Are you a Victorian high school student aged 15–18 with a passion for humanities and urban design? Not afraid to speak your mind? Right Angle Studio want you to join our inaugural Place Debate at MPavilion in March 2020.

What the debate is about
Toronto-based design firm Bruce Mau Design recently used the phrase “the suburbs are no place to raise a child” to market an inner-city residential neighbourhood. We like their boldness, but we’re not convinced – yet. That’s your job (or to convince us they’ve got it all wrong).

How it will play out
For us it’s a throwback to the high-school debate but for you the format may be a little fresher: two three-a-side teams will be given time for rebuttal and prepared responses, and an overall winner crowned on the day. Moderated by Right Angle Studio and followed by an audience Q&A, this will be a fun and unique way to engage in important and varied dialogue about our city.

What we need from you
– a 500-word essay that responds to the statement (just pick a side)
– a two-sentence biography that tells us a little bit about yourself (including whether or not you are or were a child raised in the suburbs)

We’ll publish three pieces on our Urban Research Journal; each student will workshop their piece with a professional editor to bring out your best. We’ll select one student to join the Place Debate, giving voice to the young people of Melbourne alongside leaders from the fields of urban design, property and the creative industries.

Submissions should be sent to as a Word or PDF file by December 20 with the subject ‘Place Debate 2020 Submission’.

Why are we doing this?
The built environment young people live in affects them hugely. How often are you asked about it? Your opinion matters, and we want it to be heard.