Australia’s population – which ticked passed 24 million for the first time this year, according to the Bureau of Statistics’ population clock – has the highest rate of growth of all the medium and large OECD countries, at about 1.7 percent a year.
The latest census data shows that that Sydney’s population grew by 10 percent from 2011 to 2015, while Melbourne, growing at a rate of 12 percent, is projected to overtake it in the future. By 2050 it is projected Melbourne will require two million additional homes to house a population of 10 million.
At this year’s Housing Futures forum, taking place at the Clemenger BBDO Auditorium in Melbourne’s NGV International on 4 August, Nicky Drobis, director of design at Fender Katsalidis Architects, will explore how Australia’s record population growth has dramatic implications for both housing and the people who work on it.
In her presentation, Drobis will discuss the intersection of design, innovation and prefabrication in architecture through a series of case studies. She will examine the potential of prefabrication to “inform new systems and structures” for the delivery of housing in this time of dramatic population growth.
Drobis’s address is one of four “design, delivery and ownership” presentations that will complement keynote addresses from an international line-up of architects, academics and built environment professionals. The day’s presentations will explore the many issues facing housing today and speculate on the cities of tomorrow.
University of Technology Sydney senior lecturer Tarsha Finney will explore the acute issue of housing affordability affecting Melbourne and Sydney, along with other global cities such as London, New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong. She will discuss how one of the consequences of the housing affordability crisis is an absence of “spatial experimentation into how we organize ourselves into novel and new collectives of intimacy and care.”
This experimentation matters, she says, because demographic changes, the changing nature of family and work and the rise of people living alone are all “asking new things of our housing, and of how we collectively organize ourselves.”
Finney will focus on how spatial and organizational experimentation can be achieved in multi-residential housing.
Deicke Richards director and independent chair of the Brisbane Housing Company Eloise Atkinson, will consider the consequences of housing affordability, including its effect on those with the lowest incomes. She will explain the role of Brisbane Housing Company in housing people and focus on housing futures for low-income earners.
Catherine Lezer, the director of Strata Community Australia, will discuss the “green strata” Botany Cope and contend that “it has never been more important for stratas to lift their game.”
The one-day forum will also feature four keynote addresses and a series of Q&A sessions.
The keynote speakers are: Richard Hassell (co-founding director of the Singapore-based practice WOHA) Cany Ash (London-based co-founder of Ash Sakula Architects), Vincent Taapken (founding director of New Industry Development) and Geoffrey London (professor, University of Western Australia).
Housing Futures is organized by Architecture Media and supported by major partners Blum, Clipsal, Wood Solutions and supporting partner Tractile. The Design Speaks Symposia 2017 presenting partner is Taubmans.