects. The Foundation champions projects that explore design’s close interconnection with contemporary culture. In doing so it seeks to create new public and private partnerships in the civic space—a goal that its chair, Naomi Milgrom AO, has always passionately pursued.

The Foundation is dedicated to:

  • commissioning bold new architecture and design projects
  • creating the annual MPavilion architecture commission and design event
  • collaborating with cultural and educational institutions on a related free public event program
  • creating new public/private partnerships between the philanthropic, government and business sectors
  • exploring the social, economic and environmental value and impact of design
  • positioning Melbourne as Asia-Pacific’s hub of design and architecture
  • promoting public participation through free entry and accessible programming
  • raising awareness and celebrating contemporary Australian and international architecture and design.

Members of the board:

  • Mary Vallentine AO
  • Janet Whiting AM

“I want to initiate truly inspirational cultural, design and architectural projects that just wouldn’t happen otherwise. I am also excited to be initiating these projects through new public/private partnerships and collaborations.”

—Naomi Milgrom

This year, the Foundation is proud to support the second MPavilion commission, designed by AL_A (the studio of Stirling Prize–winning architect Amanda Levete); the Education Program of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image’s (ACMI) David Bowie is exhibition, direct from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A); and the new Australian Pavilion for the Venice Biennale, designed by Denton Corker Marshall.

Projects the Foundation has previously supported include the inaugural MPavilion, designed by Sean Godsell Architects; Walter Van Beirendonck: Dream the world awake, RMIT Design Hub’s major 2013 exhibition; The Other Side, Callum Morton’s installation for the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014; and Hollywood Costume, ACMI’s 2013 winter exhibition.

David Bowie Is… Education Programs (ACMI, 2015)

As part of Melbourne’s prestigious Winter Masterpieces series, ACMI presents the lauded V&A exhibition David Bowie is, showing from 16 July to 1 November 2015. ACMI has a strong reputation for developing and delivering wonderfully rich and varied education and public engagement programs, stimulating debate and thought, delving into new directions in contemporary art, and discovering new thinkers and possibilities. The Naomi Milgrom Foundation is proud to support the David Bowie is Education Program. Students and teachers will explore David Bowie’s creative processes, shifting style and constant reinvention through film, music, fashion, art, costume and design via talks, seminars, film screenings and workshops.

MPavilion 2014 by Sean Godsell Architects

In 2014, the Naomi Milgrom Foundation commissioned Australian architect Sean Godsell to design the inaugural MPavilion. Inspired by iconic outback sheds and verandas, the steel structure, with a glazed roof and fully automated outer skin, opened and closed to echo the way plants respond to the sun. Constructed as a temporary meeting place in the Queen Victoria Gardens for MPavilion’s 2014 season, Sean’s commission has found its permanent home at Melbourne’s Hellenic Museum. 

MPavilion 2014 designed by Sean Godsell Architects. Photo by Earl Carter.

MPavilion 2014 designed by Sean Godsell Architects. Photo by Earl Carter.


MPavilion 2014 won a Small Project Architecture award at the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2015 Victorian Architecture Awards, and was shortlisted in the awards’ Melbourne Prize category. The inaugural MPavilion was also shortlisted for a 2015 World Architecture News (WAN) Award in the new Temporary Spaces.


Walter Van Beirendonck: Dream the World Awake (RMIT Design Hub)

In 2013, Walter Van Beirendonck: Dream the World Awake was the first major international event to be presented at RMIT Design Hub. The retrospective exhibition of the work of Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck travelled to Australia after it was first presented by the Antwerp Fashion Museum in the autumn of 2011.

“Here today I see people of the arts world, I see people of the education world, representatives of different cultural organisations, and I see people who are interested in fashion, textiles and fabrics. Normally these worlds are split, but Walter Van Beirendonck is bringing these worlds together.”

—Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern

Ben Evans. Image courtesy RMIT Design Hub.

Ben Evans and Amanda Levete (RMIT Design Hub)

Ben Evans, director of the London Design Festival, visited Melbourne in early 2014 to give a lecture and take part in a panel discussion with UK architect Amanda Levete (AL_A) at RMIT Design Hub on the topic ‘How can the festival model take a leading role in procuring innovation and experimentation in design through festival programs?’.