Stellar Violets Life Library, Living Museum & Gallery

Design Feature
Type of Project
Landowner Strategy, Placemaking
Western Australia

An exhibition at the 2010 Slow Food International Terra Madre Conference highlighted the rapid reduction in global agricultural biodiversity, which prompted deep concern over the food supply and the unsustainable system in which food is produced.

Modelling healthy food environments 

Inspired by this, Stellar Violets was created - a multipurpose community health, arts and culture hub that serves as a model for sustainable living in Manjimup, Western Australia. This is showcased through an on-site market garden, mental health promotion initiatives, environmentally friendly transport, efficient energy use and waste recycling.

Stellar Violets engages the community with healthy food. Image: Stellar Violets
Stellar Violets engages the community with healthy food. Image: Stellar Violets

Stellar Violets operates within an organic apple orchard in Manjimup, south west Western Australia. Two decommissioned train carriages sourced from Pinjarra serve as both an event space that hosts groups of up to 50 people (such as schools) and a library where people can research land stewardship, art and philosophy, among other topics of interest.

There is also a living museum with a range of food and nature exhibits. For example, a market garden, mixed sensory food garden and the family’s organic apple and nut orchards, operate as educational spaces to showcase a healthy and diverse eco-system.

Image: Stellar Violets
Image: Stellar Violets

Other key elements focus on sustainable energy, waste renewal and a Nature Playgroup space to engage future generations in the preservation of nature. Future plans for the space include a seed library, so that community members can ‘check out’ seeds, as they would a library book, and at end of the growing season, return the packet with seeds they have saved from their harvest for the next borrower.


The vision of Stellar Violets has been translated into a community space that educates community members about sustainable food production and holistic health, through a reconnection with, and valuing of, natural resources. This venue allows designers, town planners and policy makers to observe theory in practice to grow healthy built food environments.

Project Team 

  • Stellar Violets
  • Community members
  • Volunteers

Project Cost 

$200,000 (funded from a combination of grants, private and corporate sponsorship).

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