March 2025
ROYAL EXHIBITION BUILDING
& CARLTON GARDENS

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MATT YORK (BUDLING DESIGN)

Budling Design’s Show Garden, “Alone, Together” by Matt York, is a collaboration with Beyond Blue to shed light on the increasing health concerns stemming from social isolation and loneliness. The garden serves as an educational platform, utilizing parks and gardens to promote belonging, foster dialogue about loneliness, and inspire further research in designing for wellness.


The design draws inspiration from the Great Otway National Park, where visitors can reconnect with nature and rediscover shared values through landscape materials and plants. As a response to the loneliness many experienced during COVID-19, the garden invites visitors to engage with nature and connect with others.


The garden showcases a contrast of landscapes in its design, presenting a Hydrangea against the backdrop of a Messmate forest, protected by a large Dicksonia frond. The garden’s scale and magnitude celebrate social isolation and offer ample opportunity for visitors to connect with others. The show garden encourages people to revisit national parks and highlights the benefits of such visits to health and wellness.


“Alone, Together” seeks to start conversations about loneliness and social isolation and promote healthy and sustainable ways of managing mental health.

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