Listening, reading and thoughts | Intended for UNSW Urban Design students and UNSW Housing & Architecture students, but everyone is welcome….
Podcasts are fertiliser for your brain. Save these ones up for your next all-nighter. You are welcome!
99PI is one of my favourite podcasts; it's like having smart granules sprinkled into your head while you are working. The topics are obscure but relevant to what we need to think about.
How to solve suburban sprawl, isolation and social dysfunction, all in air-conditioned comfort...
Privately owned public spaces?! WTF??
An absurd, irrational obsession with green lawns…
Urban-design weapons for keeping neighbourhoods apart. Sadness…
Branding the city?! Urgh! …
Overwhelmed by all the inter-connected bits of your city? Take a step back; imagine how someone else might describe your city… From Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino, read by Leigh Pyman.
In a list of things that drive a war, architecture is an unlikely entry. Yet that's exactly what Syrian architect and author Marwa al-Sabouni says contributed to the devastating years of conflict she lived through. She is now exploring ways to reimagine and rebuild her city for a peaceful future. Read this ABC News article.
Something to listen to on your next commute:
Some fun moments: 20:05 Dutch like bikes, not cars. 12:00 Mixing functions, not taking them apart. 21:45 Actually, people don't want their city to be a well organised machine. Life is chaos! You want to be surprised. 22:35 Bricks are nice, warm & human.
We have an uncomfortable cultural relationship with our own suburbia. For millions of us, Australian suburbia is our native habitat, it's where we were made, or begin finding a new life in another country.
Our suburbs are badges of honour and symbols of crass, they are parodied and exalted, demonised and canonised. What role does old and new suburbia play in our present state of being?
How well do you know your neighbour? If you have never met them, or only know them to wave to, perhaps it’s time to connect.
That’s the advice of Hugh Mackay, one of the country’s most esteemed social researchers, who warns Australia is experiencing a worsening societal crisis.
Income inequality, distrust of politicians, social fragmentation and an epidemic of depression and anxiety. Hugh Mackay believes part of the answer lies in your neighbourhood.
A problem-solving network called Good Karma is spreading through the country, turning suburbs into caring communities.
Dreaming of the future is an important tradition. Understanding what our predecessors dreamt for their future helps explains where we are and how we got here. It reminds us that priorities always shift and cities are only ever half-built.
A self driving car, for example...
Dreaming of the future is also a responsibility. What will future cities look like, how will they function and how do we keep them focussed on human need?...
Housing is the most important building type. It’s ubiquitous and it’s familiar, and that means we forget how special it is, and how hard it is to design it well. Housing must be socially connected, it must relate to its urban condition, it must be highly performing, robust and flexible. It must work hard over enormous arcs of time.
Australia is famous for its suburban sprawls, and the large freestanding dwellings that populate our suburbs. A glance at our city skylines, shows we are also embracing apartment living. But what if you don’t want, or can’t afford, a big house or an apartment. What are your options? …
When a house is open for inspection, it's usually to give you the chance to check out what could be your next home or investment. But what if someone prepares an open house for public inspection, knowing that in two weeks it'll just be rubble? Australian artist Ian Strange used real houses slated for demolition to challenge perceptions of homes being safe, and even sound.
High rentals and short-term leases are making it harder than ever for tenants to secure apartments and houses. The current rental squeeze is driving some to opt for a room share arrangement where tenants don't just share houses - but bedrooms - with total strangers.
How do you create a sense of privacy and security within a room share arrangement?
An extrovert, an insomniac and an architect dive deeper into a house design... intrinsically shaped by the chronic medical condition of one of its owners - who's emotional and psychological damage as a child prevented him ever really feeling safe in his own home.
As the issue of housing affordability continues to strain our hip pockets, it is vulnerable people who are impacted the most. Uni of Melbourne Article