Thursday, July 31, 2014

2014 Teaching - New Directions for the Australian Dream

Course Description  

New Directions for the Australian Dream
Studio Tutors: Rob Brown & Carly Martin
2014 l ARCH 7111 Design Studio 1
UNSW Masters of Architecture Programme Architecture + Design

The studio problem is to engage with the Australian suburban condition through a series of ‘Case Study Houses’ examining the future social, cultural and economic needs of suburbanites through innovations in architectural design leading to new models for suburban living.

For better or worse low density suburbs are where most Australians live and will continue to live in the future. Traditional detached housing types have failed to respond to the changes in society, culture and the ethical demands of today. Simply despairing of the suburbs does not get us very far, architects need to engage thoughtfully and strategically with the problems and reinvent the suburban house for today and the future.

Australian architects can design great houses but what can we offer beyond the realm of great ‘Bespoke Houses’?  By demonstrating possibilities and expanding expectations of the suburban dream architects can change the model.

The historical perspective to the studio looks at a period in history when architects did influence the suburban condition. In particular the 1945 case study houses of Los Angeles led by John Entenza and a group of young architects who were passionate about the need for design innovation arising from the need for new models for speculative housing. They were focused on developing efficient and experimental designs, expressive of the modern era which could be replicated at a low cost. Outstanding architects produced 36 designs which left a legacy so strong they continue to influence contemporary architecture.
Australian examples of architects committed to improving speculative housing included Robin Boyd and Ken Woolley back in the 70’s.

The result of these studies will be 5 ‘case study/prototypes’ house designs for the 5 principal climatic zones of suburban Australia addressing all the issues of changing demographics, flexible household sizes, affordability, varied lifestyles ,sustainability and environmental appropriateness.