IRREGULAR proves a resounding success

Jack Hayes

As the old proverb goes, “it takes a village to raise a child,” just as it did to deliver IRREGULAR, an inventive, collaborative and inclusive Melbourne Design Week event which celebrated local ideas and passion.

Over three days, May 23 to 25, North Melbourne’s Meat Market welcomed hundreds of attendees from near and far, all keen to catch a glimpse of what North and West Melbourne could look like if it was shaped by locals.

The event saw an unprecedented level of collaboration between all corners of the neighbourhood, from the organising team of the North & West Melbourne Precinct Association (NWMPA) and resident groups to local business setting aside their friendly rivalries to cater to the masses.

Thirty-five ideas were displayed throughout the exhibition, which ranged from re-designing the Chetwynd and Arden St roundabout or removing carparking along Victoria St to allow for greening initiatives to a skate park for an aging population beneath Citylink.

Sylvia Hungria, president of the NWMPA, told North West City News, their team hoped the success of IRREGULAR could “kickstart ideas and conversations” about how important grassroots activism can be, not just for North and West Melbourne, but across the country.

“It was an incredible team effort,” Ms Hungria said. “We couldn’t be prouder of our incredible team that made IRREGULAR possible.”

“From applying for funding and welcoming brilliant ideas, to designing a Melbourne Design Week-worthy exhibition, our team worked long hours to deliver this event, coordinating with local businesses to collaborate on all levels.”



“We [the NWMPA] are here to represent the business community; to bring positivity to the suburb, and by having a strong community in general increases, the chances of our businesses to flourish are so much greater … through the association, that’s what we want to do. We want a safer, better place to trade and also to live.”

One idea from the festival, which looked at how the Royal Park Nature Playground could become more inclusive for children of all abilities, has already caught the attention of the City of Melbourne’s planning team.

The idea was the brainchild of West Melbourne architecture practice, Folk Architects, whose personal connection to the space formed its team’s thinking in creating a “weaving between the sculptures at the playground to create sensory cocoons and space” for kids to “retreat while being included in the play.”

“We spend lots and lots of time at the Royal Children’s Hospital, and the Nature Playground at Royal Park is a place that we love as a family. It’s a lovely breakout space for families who use the hospital regularly,” Folk Architects director Tim Wilson said.


Play needs to be integrated. You will often find accessible swings, but it’s really important that it’s integrated and part of the one play space. If you are a parent of a child with disability but have other kids as well, it’s important they all play together.


“Our submission for IRREGULAR looked at interventions that could improve it and make the play space for all abilities. We thought of an intervention for a flying fox that can be both harnessed and safe for kids with limited mobility and other children to ensure they can enjoy the space together.”

According to Mr Wilson, the council has asked for the team to make a submission as part of its Royal Park Master Plan. •

Like us on Facebook