School of Life (Pop Up)



Project Info

Built through a collaborative process involving the muscle of skilled labour, project client Small Giants, 40 volunteers and a meagre budget, The School of Life Australia transformed a neglected warehouse and carpark into a thriving community hub. The first international offshoot of Alain de Botton’s meaning-of-life philosophical hub was installed for 10 weeks from January-March 2013 featuring a café, Readings pop up bookshop and workshop space.


Completion Date



Wurundjeri  / Collingwood, Victoria

Project Team

Codesign Studio / Nikhila Madabhushi

Small Giants

The School of Life

4×2 Construction


Lucy Feagins (The Design Files)


“Melbourne opened its own franchise of philosopher Alain de Botton’s School of Life in Collingwood over the January 2012 Australia Day long weekend. The School of Life was established in London in 2008 by Alain de Botton and his colleagues, offering courses on the important questions of everyday life, as well as workshops and talks by inspirational authors with a practical, as well as a philosophical, approach to living.”


– ArchitectureAU