Better Life @ Home

Master of Architecture
Semester 1, 2021

Studio leader(s)

Paired Studio + Studies Unit Outline

This paired studio and studies unit will develop design led strategies for adapting existing homes so that they can better accommodate all people - including those with a disability.

Why is this important?

  1. There are 4.4 million people with disability in Australia yet the availability of appropriate accessible housing remains a major challenge. Most existing homes are inaccessible, and inaccessible homes continue to be built. We think this needs to change.
  2. In so far as lack of housing for people with disability is being addressed - the emphasis is mostly on new buildings and there is no systematic approach to changing the existing city grain and buildings. We want to change this.
  3. While architects and designers have – and for a long time – thought about notions of spatial flexibility and adaptability, they have not applied this thinking to the disability context.

Why will we be successful?

  1. Because we are working in partnership with the Australian Human Rights commissions. The Disability Rights Commissioner, Dr Ben Gauntlett and his team are working hand in hand with us and Ben will act as our client.
  2. Because the studio is research-led and we will be working with a number of researchers with expertise in architectural fabrication and industrial design.
  3. Because we are working across scales – from the scale of the city to the building, to the interior and we are doing this collaboratively with other Units across the MADA Faculty.


Final work will be in the form of a substantial public exhibition, involving the construction of installations at 1:1 scale. This will include collaboration with industrial design students. The exhibition will be at MADA Gallery (Building D) and will be produced in an intensive workshop from week 12-15. All students are expected to be present and contribute to this making process. (Load will be reduced during the semester to accommodate this.)