Brunswick 4
CYCLE 02 2023

Voice, Vibe & Vision

Voice, Vibe & Vision

Long Story, Short

We’re out to collect, consolidate and cultivate a shared understanding of what gives Brunswick its unique character amid transformative infrastructure change across the Brunswick Design District.

What We’re Exploring

Focusing on the Brunswick Design District (BDD), ‘Voice, Vibe & Vision’ gathers local perspectives on the sounds, images, words, stories, and imaginings that make Brunswick, Brunswick. The project will engage with community members, RMIT students, and district stakeholders through a range of activities, including surveys, interviews and workshops. Community insights and materials collected will become part of a compendium that enables conversations about Brunswick’s future.

Fine print

Project Team

Project and Local Contributors

Voice, Vibe & Vision Summary Report

The Voice, Vibe & Vision Summary Report is here!

We explored what gives Brunswick its unique character amid ongoing transformative infrastructure change.

We engaged with community members, RMIT students, and local stakeholders through a range of activities to enable and encourage conversations about Brunswick now and into the future.

The character of Brunswick is vibrant, and our reflections identified ways to enhance what people love about Brunswick as well as considerations for designing the future of Brunswick.

Together, we’re tackling real-world, urban challenges and seeking innovations that improve liveability, community resilience and connection.

This summary will be shared with our local government and industry partners. Please feel free to send this link on to anyone or any organisation that might be intrigued!

Explore more in our full summary available to download from the ‘Download Report’ button above.

‘My Brunswick, Our Brunswick’ Community Book.

‘My Brunswick, Our Brunswick’ Community Book

RMIT PlaceLab set out on this research project with a seemingly simple objective: to understand what makes Brunswick, Brunswick. We hoped to gather rich, personal, and shared insights into both local space-making and cultural practices, and stories (past, present, and emerging) that exist within the Brunswick community. In doing so, we aspired to make tangible the somewhat elusive and intangible notion of ‘Brunswick’s unique urban character’.

Our motivation to do this research was to provide a snapshot of Brunswick community reflections that might be of use as they confront transformative changes: many associated with major infrastructure projects, the climate emergency, and urban gentrification. Academic research tells us that – given the social, economic, and environmental consequences of urban changes – the participation of communities in transparent and rigorous processes of community engagement is a critical determinant in achieving outcomes that are not just economically successful, but also socially- and environmentally- just. However, it is equally recognised that the implementation of effective processes and practices around community engagement remains a problematic fault-line.

In this context, we imagined that, by contributing to the understandings of Brunswick’s unique urban character, we might offer the community a useful mechanism to protect, preserve, or enable things that are essential to the fabric of the area. It is to be seen whether we have achieved even small steps toward this goal.

The information and insights shared in this book are the results of the research we undertook with the Brunswick community over three months: July, August, and September 2023. This included an online survey that was completed by 237 people, walking interviews with eight local community members, and photography trails by commissioning eight Brunswick-based photographers to gather rich Brunswick images. These activities focused on the area of Brunswick bounded by Sydney Road and the Upfield Rail Line.

‘My Brunswick, Our Brunswick’ Community Book, front and back.

Undertaking research with people is always a privilege, but researching with the Brunswick community has also been an immense joy.
– RMIT Brunswick PlaceLab Team

RMIT PlaceLab would like to thank all our community collaborators, who generously contributed to the ‘Voice, Vibe & Vision’ Research Project and its activities.

Survey Participants: The 237 people who contributed to our Community Survey.

Walking Interview Participants:

  • Pablo Gonzales, Founder/Story Listener, Brunswick Daily
  • Derham Groves, Local resident and architectural historian
  • Elizabeth Jackson, President, Brunswick Community History Group
  • Max Malone, That Paper Joint
  • Jeremy McLeod, Co-founder & Design Director, Breathe
  • Maria-Luisa Nardella, Local resident
  • Joseph Norster, General Manager, Siteworks
  • Haikal Raji, A1 Bakery

Photographer Trail Contributors:

  • Camille Perry
  • Kim Canales-Ascui
  • Laura May Grogan
  • Matthew Parsons
  • Nicholas Orloff
  • Rowan Green
  • Stacy Wang
  • Theresa Harrison

Project Collaborators:

  • Georgina Nolan, PhD Candidate, School of Design, RMIT University
  • Jordan Lacey and Tim Denshire-Key, Industrial Design Studio Leads, School of Design, RMIT University
  • Students from the RMIT Bachelor of Industrial Design Studio – ‘Exploring Brunswick Atmospheres: Past, Present, Future’
  • Max Malone & Zoe Crook, Community Partners & Workshop Facilitators, Voice, Vibe & Vision ‘Collage Brunswick’ Community Workshop


  • Troy Stuchbree, Sydney Road Traders Association
  • Brunswick Design District (BDD)
  • Merri-bek City Council

With Thanks To:

  • Andy Fergus
  • Mark Phillips, Brunswick Voice


The Key Collaborators and Contributors to ‘My Brunswick, Our Brunswick’ Community Book at our Brunswick Exhibition. Images: Suzanne Phoenix.

The Team Behind The Book

The design of this book was created by Georgie Nolan, a designer, researcher and educator living and working in Melbourne, Victoria (Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung country), and Nhu Bui, RMIT PlaceLab-er. We appreciate the care and consideration Georgie has applied in beautifully portraying the Brunswick community’s ‘Voice, Vibe and Vision’.

Our RMIT PlaceLab team involved in the creation of this book includes Louise Godwin, Nhu Bui, Hayley Thompson, Frances Gordon, Kiri Delly and Brock Hogan.

All images in this book are credited to their original owners. Collages in the book are from our PlaceLab X ‘that paper joint’ Community Collage Workshop. All other images are taken by PlaceLab-ers during walking interviews.

We would like to thank Dennis Grauel for creating the ‘Brunswick Grotesque’ typeface, which has worked wonderfully with the rest of the book content to portray Brunswick’s essence.

This book is printed in Victoria by E-Plot.


Request a Copy of ‘My Brunswick, Our Brunswick’ Book

If you missed the chance to grab a physical copy of the book at our exhibition, don’t worry because we have made it accessible online.

To request a digital copy of the book, simply send us an email via this address: Our PlaceLab Team will respond as quickly as we can, and provide you with the full digital book file.

Thank you for your patience and interest in reading our Brunswick Community book!

The ‘Feels of Brunswick’ Data Visualisation. Image: Suzanne Phoenix.

This series of data visualisations were created from what we gathered through our community online survey ‘What makes Brunswick, Brunswick?’ that was completed by 237 people. While not limited to Brunswick residents, the survey reached 151 people who live in Brunswick, and another 38 who have previously lived or worked in Brunswick. The survey was principally promoted via Instagram, which means that most respondents fell within the age group of 18-29 years. In line with common trends within qualitative research, 146 of the respondents identified as female, 48 identified as male, with 11 identifying as gender diverse, and 32 preferring not to say.

The ‘Sights of Brunswick’ Data Visualisation.

What is the most Brunswick thing you have ever seen?

The ‘Sounds of Brunswick’ Data Visualisation.

What is your favourite Brunswick sound, and where do you hear it most often?

The ‘Feels of Brunswick’ Data Visualisation.

If Brunswick was a material or texture, what would it be?

The ‘Smells of Brunswick’ Data Visualisation.

Is there a particular smell that always ‘brings you back’ to Brunswick?

The ‘Tastes of Brunswick’ Data Visualisation.

What is the fashion or lifestyle staple of Brunswick?

The ‘Sites of Brunswick’ Data Visualisation.

Is there a spot in Brunswick that captures something special about the area?


The ‘Happenings in Brunswick’ Data Visualisation.

What event, ritual or goings-on in Brunswick has special significance to you and your community?

The ‘Brunswick is…’ Data Visualisation.

What is it, do you think, that makes Brunswick, Brunswick?
What makes up its character, its vibe?
Could you describe it in a short sentence?


As part of RMIT PlaceLab’s Cycle 02 Research Projects we’re excited to present our Exhibition of outputs for our two Brunswick Research ProjectsWear & Care’ and Voice, Vibe & Vision’!

Opening on Wednesday 6th December and running until Wednesday 20th December, come visit to discover how we’ve been delving into fashion rewilding systems from a community perspective, as well as better understanding what makes Brunswick – Brunswick!

Find out more about our ‘hyper-local’ research activity, undertaken at our Brunswick Research Studio alongside students, academics. industry, local government and the community.

Grab your copy of our specially curated books — ‘Stories of Wear & Care’ and ‘My Brunswick, Our Brunswick’, and pick up a ‘Wear & Care Activation Kit’ – offering insights, ideas and practical tips on how you can play a part in re-thinking and ‘rewilding’ a local fashion system.

Cycle 2 Research Projects Exhibition happening at our Brunswick Research Studio, opposite Jewell Station. Image: Suzanne Phoenix.

Visit the RMIT PlaceLab Brunswick Exhibition open until 20th December at our Brunswick Research Studio, opposite Jewell Station. Image: RMIT PlaceLab.

Our Exhibition won’t be open for long so mark a time in your calendar to come visit us soon!

Venue: RMIT PlaceLab Brunswick

Shop 1, 17 Union Street Brunswick 3056

(Opposite Jewell Station)

Exhibition Launch Event: Wednesday December 6th at 10:30am – 12:00pm
Exhibition Dates: Wed Dec 6th – Wed Dec 20th
Exhibition Times: Mon – Fri 12pm – 4pm


The research outputs and takeaways for the community, taken at the Launch of Brunswick Cycle 02 Research Projects exhibition at RMIT PlaceLab Brunswick Studio. Images: Suzanne Phoenix.

We look forward to seeing you then!

‘Collage Brunswick’ Community Workshop

On November 1st, 2023, the RMIT PlaceLab Team, in collaboration with ‘that paper joint’ and RMIT researcher Georgie Nolan, hosted a Community Collage Workshop at the Brunswick Town Hall as part of the RMIT PlaceLab’s Voice, Vibe Vision Research Project. This event aimed to explore the essence and characters of Brunswick neighbourhood through collaging and community engagement.

The evening began with a warm welcome from the PlaceLab Team and Chris Cheal from Merri-bek City Council, as participants gathered at the Brunswick Town Hall. The space was transformed into a hub of creativity, where individuals from the community came together to express their thoughts, dreams, and imaginings through the art of collaging.

The workshop featured two activities: individual solo collaging and collaborative group collaging. Here is a recap of how the evening went.

Attendees at the ‘Collage Brunswick’ Community Workshop.
Image: Suzanne Phoenix.

RMIT PlaceLab Team, Chris Cheal from Merri-bek City Council, ‘that paper joint’ and researcher Georgie Nolan welcomed and introduced attendees to the research project and workshop. Images: Suzanne Phoenix

First Part: Collaging Individual’s Connection to Brunswick

The first segment of the workshop focused on individual solo collaging. Participants used small, colored cards as a medium to visually articulate their personal connections to Brunswick. To guide this process, Place Lab provided a collection of expressive words obtained from the Brunswick Community Survey. Additionally, Max from ‘that paper joint’ shared a few collage methods to inspire participants.

Brunswick’s words for Inclusion and Change from our Research survey and Walking interviews. Interactive data visualisation created in Flourish.

‘Collage Brunswick’ tutorial, inspiration Slideshow. Created by Max from ‘that paper joint’.

Guided by a collection of expressive words from the Brunswick Community Survey and Max’s (from ‘that paper joint’) collage methods, attendees explored their creativity freely.

Max’s advice, shared with the participants, offered valuable insights into the world of collage while creating a supportive environment:

‘With collage, you can’t always plan everything, it can be helpful to start by simply finding a few things to cut out!’
‘Sometimes less is more! Other times go maximalist!’
– Maximillian Malone

Attendees at the ‘Brunswick Collage’ Workshop at the Brunswick Town Hall. Images: Suzanne Phoenix.

After completing their solo collages, participants scanned and digitised their creations at a designated station, facilitated by ‘that paper joint’ team.

The digital copies now find a home in the Brunswick exhibition, running from December 6th to December 20th, and are showcased in the community book ‘My Brunswick, Our Brunswick.’

‘that paper joint’ team at the scanning station, ‘Brunswick Collage’ Workshop. Images: Suzanne Phoenix.

Second Part: Collaging Future Vision for Our Brunswick Neighborhood, Together!

The second part of the workshop introduced collaborative group collaging. Large-scale panels, featuring Brunswick photographs taken by Brunswick-based photographers, provided a canvas for the community to collectively envision the future of their neighborhood.

In this collaborative exercise, participants added layers of creativity, ranging from small, playful cut-outs to more significant, personal contributions. The original Brunswick photos served as a starting point, fostering conversations among community members as they worked together on the panels.

Similar to the individual collages, these group panels are showcased at the Brunswick exhibition and featured in the community book, showcasing the collaborative effort to visualise Brunswick’s future.

‘Don’t be shy, let’s collectively combine collage elements atop these images, and let’s see what happens! There are no wrong answers.’
– Maximillian Malone

Attendees contributing to the shared collages at the ‘Brunswick Collage’ Workshop at the Brunswick Town Hall. Images: Suzanne Phoenix.

Concluding Part: Sharing Our Collages!

The workshop concluded with a ‘sharing our creations’ session. ‘That paper joint’ projected individual collage scans onto larger screens, allowing community members to appreciate and connect over the diverse expressions of their Brunswick experiences.

Zoe Crook from ‘that paper joint’ facilitated the session, adding a touch of warmth and humour to the conclusion of the event. It was a cosy and enjoyable ending to an evening of artistic exploration and community connection.

Attendees gathered to see the outcomes at the end of the ‘Brunswick Collage’ Workshop. Images: Suzanne Phoenix.

A sincere thank you extends to all the participants who joined us at the ‘Collage Brunswick’ workshop. Witnessing the abundant creativity within the Brunswick community was truly delightful, and the outcomes of the night were nothing short of beautiful.

These creations have served as valuable inspiration and material for the PlaceLab team as we diligently worked on the ‘My Brunswick, Our Brunswick’ community book. Each creation from the community holds a special place, and we’ve made every effort to represent them with care and appreciation.

We invite you to attend our RMIT PlaceLab Brunswick Cycle #2 Exhibition, running from Wednesday, December 6th, to Wednesday, December 20th. It’s an opportunity to view these community collages in person and secure a copy of the ‘My Brunswick, Our Brunswick’ community book for yourself. Your contributions have made this project truly special, and we look forward to sharing it with you.

Jordan and his students from Industrial Design at RMIT PlaceLab Brunswick.

Photo: Courtesy of Jordan Lacey.

Meet one of RMIT PlaceLab’s academic collaborators, Dr Jordan Lacey. Jordan is a sonic thinker, creative practitioner and transdisciplinary researcher from RMIT’s School of Design specialising in sonic theory, soundscape design and the creation of public sound art installations.

As part of our Voice, Vibe & Vision Research Project we’re excited to be collaborating with Jordan and his students from Industrial Design through a 12-week studio that explores Brunswick’s atmospheres. We got to know more about Jordan’s research interests and connection to Brunswick.

Output from from the 12-week studio with RMIT Industrial Design Students exploring Brunswick’s atmosphere. Image: RMIT PlaceLab.

“It’s such an interesting place, because it’s so diverse. Its density of different activities – factory work next to a cafe next to a mechanic shop next to a residential house. It’s pretty unique in that way. You don’t get many places like that.
Or at least not these days.”

Can you tell us a bit about your own research and how it intersects with the PlaceLab Voice, Vibe & Vision project?

I came to be part of the project when PlaceLab researcher Louise Goodwin approached me because of my work with atmospheres. And I see atmosphere as a more ‘academic’ term for vibe. How does a place feel? How can we explain those feelings? How do specific environments make us feel? These sorts of ephemeral questions are very difficult to answer, and also the way that design can create those sorts of experiences through working with light and with sound and so forth. So, I’ve been doing that for a long time, creating installations that focus on sound and light to try and change atmosphere.

Do you have a particular connection to Brunswick?

When I was at university in the early 90s, I used to go to the Sarah Sands Hotel and various places along there to catch music and so forth. It was a very different place then, a bit rougher, shall we say? And my dad moved here, into the Brunswick Brickworks in the early 2000s. So, I’ve visited there for a while.

Have these experiences in the area influenced your practice?

It has. I mean in the sense that Brunswick has always had a high concentration of creative practitioners and events, so you just find yourself there all the time anyway. You know, going into things, experiencing things and that way I think it inevitably shapes anyone who’s involved, the creative process or the creative industry in some way. So, I’d say yes, but also, it’s just such an interesting place, because it’s so diverse. Its density of different activities – factory work next to a cafe, next to a mechanic shop, next to a residential house. It’s pretty unique in that way. You don’t get many places like that, or at least not these days. Where zoning is isolating all those sorts of activities, I think there is something so very attractive about Brunswick in that way.

What would you say would be the key observations that have come up from the Industrial Design Student Studio with PlaceLab Brunswick?

I think in terms of working with the students, what’s been really interesting for us all is that hidden part of Brunswick’s atmosphere. It’s sort of been staring us in the face but we’ve not really noticed it. Through our connection with Brunswick local Tim Denshire-Key, who has been co-teaching this studio with me, we’ve visited a lot of art and design practitioners throughout the suburb, and what you notice invariably when you go there, is that you’re confronted with this plain factory wall with no advertising, covered in weeds and graffiti, and it looks all sort of run down and a bit mysterious. And then you walk in and there’s this incredibly rich interior of people and artistic practices going on. And I think for us, at the end of the first part of this studio, we realised that’s a really big part of Brunswick’s unique atmosphere is that there’s all of these nondescript spaces everywhere, but not many know what’s going on behind. And what’s going on behind, are these rich cultural industries and activities. So that’s been a key finding for me, in terms of what generates the atmosphere.

There’s also something particularly Melbourne about that, because I think Melbourne, unlike other cities, is not a particularly showy city. In some ways it is, but a lot of what makes our cultural life so rich is that it’s quite interior, in a way that’s hard to explain.  I think the Brunswick example captures this well.

What do you think the RMIT students, as emerging industrial design practitioners, are gaining from their involvement in the project?

When a lot of people think about industrial design, they think about objects, and they think about products. That they’re making a thing for a specific, commercial purpose, or a user-centered purpose. I therefore purposely try to get my students to think outside of that by getting them to concentrate on environments and reminding them that every time they create an object it’s going to end up in an environment. We’re in this studio assisting them to think about how an environment can give birth to an object. An object being very unique or specific to an environment that they’re investigating, and then that should in some way transform the perception of that environment or how we look at it. So, they’re creating, but from the perspective of an environment.  It’s very much about changing our perception of things physically by changing our sight lines or how we hear. So it’s bit of a twist on the traditional idea of industrial design.

Importantly, what are they contributing to the project?

For the first assignment they created zines detailing the relationships with the artists and creatives that they had visited. In the second stage, they created a series of interventions into environments aimed at considering changes to the atmosphere, and from there they then created some basic prototypes for augmenting sound and vision. For the third stage, they’ll be making a more refined high-quality version of the prototype, to align their relationship to a specific environment they have selected in Brunswick. Finally, they’ll be creating an output detailing their design process and to go alongside their objects to then be exhibited in a space within Brunswick.

RMIT Industrial Design students in the studio held at PlaceLab Brunswick. Images: RMIT PlaceLab.

An Exhibition of the students’ Industrial Design Studio final works will be held at PlaceLab Brunswick in October. More details to follow.

Join us for an experimental evening combining creativity, community and collaging!

RMIT PlaceLab and ‘that paper joint’ invite you to come collage what makes Brunswick — Brunswick!

RMIT PlaceLab’s Voice, Vibe & Vision Research Project is out to collect, consolidate and cultivate a shared understanding of what gives Brunswick its unique character amid transformative infrastructure change.

Image: Kim K. Canales-Ascui.

Join us for a fun, interactive and hands-on workshop to collage your thoughts and contribute to local research around what makes Brunswick, Brunswick?

Bring yourself, your best Brunswick buds and an open mind as we transform the Brunswick Town Hall into a hub of creativity.

In collaboration with that paper joint and RMIT researcher Georgie Nolan this collage workshop as part of RMIT PlaceLab’s Voice, Vibe & Vision Research Project is an opportunity for you to come cut, stick and craft a collective vision of what makes Brunswick so special.

There are no wrong answers or ideas here so what are you waiting for?

Register to join us now!

Venue: Brunswick Townhall, 233 Sydney Road Brunswick

Times: Doors open at 5:30pm for a 6:00pm start.

Event ends 7:30pm

The that paper joint team: Maximillian Malone, Zoe Crook & Franky Rocket. Image: that paper joint.

This event is delivered in collaboration with ‘that paper joint’ and RMIT researcher Georgie Nolan.

Melbourne’s first collage studio, workshop & gallery. ‘That paper joint’ is a unique space, with a goal to reuse, reinvent & reimagine.

With collage at our foundation, it aims ‘to join people through paper’. Whether hosting a cut-&-paste session, private party, art exhibition or working on a design commission, that paper joint is about sustainable creativity & community.

Georgie Nolan is an Australian designer, researcher and educator. She is currently undertaking a PhD at RMIT University in the School of Design.

Her research is focused around exploring the confluence of the fields of design and future studies, bringing together strategic foresight and visual design for ethical, educational, and professional practice. Alongside her research, Nolan continues to work in graphic design and is a visiting lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art in their Innovation School.

Shaping Brunswick’s Future Together

RMIT PlaceLab is a new urban initiative to connect community, shape place, and take a radically different approach to doing research.

Pairing RMIT academics with the local community, RMIT PlaceLab addresses vital urban challenges and opportunities, aimed at shaping a more liveable, adaptive and inclusive future.


Limited spots available, registration essential. Register here.

Should you register and then not be able to attend please let us know so we can manage numbers.


If you have any access or support requirements in order to participate fully, please let us know when you RSVP to ensure that we can arrange any reasonable adjustments. Please note: the venue is accessible for people using wheelchairs and other mobility aids.

The walking interview as a research method. Photo: RMIT PlaceLab.

Research Methods: Walking Interviews: Conversations in Brunswick about Brunswick

A key aim for PlaceLab’s Voice Vibe & Vision research project is to gain insights into how local Brunswick residents feel about the question: What Makes Brunswick, Brunswick? The research objective is to share rich insights into what gives Brunswick its unique character with the wider community to enable conversations about Brunswick’s future.

To do this, we are gathering local perspectives on the sounds, images, words, stories, and imaginings using a range of methods, including surveys, workshops, and interviews.

While the PlaceLab interview approach varies across our projects, all our interviews share a common belief in what scholar Svend Brinkmann describes as the ‘magic’ of interviewing:

Interviewing is magical because it enables researchers to study domains of human experience that no other research approaches are capable of. (p. 149)

For Voice, Vibe & Vision, we have chosen to use an interview approach called ‘walking interviews’ . Put simply, walking interviews are ‘when the researcher walks alongside the participant during an interview in a given location’ . Walking interviews have emerged as a qualitative research method used to explore research participants’ connection between self and place , within the social environment of their neighbourhood. As Penelope Kinney (2017) writes,

Talking becomes easier when walking. The act of walking allows participants to recall memories and/or experiences they may not have in a sedentary face to face interview. (p. 4).

Our Voice, Vibe & Vision walking interviews adopt a participant-led, participatory approach. This style has been identified by Clark and Emmel (2010) as well-aligned to research seeking to understanding a person’s attitudes, knowledge and beliefs about a particular area and their attachment to the area.

So far, our Brunswick researchers, Nhu and Louise, have undertaken two walking interviews with local residents, with another six to eight planned. Louise offers this insight into the way the walking interviews are unfolding:

Taking guidance from Emmel and Clark’s (2009) toolkit , Nhu and I started by inviting our first two participants to decide where they wanted to walk in the Upfield corridor region. They each chose a starting point and time, and then lead us along the route, making decisions about streets, lanes and pathways taken. As the conversations unfolded, we found ourselves stopping at different points. This might be a park for one person’s dog to have a play or a building under renovation where they once had a studio, or a local landmark that carries a particular meaning or symbolism for another person. It was an incredibly organic process, in which we had to note our urges as researchers to guide or direct the interview, while also allowing space for our human urges to be part of the conversation.

  1. Emmel, N. & Clark, A. (2009). The methods used in connected lives: Investigating networks, neighbourhoods and communities. ESRC National Centre for Research Methods, NCRM Working Paper Series, 06/09.

Nhu and I have been reflecting on the process. The participatory walking interview creates space for the interaction between the person we are interviewing and ourselves, as researchers, to be in conversation. It feels comfortable and natural. So far, the ‘participants’ have found different ways to share how much they valued and enjoyed the experience. And Nhu and I have felt ‘visible’ as researchers. Importantly, I think it allows us to feel honest and congruent as people. The conversations seem to unfold organically – it is as if we all carry a shared responsibility for holding the interview space – creating room for shared and individual understandings to emerge. The whole process feels like what Brinkmann (2013) describes as ‘the possibility of growth in understanding’ (p. 160). 

The things we are learning have such richness. But most of all, it’s proving to be such a warm and joyful process, as you can see in this selfie taken by Pablo, our second walking interview participant!



Brinkmann, S. (2013). Conversations as research: Philosophies of the interview. Counterpoints, 354, 149–167.

Clark, A. & Emmel, N. (2010). Using walking interviews. Realities, 13, 1-6.

Emmel, N. & Clark, A. (2009). The methods used in connected lives: Investigating networks, neighbourhoods and communities. ESRC National Centre for Research Methods, NCRM Working Paper Series, 06/09. http://eprints.

Evans, J. & Jones, P. (2011). The walking interview: Methodology, mobility and place. Applied Geography, 31 (2), 849-58.

Kinney, P. (2017). Walking interviews. Social research update, 67(1-4).

RMIT PlaceLab Brunswick Researchers Nhu and Louise and Brunswick Daily’s founder, Pablo Gonzalez. Photo: RMIT PlaceLab.

Max & Zoe from That Paper Joint. Photo: That Paper Joint.

Conversations along the Upfield Bike Path. Photo: RMIT PlaceLab.

Street art on Brunswick buildings. Photo: RMIT PlaceLab. Artwork by Loretta Lizzio.

A common view along the route. Photo: RMIT PlaceLab.

Tinning Street Silo

Loretta Lizzio’s artwork (created in May 2019) of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern embracing a Muslim woman after the Christchurch mosque attacks in 2019.

A close up of a brick wall.
Are Brunswick locals Brunswegians or Brunswickians?

Brunswegian and Brunswickian are demonyms for people who live in Brunswick. Demonyms are nouns that are ‘used to denote a person who inhabits a particular place’. They usually derive from the name of the place.

  1. Merriam Webster Dictionary: Demonyn

It seems that it is not unusual for there to be some contention amidst communities regarding their preferred demonym. As Assistant professor Lauren Fonteyn (Lecturer in English Linguistics, Leiden University) explains to David Astle in this ABC conversation, the residents of the US city of Michigan are divided on whether they are Michiganians (56%) or Michiganders (44%).

Barry York, researcher, writer and long-time Brunswegian, provides his opinion in his article Brunswegian or Brunswickian in the Brunswick Daily:

‘I grew up in Brunswick for 30 years from the mid-1950s. On the rare occasions when I heard other locals refer to their suburb’s demonym, it was always consistently ‘Brunsweigan’. It is only in very recent times that I have heard the term Brunswickian used. To me, Brunswickian is not the right word but that’s partly due to sentimental reasoning and partly because it just doesn’t flow nicely, to my ear. I like the soft ‘g’ in Brunswegian.’

We’re keen to hear what you think makes Brunswick, Brunswick.

RMIT PlaceLab’s ‘Voice, Vibe & Vision’ Research Project is out to collect, consolidate, and cultivate a shared understanding of what gives Brunswick its unique character amid transformative infrastructure change across the Brunswick Design District.

Local perspectives of the sounds, images, words, and stories of Brunswick will be gathered together to create a collective sense of place. These will become part of a digital compendium that will function as a useful community tool to enable conversations about Brunswick’s future.

The project also spotlights the Brunswick Design District, including the cultural practices and everyday creative activisms (or “artivisms”) that happen in this vibrant creative district.

The survey should take 5-10 minutes to complete. There are questions focusing on different aspects of Brunswick’s urban character, plus demographic questions. All responses are anonymous by default, your participation is voluntary, and you can opt out at any time.

As part of the survey you can opt in to receive information about participating in further Voice, Vibe & Vision research activities. If you opt in, your email address will be linked to your survey responses in order to help us to find the right people to participate.

At the end of the survey, you will have the chance to go in the draw for 1 of 10 $100 gift cards.

Click the link ‘Get Involved’ to enter!

What is a ‘Creative District’?

‘Creative districts’ (or ‘cultural districts’ ) are places where businesses, non-government organisations, funding bodies, and institutions (e.g., education, local government) come together to share artistic, cultural, and social resources for collective action. They are generally small, localised spaces in which cultural or creative activations occur that aim to enhance liveability and social cohesion and strengthen the local economy.

Importantly, creative districts tend to make space for local creative-based activism, or what has been described as ‘artivism’ , defined by Jennifer Garcia-Carrizo and Rachel Granger as ‘an especially rich transformative method for changing our minds or inspiring us, with a view to taking on new perspectives or to reimagine the world in which we live” (2020, p. 179).

The Brunswick Design District is one such creative district.

The Brunswick Design District.

As a partnership between RMIT University, Merri-bek City Council and Creative Victoria, the Brunswick Design District (BDD) is a creative district that supports creative industries and practitioners, businesses, designers, artists, galleries, makers, musicians, venues, and design research and education. It is on the land of the traditional owners, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation: the land currently known as Brunswick.

Shaped by numerous waves of migration, Brunswick has a diverse population and a mix of enterprise and opportunity. The area has been a hub for a mix of industries, included clay pits, quarries, brickworks and foundries, and early local manufacturing including textiles, footwear, hosiery, clothing, brick, and rope production.

The BDD is a dynamic example of a creative district that has been shaped by its industrial history, the diverse community, and the vibrant everyday cultural practices that take place across the area. We look forward to finding out more!

‘Voice, Vibe, & Vision’ is out to understand, listen, capture, consolidate, and cultivate a shared understanding of what gives Brunswick its unique character amid ongoing transformative infrastructure change in the Brunswick Design District.

Focusing on the Brunswick Design District (BDD), ‘Voice, Vibe, & Vision’ gathers local perspectives on the sounds, images, words, stories, and imaginings that make Brunswick, Brunswick.

The project will engage with community members, RMIT students, and district stakeholders through a range of activities, including surveys, interviews and workshops. Community insights and materials collected will become part of a compendium that enables conversations about Brunswick’s future.

We’d love you to be part of it. Follow us here & stay tuned.

RMIT PlaceLab acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the Eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University.

RMIT PlaceLab respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present, as the original and continuing Makers of Place.

Melbourne 3
CYCLE 02 2023

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