A new exhibition explores how the culture of parenting in Australia is embedded in the design of the city.


A Cabinet for New Parenthood addresses how design can affect experiences of parenthood. Located in a vitrine adjacent to the Parents Rooms on the lower ground of Collins Place, A Cabinet for New Parenthood presents texts, drawings and photographs that reflect how the culture of parenting in Australia is embedded in the design of the city. The exhibition uses the study of baby change rooms as a starting point to speculate on their civic potential: how can design make parenthood less isolating?

Karen Burns will launch the exhibition in the Parents Room on the lower ground of Collins Place at 3–4pm on Saturday 17 March.

The exhibition was created by Guest,Riggs – Stephanie Guest and Kate Riggs. Guest studied literature at the universities of Melbourne and Sydney, and has begun a masters of architecture at the Melbourne School of Design. Riggs studied architecture at RMIT and works for Urban Design London. This exhibition develops previous architectural-literary exchanges by Guest,Riggs. It follows their 2017–18 MPavilion series and the prize-winning essay ‘An Architecture of New Motherhood (and Independence)’, published in The Lifted Brow 35. For this project, artist and photographer Layla Cluer joins contributes her acute visual observations.

A Cabinet for New Parenthood is supported by the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne and is part of Melbourne Design Week 2018.