Rachel Iampolski

Rachel's research investigates the nexus between tangible, and intangible cultural heritage that occurs through the informal, citizen-led reclamation and re-purposing of public space and the urban built form.

Rachel is interested in understanding if this inherently informal and reactive process can be preserved or better facilitated through urban cultural policy and management, and its implications on the spatial and cultural democratisation of our cities.  

Fascinated by liminal, ‘ordinary’, transient, reactive and occasionally deviant spaces and occurrences, Rachel aims to better understand their underrepresented contribution to our urban experience.

Through ethnography and arts practice-based research methods, her research more broadly situates the various reactive, power tensions that exist in cities and the unique urban cultural heritage that it spurs.

Rachel has a Masters in Arts and Cultural Management and B.Arts (Anthropology and Sociology) from the University of Melbourne, and is currently a tutor in Urban Planning Theory.  

Research interests: cultural anthropology; urban design and policy; cultural heritage; cultural geography; GIS data and spatial analysis; place-making, socially-engaged and public art; child-friendly cities; urban identity; rights to the city; DIY urbanism; feminist urban theory


Dr Ian McShane

Associated Professor Wendy Steele

Dr Marnie Badham

Related Content

News & Blog


Footy is back, but what will it look like for die-hard fans during a global pandemic?

10 June 2020

As AFL fans across the country get excited for the return of footy on Thursday night, there is still an air of nervous anticipation as to what lies ahead. How do we enjoy our national sport in a time of COVID-19?


A time to embrace the edge spaces that make our neighbourhoods tick

01 June 2020

As we emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns, it is timely to reflect on how the design of our neighbourhoods and the ways we interact with them affect our lived experience.


The Living Pavilion Research Report

Tanja Beer, Cristina Hernandez-Santin, Zena Cumpston, Rimi Khan, Dr Luis Mata, Kirsten Parris, Christina Renowden, Rachel Iampolski, Dominique Hes, Blythe Vogel

The University of Melbourne

View Publication