Can Good Design Change The Great Australian Dream?

Helen Edwards Interior Decorating Design 2 Comments

There is so much involved in living in a house. So much more than a building, our homes are our safe havens, our resting places, where we grow ourselves and our families, create memories, live, work and play. There is a lot of discussion in our community about the lack of affordable housing and the death of the “great Australian dream”. When I grew up it was certainly on the top of the list to buy your home, the bigger the better. And we were advised to pay off our home as the best investment we could make for our future. Mr Recycled and I are in the lucky position of having been able to buy a home 20 years ago. That does not mean we own it outright yet, but we have that security. But is this the right way or not? Are there other options? And who is to define where you should live, what kind of home is best, and whether you should own a home? It is a fine balance between affordability, lifestyle, where you live, and what is best for our community as a whole.

sustainable architecture adelaide

Christie Walk Adelaide

sustainable architecture adelaide

Christie Walk Adelaide

sustainable architecture adelaide

Christie Walk Adelaide

Our sprawling cities are reaching their limits and we find ourselves at a cultural crossroads as the great Australian dream must adapt to a new era. To aid in the lack of affordable housing, as well as take into consideration our footprint on the planet and our immediate environment, there is a growing movement away from big houses on large blocks in cities, and an increased demand for multi-residential developments near our city hubs.

Now the real challenge is upon us – to move toward new approaches that enable innovative, affordable, sustainable design that are liveable and affordable. Host of Density by Design,  Dr Josh Byrne is an environmental scientist and research fellow with Curtin University and the CRC for Low Carbon Living. In Density by Design he will visit ground-breaking projects, seeking out the leading minds and ideas around sustainable, higher density residential developments in Australia that are inspiring change through demonstration.

The Commons, Melbourne

The Commons, Melbourne

The Commons, Melbourne

The Commons, Melbourne

The Commons, Melbourne

The Commons, Melbourne

The Commons, Melbourne

The Commons, Melbourne

In the first four episodes of Density by Design Josh Byrne visits the pioneering Christie Walk in Adelaide, The Commons in Melbourne, Bowden in Adelaide and Central Park in Sydney’s CBD. This leads him to WGV, a 2.2ha medium density residential precinct under construction near Fremantle in WA, and the subject of a four year ‘Living Laboratory’ research project which is testing built environment innovation in a real-life setting.

Central Park, Sydney

Central Park, Sydney

Central Park, Sydney

Central Park, Sydney

Central Park, Sydney

Central Park, Sydney

Over the coming months, Josh will share the learnings from this world leading development via additional episodes. The initial episodes also explore their subject sites from an aesthetic viewpoint, through the lens of four professional architectural photographers. Iain Bond, Dianna Snape, Corey Roberts and Katherine Lu’s photography adds an interpretation of design intent and built form character to the series in a creative and poignant way.

Density by Design is part of a broader research project on low-carbon residential precincts being undertaken by Curtin University’s Sustainability Policy Institute and the CRC for Low Carbon Living. Project partners include the Western Australian Government land development agency LandCorp, City of Fremantle and Josh Byrne & Associates. The web series is produced by VAM MEDIA, and Directed by Brendan Hutchens. You can find all the details here.

Helen

Comments 2

  1. Do you know if they incorporate accessibility into their designs? I love a lot of these types of projects but often little thought is given to how accessible they are. If we are talking about true sustainable housing we also need housing that will incorporate universal design principles from the beginning and be inclusive of those who are already disabled and those who may become disabled through injury, illness or old age. Unfortunately many similar projects rely on the residents being able-bodied and in good health. For example, I love roof top gardens and the idea of using all available space to create havens or grow produce, but if access is via stairs, as many are, then people like myself will never be able to access them.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Michelle – such good points – my understanding is that building codes require this now but I am not sure about the particular projects – Josh would be able to tell you. I should think that roof top gardens should have a lift. I went to one recently that did. Let’s hope that this does become part of the usual way of doign things, as it should be

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