ANU Pop-Up Village

Dionysus was engaged by Australian National University (ANU) to design, manage and communicate the activation program and daily operation of their $8 million pop-up village, a temporary social hub while the university’s permanent social hub underwent major redevelopment.

The role involved stakeholder management between tenants, event managers, staff, students, general public and the university. Dionysus delivered over 500 events in 18 months to over 60,000 people at the village. Project delivery was sensitive to the University Governance Framework whilst successfully engaging broad sections of the wider Canberra community through social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), advertising, public relations management, technical management, contractor management, event design, advice and continual event delivery.

Parties, concerts, DJ sessions, rotating exhibitions, markets, spontaneous installations and movie nights were all part of a normal week’s activation program. The village was an excellent space for pub-style intellectual engagement. ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences hosted a monthly talk about contemporary issues entitled ‘Move with the Current’. Dionysus welcomed The Australia Institute to run a monthly Politics in the Pub with nationally-reputed political theorists, politicians and media experts, and there was also a monthly jazz concert pleasing aficionados from the university and far beyond. University-focused events included specialised exposés of parts of the university led by academics, public outreach programs of various Schools, university administrative staff engagements and countless student society and association events.

David Caffery and Michael Liu are both ANU alumni. With the addition of Lavanna Neal as full-time Place Manager for the village, the team had a pertinent understanding of ANU student culture, trends and trigger-points. The program was restricted at times due to accessibility issues caused by construction, but this formed part of the character of the pop-up as an ephemeral and exciting leap from a tiered Union Court towards a world-class destination, Kambri, which opened in February 2019.


Australian National University (ANU)


A 19-month social hub for ANU during the redevelopment of Union Court into Kambri.


Design advisory, place management and communications of ANU Pop Up Village, including significant stakeholder management.


June 2017 - February 2019