Testing Grounds

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Testing Grounds

Upcoming Calendar

Testing Grounds is a temporary space for creative practices encompassing art, performance and design.

Programmed through an open application process that supports interdisciplinary practice, experimentation and courage, Testing Grounds is a place where people at all levels can test, develop and share their work. We encourage both creative and education-related activities.

We accept EOIs for projects at any time. Projects should respond to the Testing Grounds selection criteria, outlined in the program methodology.

All welcome to apply here

Violence Against Women: How Human-Centred Design Can Disrupt the Status Quo

Friday 22 March
2PM - 6PM


Caliper 05: Collapse Launch

Launch Party:
Friday 22 March, 6PM - 11PM


Launch party for student-led architecture journal Caliper for Melbourne Design Week.


Live cello performance on 29th of March 2019


An immersive sound and film installation inspired by the research of Neurologist Oliver Sacks and the phenomena of auditory hallucinations in dreamlike states. It focuses on how the mind can subconsciously gather information while awake and collate that information while asleep into music compositions that linger on awakening.

Over an 18 month period composer Morgan Hickinbotham used this method to induce and compose music in dreamlike states and notate them while awake. These fragments of dreamed music have been compiled and composed into three movements electronically. This score has been adapted into classical notation in collaboration with Gemma Kneale and Chiara Anderson.

Reflection II invites you to immerse yourself in the composition alongside a new super 8 film. This film was developed with Dancer, Amber McCartney and filmed across various landscapes around Victoria.

A live performance of the composition featuring Gemma Kneale and Chiara Anderson will take place at the opening on 29th of March 2019 at Testing Grounds.

This project is supported by the City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program.

Mexican Documentary Film Showcase

Film Festival:
Thursday 28 March
Friday 29 March
Saturday 30 March


A Mexican documentary film festival.

Future Acts: Designing Oppression

Public Talk:
Friday 22 March
5PM - 6PM


Panel discussion for Melbourne Design Week.

Future Acts: Housing, Gentrification and Aesthetics

Public Talk:
Saturday 23 March
4PM - 5PM


Panel discussion for Melbourne Design Week.

Future Acts: Land, Treaty and Property

Public Talk:
Sunday 24 March
2PM - 3PM


Panel discussion for Melbourne Design Week.

Think-in: Architectural Labour

Public Talk:
Sunday 24 March
4PM - 6PM


Public talk for Melbourne Design Week.


From Friday 15 March
5PM - 9PM


Immersive sensory installation.

Project History

In 1925 the YMCA opened its headquarters on this site, on the banks of the Yarra River. In 1983, structural damage caused by the construction of the Roy Grounds designed Arts Centre and Concert Hall meant that the building needed to be demolished. The land was acquired by the State of Victoria as Crown Land and is reserved for arts purposes.

Since October 2013, Testing Grounds has provided Melbourne with an alternative arts space within the arts precinct. It has seen hundreds of artists show their work and has provided a space for experimental and emerging ideas to find a voice.
Testing Grounds has provided a backdrop for education and ideas-generation across a range of subjects — ideas around architecture, urban planning and community development have all been tried and tested on this strange triangle of land. It has allowed artists, students, producers and directors, painters and poets a space to take a chance, to extend their ideas and craft and make significant connections with new audiences. It has also provided the local Southbank community an open space to explore and enjoy, to walk a dog or let children play, or to just sit in a patch of sunlight for a minute and witness the beginning of a new art form.

In November 2016, Testing Grounds re-opened with upgraded infrastructure including 4 dedicated indoor spaces, and a large multipurpose outdoor area.

While the site’s long term future is still currently undetermined, Testing Grounds continues to occupy the site for the short term, providing an alternative place for creative activities, alongside more traditional venues in the precinct.

Project Team

Testing Grounds is operated by These Are The Projects We Do Together, a studio with a focus on public projects and programming within the fields of art, design and architecture; with support from the Victorian Government, through Creative Victoria.

Millie Cattlin

Design Director

Millie has been directly involved with setting up Testing Grounds and shaping the intention and direction of the project. Millie and Joe run The Projects, a design studio with a focus on public projects and programming within the fields of art, design and architecture. Millie has a background in architecture and design and is a registered architect in Victoria.


Joseph Norster 

General Manager

Joe has been directly involved with setting up Testing Grounds and shaping the intention and direction of the project. Joe and Millie run The Projects, a design studio with a focus on public projects and programming within the fields of art, design and architecture. Joe has a background in theatre, lighting and production design and public art.


Arie Rain Glorie

Program Director and Curator

Arie has been involved directly in shaping the program structure at Testing Grounds, and is your main point of contact for all creative projects. Arie is an artist and a curator with a focus on experimental and emerging models of creative practice. He has a background in producing large-scale contemporary art events, festivals and exhibitions.


Molly Braddon

Program Producer

Molly is responsible for producing the program of exhibitions, residencies, performances, and other creative projects in the Testing Grounds program. Molly is an artist and creative producer with a focus on spatial experience, in particular enriching existing space and communities. She has a background in public art and architecture, and producing public art events.


Advisory Group

A group that discusses issues or areas of interest around the Testing Grounds project with the creative practitioner always at the forefront of the conversation.

Testing Grounds would like to thank the following people for their ongoing and valuable contribution: Gemma Gordon, Eugene Howard, Matthew Jones, Eugenia Lim, Mark Pritchard, Lynda Roberts, Kimba Thompson, Bree Trevena, and Michael Trudgeon.

Location and Access

Testing Grounds is located at 1 City Road, Southbank, just behind the Arts Centre, in Melbourne's arts precinct.

Testing Grounds is nestled between the Arts Centre and Australian Ballet Centre. On foot, the site is most easily accessed via the stairs behind the Arts Centre from St Kilda Road (past Inge King’s ‘Forward Surge’ sculpture). There are many spots to lock a bicycle on site and car parking located very close at the Arts Centre or Australian Ballet Centre.

Testing Grounds from Flinders Street Station via ramp (video link)Testing Grounds from Flinders Street Station via stairs (video link)

Contact and Open Hours

1 City Road, Southbank, VIC 3006 Australia

Testing Grounds is open to the public

Wednesday: 10am-6pm
Thursday: 10am-6pm
Friday: 10am-6pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm

Often there are special events happening outside these hours – check the upcoming calendar for details.



Project Archive