Melbourne School of Design x How it plays

The Grainger Museum is collaborating with the Melbourne School of Design for the design and fabrication of a key section of the forthcoming exhibition How it plays: Innovations in percussion.

Studio 18, a semester-long Studio study for postgraduate students in the Master of Architecture degree, has been given the brief of creating the ‘play and display’ area of How it plays, featuring the Federation Handbells. Led by Darcy Zelenko, the 15 students in this Studio will develop and test innovative design ideas, and fabricate their chosen design for inclusion in the exhibition, all by the deadline of 1 May. On Thursday 14th March, in the evening workshop, students were introduced to the Grainger Museum for the first time and delivered the brief by Grainger Museum exhibition Curator Dr Heather Gaunt and collaborating partner Susan Bamford Caleo (Federation Handbells Senior Program Officer, Museums Victoria).

The key challenge for students was how to display the 24 hand bells in an arrangement that will service exhibition and playability purposes. Susan provided important insights into the history and character of the Federation Handbells, their innovative design qualities, and acoustic parameters. Newly appointed Grainger Museum Composer In Residence Kate Tempany also contributed to the discussion, advising students on elements such as public safety while the bells are being played, and performance parameters for musicians who will be engaging with the bells in the museum space. We can’t wait to see what these post-graduate students come up with! The 'play and display' area will open to the public on May 9, 2019.