The Burrow


  • United Make
  • Cube Zero
  • Power to make


The Burrow was a spectacular centrepiece for the 2020 Lunar New Year Celebrations at Westfield Doncaster. Designed, prototyped and fabricated by United Make in Richmond the designers told the ancient Chinese story of the zodiac rat race through an interactive installation that merges the year of the Rat (2020) with the blooming flowers of Spring festival. The Burrow was inspired by the arch of the iconic mouse hole that is present in pop culture, and from that, extrapolated an immersive space for people to walk through to explore the great animal race to find their own personal Chinese Zodiac sign.

Key Features


When Westfield Doncaster asked UnitedMake to design a centrepiece for the Lunar New Year festival in 2020, UnitedMake wanted to show the traditional festivities of Chinese New Year in a new, playful, engaging and educational way. Everything in the Burrow was considered with design, even down to the ornamental geometries of the flowers that adopt a sino-futuristic aesthetic (an updated ornamental graphic of the ancient chinese patterns). As it was under the atrium in the centre, we considered how the flowers created a dapple effect that invited participants to explore the story of Lunar New Year.


The design of the Burrow is about diversity and a modern day celebration of East meeting West of Lunar New Year. 10.8% of Victoria’s Population is of Chinese descent and Australia is a multicultural country, this project allows different people from different backgrounds of all ages to understand more about Chinese New Year in a engaging and fun way. The Burrow during its time at Westfield became an iconic destination for visitors to learn, explore and gather, furthermore the flowers were given away at the end of the event for people to take home and have a bit of Lunar New Year in their own home.


Collaborating in a diverse team and refining the design process, The Burrow sets an aspirational benchmark for storytelling through installations that are multicultural and interactive. It uses digital rapid prototyping machinery and invites the user to come and engage with ancient festivities in new ways.


The entire project from conception to execution was designed, fabricated and installed in Melbourne. It uses CNC (computer numerical controlled) and laser cutting technologies to get millimeter accuracies within all the joints and blooming flowers to be assembled quickly and efficiently. It is a modern way of storytelling that combines the advancement of digital tools that can be translated physically to create meaningful spaces.

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