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Preter Exhibition Design, Melbourne

An installation of abstracted drawing boards turns an ex-Army Drill hall into an architecture exhibition space.

  • Client Brief

    Each bi-annual exhibition of RMIT Architecture thesis projects occupied a different space within Melbourne’s CBD Hall. Faced with a limited budget, it was in the space of an abandoned Army Drill Hall that a new exhibition system was needed, one that could be easily demounted and re-used for future exhibitions of models and drawings.

    Design Response

    The system designed by Simon Whibley was based upon the idea of an abstracted drawing board, a delightfully intimate way of presenting architectural drawings. The exhibition system consisted simple of painted MDF boards on a clear coated steel frame, held together with threaded rod.

    Constructed with the assistance of graduate and current students, the system was durable and quickly assembled, and has remained in use for over ten years as a counterpart to the exhibition on architecture in Melbourne. It has been installed in Federation Square’s atrium, Monash Art Design and Architecture, the Melbourne Central Skybridge, and numerous locations across its home at RMIT University.

  • Preter- Characteristics

    Key values

    • Easily Assembled
    • Unique and successful  presentation format for architectural drawings
    • Simple structure and figure
    • Simple, logical installation procedure


    Key materials

    • Clear coated mild steel
    • Painted MDF
    • Clear acrylic coversheets
  • Preter- Design Specifications

    Core deliverables

    • Exhibition system
    • Exhibition and lighting layout
    • System assembly and installation


    Services Provided

    • Concept design
    • Construction documentation
    • Fabrication
    • Installation assistance


    Workshop Architecture


    Project Director: Simon Whibley
    Project Team: Simon Whibley, with the generous assistance of RMIT Architecture graduates
    Metal Fabricators: Machine Works
    Acrylic Fabricators: Prodigious Concepts
    Lighting Suppliers: Harry the Hirer
    Installation: Project Team


    RMIT University Architecture Program

    Date completed



    Initial installation, The Drill Hall, Melbourne. Numerous other  installations to 2014

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