Tag Archives: graffiti

What’s up?

Hosier and Rutledge Lanes continue to attract local, national and international interest with it’s ever increasing foot traffic, street tours, photographers, wedding parties and school excursions. It’s been an unpredictable ride toward a safer and more friendly laneway culture, with the graffiti and arts communities revisiting this well trodden and at times controversial destination.

Much has been written about the pros and cons of street art and graffiti. CBD News has been following the progress of the PaintUp! series, while Black Mark is prolific in writing about his journey seeking out Melbourne’s art and culture. New books such as Street Art Now and Street Art:Melbourne feature the works of street artists as an ongoing record of the fleeting nature of this creative medium.

City councils are becoming more strategic in their approaches to social inclusion, urban amenity and crime prevention. At the core of the Hosier Inc discourse with the users of the laneways has been a belief that creative endeavour outperforms punitive measures – although there is still little research to back these projects. Nonetheless, we have seen a huge increase in public interest, and an accompanying groundswell of foot traffic to the area. If increased traffic is a deterrent to anti-social behaviour, the success of the Hosier Lane experience appears self evident. The flip side of this is benefit is evident in the percentages – larger crowds bring inevitable incidents, irrespective of the numbers.

While Melbourne council City of Yarra considers graffiti tours, the public debate and accompanying backlash needs to be tempered with a discussion about street amenity, safety and aesthetic sensibility. We’ve seen Hosier Lane go through phases of renewal and overpainting, including significant tagging. The outcome is very much in the eye of the beholder – tagging has it’s proponents, street art and murals have their detractors. The discussion around graffiti, street art, writing, stencils, street sculpture, gallery and commercial art generates fervent opinions and responses depending upon who’s talking.

At the end of the day, none of the subjective assessments really matter – our laneway appears to be a much safer, vibrant and enjoyable place to be! Indeed, the street community has embraced the precinct in ways we could never anticipate, such is the unpredictable nature of a vibrant social discourse overlaid upon this uncontrollable landscape. Who knows what the future holds, but we’re pretty sure local, state and federal governments see the value.

Here’s an old piece published by the ABC way back in 2013 – for old times sake!

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Hosier and Rutledge Lanes Improvement Project Report


On 5 February 2013 Melbourne City Council resolved to implement a 12 month project plan in Hosier and Rutledge Lanes in order to address the anti-social behaviour taking place in the lane.

The plan was enacted to trial an alternative approach to the installation of CCTV. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is the approach that has been used to inform the plan. The attached document is the final report for this initiative.

The steering committee was chaired by City of Melbourne and met from March 2013 – March 2014 to oversee the project. Members included City of Melbourne branches (Arts & Culture and Community Safety and Wellbeing), Hosier Inc, Salvation Army Street Teams, Youth Projects, RMIT School of Art and Victoria Police.

View the final report – Download the pdf (1.2Mb)

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Lighting proposal zig-zags up laneway

Hosier Rutledge Lanes Steering Committee (HRLSC) met on the 18th of September in the Carlton Room – it was a full house with many events and items discussed! One of those was the CoM proposal to install a new laneway lighting design. Ian Dryden – Senior Industrial Designer for the City of Melbourne presented a set of slides of illustrations depicting the proposed catenary light design.


As described by Ian in his presentation document (see link below):

The Hosier Lane catenary system is based on two parallel cables in close proximity to each wall, with an additional zig-zag down the centre. The zig-zag provides support for the system, introducing the possibility of using lighter weight ‘cable’ connections to buildings, in lieu of heavy brackets. The intention is to create an outdoor gallery lighting system, to complement and enhance the space.

The zig-zag of coloured leds down hosier lane introduces additional colour and visual interest to the space. Clusters of twin adjustable led spotlights accentuate artworks with medium beam, warm white (3000k) light. Discrete form and louvres combine to minimise the visual impact of the luminaire, and maximise the impact of the illuminated artworks.

Multi-function ‘theatre-bars’ would be integrated into the catenary system at both intersections of rutledge and hosier lanes. Adjacent power supplies to be provided to allow the bars to be used for supporting additional special purpose lighting, speakers, banners or temporary art installations. The intent is to enhance the flexibility of the space, and enable the implementation of gallery style exhibition openings or other events in the laneways.

The Rutledge Lane catenary system is designed as a minimised instance of the Hosier Lane system. The zigzag cabling incorporates the spot and linear lighting and fuses with the Hosier Lane system and the theatre-bars at the laneway intersections. In addition, linear led luminaires with a combination of wide and flood optics will wash the walls with warm white (3000k) light and provide quantitative lighting to suit AS/NZS1158 Category P8 requirements in both the horizontal and vertical planes.

What d’ya reckon? We’d be interested to hear your thoughts and feedback regarding this design.

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