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Anything But Square Podcast Series

Virtual Arts and Culture
This is a past event
Virtual Arts and Culture


15 January 2021 - 15 January 2022
24 Hours

Did you know Melbourne was deliberately designed without a public square, so as to prevent the spirit of democracy from arising? Or have you ever wondered why the Square is designed in such an irregular shape and fashion with heavy influence from geometry? A place like Fed Square doesn’t spring up overnight – and it certainly doesn’t come to be where it is today without a swag of fascinating tales in tow.

Check out our triple-bill podcast episodes below to celebrate our new brand and learn all about the hidden secrets and ingenuity of Fed Square’s history, direct from many of the significant people who were involved in its founding.

Fed Square is Anything But Square!

Episode 1: Connection with the Yarra

Did you know Melbourne was deliberately designed without a public square, so as to prevent the spirit of democracy from arising? So much for that. In 1996, it was decided that Melbourne’s first and much-needed true public square would be developed, in order to link the city to the Yarra and provide a central gathering space for cultural events and quiet enjoyment alike.

Listen to this episode of Anything But Square and learn the controversy and ingenuity of how Fed Square became what it is today.

With thanks to interviewees for this episode:

  • Rob Hyatt (Education Manager, Koorie Heritage Trust) 
  • Dr James Lesh (Urban Historian, University of Melbourne) 

Episode 2: Architecture from Outer Space

A project of such size and scope attracts controversy like seagulls to hot chips. With such a tremendous number of cooks stirring the pot on all sides – from government to the private sector, the general public and more – how did Fed Square ever even get off the ground?

In this episode, we uncover how architects Donald Bates and Peter Davidson deftly maneuverered through a feeding frenzy of stakeholders to create a space as innovative as it is ingenious.

With thanks to interviewees for this episode:

  • Donald Bates (Fed Square Co-architect with Peter Davidson) 
  • Paul Carter (Creator of Nearamnew) 
  • Jefa Greenaway (Architect of Koorie Heritage Trust) 
  • Dr James Lesh (Urban Historian, University of Melbourne) 
  • Colin McEvoy (Facilities Manager, Fed Square) 

Episode 3: Civic and Cultural Space

Fed Square’s opening marked the end of some controversies, but when one door closes many others others open. Between the public’s first reactions to Fed Square’s architecture, challenges in activating the space sustainably, the Apple Store plan and its final embrace as one of the youngest Heritage-listed spaces in the world, Fed Square has come a long way in its short two decades.

Listen to this episode of Anything But Square and learn how Fed Square rose from mixed public opinion to become the beloved jewel in Melbourne’s cultural and civic crown.

With thanks to interviewees for this episode:

  • Fiona Whitworth (Former Special Projects Manager, Fed Square) 
  • Vanessa Walker (Former Program Manager, Fed Square) 
  • Tania Davidge (Our City, Our Square Founder)
  • Jefa Greenaway (Architect of Koorie Heritage Trust) 

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