Towards an inclusive approach to home modifications

Master of Architecture
Semester 2, 2020

Studio leader(s)

The Australian dwelling typology mix offers limited choice, and is even more limited if you are from the increasing cohort of people living with a disability or with mobility issues. In this studio we will be analysing, experimenting and prototyping ways in which the current suite of housing options could be made more flexible, adaptable and  accessible to all types of bodies and abilities. This will range from very young to very old people, to those requiring assistance with everyday life activities, and to those with specific physical limitations or cognitive disorders.

We will analyse and critique current regulatory frameworks and legislation around these issues, in order to develop a more ‘performance-based’ and site-specific approach to living in all its forms. The emphasis will be on quality of life and independence.

Site

The site for analysis, investigation and prototyping will be your own home (the place where you are actually residing during the semester)

Method

The studio will be experimenting at 1:1 scale with actual modifications, able to be tested and experienced directly. These modifications may be considered temporary to whatever timescale is relevant to the dwelling fabric / living situation.

Material

some material expense for prototype development will be required, and this will depend on design approaches taken. Materials will range from cardboard to plywood/ timber frame and sheet.

Fabrication

we will be emphasising digital-led fabrication techniques, including rapid prototyping and mass customisation,
that lend themselves to both site-specific adjustments and reproduction of these ideas at scale. The use and support of the MADA workshops will be available to students, subject to COVID-19 procedures and restrictions

Output

Final work will include a series of selfmade videos, suitable for uploading to Youtube, etc. These will be aimed at a
general public audience. Students will also be asked to set up time-lapse photography of the building/ prototyping/
testing process in their house.

This studio is part of a larger research project in the Monash Urban Lab, entitled: The Accessible and Adaptive Housing Project, in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission