Rashed Azizi

Beyond Housing: affordable and agile living in peri-urban areas

PhD candidate

  • Rashed Azizi



Funded by

  • Monash University, Alex Raydon PhD Scholarship

I try to create homes, not houses.

Louis Khan

COVID-19 has highlighted the need for future housing to accommodate more flexible, remote-friendly, digital working norms. The definition of a ‘home’ is changing, with increasing calls for new housing types to address issues of agility and adaptability. Yet there is limited design research analysing more fluid and changeable housing models. Designers have also tended to neglect housing in the dynamic peri-urban zone between the urban and rural conditions. The transitioning of natural, demographic and spatial features in peri-urban areas present unique challenges and opportunities for emerging working and living norms. In these contexts, there is a simultaneous need to reconsider patterns of settlement to allow for incremental growth, adaptability and multifunctionality of contemporary living environments, with new housing forms that offer greater building efficiencies, safety and density.

This research project asks, “How can housing design in peri-urban contexts contribute to affordable, agile living and address the constantly changing housing demands of its occupants?”. It will interrogate two case studies, one in Australia and the other in Iran, to uncover replicable design strategies that are adaptive, in both program and form. The work in this Ph.D. is framed as research through design. It is divided into two stages: (a) A critical review of the literature, existing project work and practices that have emerged around agile dwelling design and peri-urban development. (b) An applied design-based investigation, supported by interviews, fieldwork observation of sites, and visual analysis methods.