Back of House Past Event

Presented by Architectus


Wed 29 May 6:00pm - 7:00pm


Free, Booking Required


Chinatown Plaza - Cr Little Collins & Cohen Place
Chinatown, Little Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC, Australia


Wheelchair accessible

Back Of House is a conversation with emerging thought leaders and guest speakers from the built environment to question what impact and role back-of-house spaces play in the life of the city.

Back-of-house is a space that supports another space, to provide services, logistics, and connection to a public-facing space or function. This often-neglected typology is formed as the negative space of larger city shaping processes being a space that is both required and left behind by multi-million-dollar projects. Where else do you put the bins? Where do the cooks go for smoko? Where do you put the car park entry? Where can things happen away from “activated” frontages within otherwise highly programmed and, often, already contested public space? The back-of-house is itself a by-product of a larger idea – the theatre, the restaurant, the shops, the apartment tower – yet the back-of-house, essential and yet often marginalised, forms a backdrop to a layered world of experiences, places and peoples.

The event takes place at Chinatown Plaza, a square in the Melbourne CBD that interfaces to several back-of-houses. Speakers will occupy this space as they question who is the public that architects, urban designers and landscape architects are designing for.


Katie Cudall

Katie is a landscape architect with a focus on public realm strategy and delivery, working across local government and private practice over the past decade. As Principal Landscape Architect and Design Manger at the City of Melbourne she currently leads a multi-disciplinary team of Industrial Designers, Architects, Urban Designers and Landscape Architects to design, manage and deliver the city’s places. She is also a ceramicist and is fascinated by the relationship between making and design. Across disciplines, her design practice focuses on collaboration, adaptive re-use underpinned by site narratives.

Ruofan Lei

Ruofan is a Melbourne-based digital artist and architect. Currently working at Architectus, he recently completed street art in collaboration with the City of Melbourne for their Flash Forward event. These illustrations explore the relationship between storytelling, space and architecture.

Sophie Weiner

Sophie Weiner is a Senior Sustainability Engineer at Arup and has worked in the field since 2017. She has previously taught as a sessional tutor at the University of Melbourne and is involved in thought leadership.

Henry Jarvis

Henry is a science fiction write, podcaster and environmental designer with a background in architectural design. He is currently working at Atelier Ten as a digital specialist, focusing on façade performance and building physics. His current areas of interest are thermal comfort resilience (both indoor and outdoor), and social resilience and community building at the city scale.

Daniel Boesen

Daniel is passionate about cities and creating healthy and liveable communities through sustainable design and inclusive master planning processes. He received a Master of Architecture and Urbanism from Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen and has international experience from urban design studios in Copenhagen and London, including Gehl Architects, Cobe and DSDHA.

He has wide-ranging international experience working in urban design and precinct master planning across Europe, North America, and Australia. Most recently Daniel has played a key role in delivering the ACT Urban Design Guide, Housing Design Guide as well as Canberra City Centre Urban Design Framework.

Tess Nettlefold

Tess Nettlefold is a landscape architect and artist. She has broad experience testing and designing the urban fabric of Melbourne CBD through working in the public sector in urban design and landscape architecture. Her practice is currently interested in urban ecologies and contentious politics of the built environment.