Housing for all cultures: can we do it?

 

Some of the basics of good housing have been ignored…

 

With the widening cultural diversity in all Australian cities, many people are asking whether the housing we have built in the past is really appropriate for people from Southeast Asia or the Middle East — or other places.

 

Research shows that people from different cultures are not necessarily satisfied with the products offered by Australian builders and housing developers. Some of the basics of good housing, in their view, have been ignored.

 

Some features of designs may even be offensive to some cultural groups.

 

 

 

Is it necessary to have separate designs or can we accommodate the requirements of different cultural groups in the design of the housing we already provide? What should we focus on and how important will these elements be?

 

Having conducted some of this research herself, urban planner, I can provide guidance on what would constitute culturally appropriate housing in Australia in thought-provoking lectures and workshops with illustrations from existing housing developments.

 

An example of research converted into user-friendly guidelines is a suite of reports I prepared for the private developer, Mirvac Fini, in Perth in 2003 for the design of high-density housing in the award-winning development, The Peninsula, in Burswood Lakes.

 

This award-winning project reflects current thinking about housing design for culturally diverse groups.

 

Download this report to read more…Working Paper 14 CULTURE final

Frontstage and Backstage: Housing Design Principles Important in Many Cultures

 

There is currently much debate in Australia  – and internationally – about housing design and housing policy.

 

There is agreement among researchers about some aspects. In some quarters, there is a lot of disagreement. And a lot of resistance. Some developers are responding to “market segmentation” with innovative designs for shared housing, student housing, even housing for extended families. But many are still offering products that are not likely to meet the needs of emerging Australian households.

 

What do these households look like and what are their needs?

 

My career has ranged from senior advisory roles in the South Australian Government to advisor to developers and state and local governments.

 

My housing research has spanned a wide range of disciplines.

 

My work for a major national developer and a state land commission involved   in-depth investigations of medium-density housing, exploration of social and demographic trends and implications for planning and housing design.

 

I am eager to share my insights from my years of work in the field of inclusionary housing.