• theallianceforprax

2021 Spring Encounters

Updated: Sep 15




As a way to encourage more vibrant exchanges and collaborative knowledge production between fellows with related research interests, The Alliance for Praxis Research (or APR) is pleased to announce the 2021 Spring Encounters, a space for HDRs and ECRs to network through a series of presentations led by a panel where HDRs can present and discuss their research with a broader audience. It is an HDR-led event for HDR candidates, hosted by Monash Arts, Design and Architecture (MADA) and facilitated by Monash Graduate Association (MGA).


One of our intentions is to nurture trans-disciplinary collaborations across faculties, research programs and labs, as academics are often confronted with the challenges to break through disciplinary and institutional silos. That is significant for students and early careers, particularly when coming from overseas, who are not familiar with universities’ organisation of research centres and local networks of scholars - especially in Melbourne, where several leading universities are located but improvements on their interconnections are still much needed.


Every fortnight there will be a panel discussion focused on a theme that crosses disciplines - different backgrounds are not only welcomed but central to these debates. Through our call for abstracts (see below), four HDR candidates per panel will be selected to present their work. Sessions will run from 7th September to 16th November, oriented around the themes of:



07th September - People-centred design, planning and architecture: mobilities, diversity, health, and wellbeing

Chaired by Ana Lara Heyns (APR/Monash University), with a keynote by Dr. Melisa Duque (Monash University)

The humanisation of everyday life is being explored by a wide array of approaches that are designing devices, places and policies. The intention is to debate to whom our cities, economy, services, and products are being conceived for and how to shift design, planning and architecture towards the emerging needs of our society. This session invites people to share and hear about experiences and solutions that are helping to envision and promote healthier, socially just and humanly richer environments and communities.

Click here to submit an abstract

Deadline: August 24, 2021.


05th October - Advancing on decolonial methodologies: searching for new models of thinking

Chaired by Ana Lara Heyns (APR/Monash University), with a keynote by Dr. David Kelly (RMIT)

Changing the lenses of how we think about knowledge conception is central for decolonial researchers, which certainly is not an easy task. Within this session, the exchange of practices is essential to challenge colonial and settler-colonial logics and elevate cultures, actions, and life-experiences of social groups long marginalised. Besides debating research methods, this session intends to address the efforts necessary to apply decolonial methodologies transversally in different disciplines - specially arts, design, and architecture.

Click here to submit an abstract.

Deadline: September 21st, 2021


19th October - Queer, feminist, and other critical theories: new lenses for urban spaces

Chaired by Zheng Chin (APR/Monash University), with a keynote by Benjamin Hegarty (The University of Melbourne)

An imperative of critical research is observing and encouraging social change, which usually comes through challenging the status quo. In what ways exclusionary social constructions and relations in the present are limiting emancipatory alternatives? What subversive forces are tensioning established norms of social life in urbanised territories to shape cities that embrace more diverse and fluid natures of human experience? This session proposes a space for sharing and learning about projects and practices helping to create inclusive environments for diverse gender and sexual identities and underrepresented voices.

Click here to submit an abstract

Deadline: October 5th, 2021.


03rd November - The future of cultural heritage: challenges and opportunities

Chaired by Rachel Iampolski (APR/RMIT), with a keynote by Maddison Miller (The University of Melbourne)

During 2020-2021, the cultural sector has been the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, but it also presented the most innovative ways to face its problems, such as adapting to the virtual spaces. Looking forward and beyond COVID-19, it is possible to reflect: What is the role of memory in our futures? How the challenges we are facing in the 21st century - climate change for instance - affect heritage? How innovations and technology interact with heritage management, access, and experience? This session invites researchers to contribute to unfolding the future of heritage.

Click here to submit an abstract

Deadline: October 19th, 2021.


16th November - More than humans: stretching the limits between ecological and social dimensions.

Chaired by Nicolas Guerra (APR/Monash), with a keynote by Sarah Robertson (RMIT)

This session challenges the definition of “environment” and “nature” by exploring the (co)existence, functionality and interactions of living things in urban spaces. Although it is clear that cities depend on external flows to sustain themselves, several beings, cycles and ecosystems - constituent of cities - might pass unnoticed to untrained observers. How are these internal dynamics and relations between humans and non-humans shaping the urban landscape? This debate is central to position conservation efforts and to reduce dualistic relations between biodiversity and urbanisation.

Click here to submit an abstract

Deadline: November 3rd, 2021.


Date TBC - Technology and innovation in the urban space: intersections with informality

Chaired by Alexandre Faustino (APR/RMIT), with a keynote by Erich Wolf (Monash University)

Discussions on how we can use opportunities offered by technological advancements to improve human wellbeing have a wide spectrum of relevance and scale, from the design of individual buildings and mass housing to the thinking of local solutions. How can we invent urban space and what will that mean to the everyday life of its inhabitants? Can social technologies and spaces of informality be included in the new technological revolution? These are just a few of the many challenges and intersections this session plans to cover.

Click here to submit an abstract

Deadline: September 7th, 2021.


Abstract’s submissions and HDR presentations

The call for HDRs to submit their abstracts depends on the session they are interested on. Please check above. If you wish to participate as a presenter, please submit here a short abstract (250 words) describing the work you would like to present and inform us which session is your work most related to. The sessions welcome research in different stages of development, from conceptual ideas to more refined/final products. Each of the four HDRs presenting in each session will have 15 minutes to talk and all discussions will be made at the end of the four presentations. All HDR presentations are planned to be in person, however we will move online in accordance with the current restrictions.


Presenters will be notified 10 days before each session.


The place

All sessions were scheduled to happen in person, from 5 pm to 8 pm, at Room 222, Building B, Monash Caulfield campus. However, in accordance with the COVID Restrictions in Victoria, the sessions will be online until further notice.

If you wish to participate in the audience, registrations are essential to comply with the University’s COVID Safety Plan. Book on Eventbrite now to secure your place and get the zoom access.


We encourage in-person attendance whenever possible, but the event will also be transmitted online. If you wish to participate in the online audience, join us on zoom:

Meeting ID: 843 4320 7950

Passcode: 367707

You will be required to scan QR codes via the Services Victoria app as we move through our buildings. This meets government requirements for effective contact tracing. Our COVID Safe Plan sets out the actions we are taking to protect our staff, students, visitors and wider campus communities, and our response to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at the University.


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