Friday 4 December – Sunday 17 January 2021
5.00 pm (AEDT)


Design Speaks Virtual Portal
Virtual Event


Tickets sales for this program are now closed. Sessions will be accessible until 5 pm AEDT 11 January 2021.

Program Info

The Architecture Symposium: Housing Futures presents a curated selection of contemporary Australian architects whose projects respond creatively to the spectrum of housing challenges and opportunities. We have, as a profession, an opportunity to step confidently from turbulent times into a future where we take the lead on the transformation of the urban, suburban and regional residential environment. The Architecture Symposium will highlight projects that are already doing so, opening directions for the profession and stimulating new ways of living. Financing, procurement models, housing typologies, sustainability and cost-effective strategies will be considered, all delivered to a benchmark of exceptional architectural quality. The presentations will provide a concise survey of current projects, viewed through four lenses: alternative housing models, the integration of social agendas, emerging directions in market-based housing and compact housing.


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Sophia Buckle

Event Coordinator Header Image Kindred by Panov Scott Architects. Photography: Brett Boardman.


  • Compact Housing
    In considering the future of housing in Australia, we must also look to the past. Our suburban city structures, generators of sprawl, but beloved for the promise of garden – how might we rethink them? What qualities to retain, what needs to change to help our cities adapt to the housing affordability and climate crisis we face. How do we deal with an ageing population and shifting demographic character of the country? In this session, we will examine typical suburban subdivisions that have been revisited by their architects to provide additional housing density, and the challenges this presents.
  • 2.20 pm Welcome
    Log in to the Design Speaks Virtual Portal
  • 2.30 pm Mermaid Multihouse
    Timothy Hill, Partners Hill
  • 2.45 pm Yandina Sunrise
    Melody Chen, Atelier Chen Hung
  • 3.00 pm Kindred
    Anita Panov and Andrew Scott, Panov Scott Architects
  • 3.15 pm Boonooloo Road Housing
    Emma Williamson, The Fulcrum Agency
  • 3.30 pm Dissection
    A panel discussion with Emma Williamson, Timothy Hill, Melody Chen, Anita Panov and Andrew Scott. Panel chairs: Andrew Burns and Hannah Tribe
  • 4.30 pm Session 4 concludes
    Return to the Design Speaks home page to see the full program

Keynote Addresses.

Mermaid Multihouse

Presented by
Timothy Hill, Founder, Partners Hill

Mermaid Multihouse is a demonstration project. It proves that multiple occupation of a typical suburban house site can facilitate multiple lifestyles. Parts of families or households can live next door to each. With various rooms having access via external arcades (rather than internal corridors) combinations of guest rooms, living spaces, studios and offices can be facilitated in a way more like an urban model of inner city lanes than a suburban model of isolated houses. The completed scheme continues the research work by the practice in multi-generational, multi-use “dwellings.” In this case a typical suburban budget facilitates two places for the singular investment. The contextual commitment is to the suburbs; the sites of villas which could be occupied densely, diversely and with continuous usefulness.
Mermaid Multihouse was awarded the Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing (2019 National Architecture Awards).

Yandina Sunrise

Presented by
Melody Chen, Founding Director, Atelier Chen Hung

Yandina Sunrise is home for a pilates practitioner in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, the country of the Gubbi Gubbi people. The house is light and airy, with an enhanced sense of connection to the surrounding and distant landscapes. The interior is a series of inhabited frames that intensifies specific experiences of the site, such as the view of the distant mountains or looking up into the treetops.

The architecture is an abstract volume that takes cues from juxtaposing qualities of agricultural structures nearby and the natural setting. Conceived as a skewed box form in response to the particularities of site conditions, the geometry can be read as abstract white folding planes. The shadow casting makes a constant moving facade composition like a sundial.

Restraints in footprint, form and material echo the inhabitant’s ethos to live simply. The project focuses on what is essential to elevate one’s quality of life in a compact footprint, enriched by meaningful connections to moments in time and place.

Boonooloo Road Housing

Presented by
Emma Williamson, Co-founder, The Fulcrum Agency

Boonooloo Road Housing demonstrates an alternative to the current model of infill densification in Perth’s peri-urban fringe.

Located in an established suburb in Perth’s hills, the surrounding area had been up-coded in recent years, resulting in a grouped dwelling boom, loss of mature trees and private green space, as well as streetscapes dominated by driveways and carports.

Through close collaboration with the client, the Fulcrum Agency designed a low-key project, with a focus on minimizing the effect of car parking, and amplifying space and tree cover. The result was a four stand-alone, single-story dwellings – each developed in response to the site and hardwired for adaptability.

The homes are robust, solar passive, and adaptable to allow ageing-in-place. They exceed the benchmarks for sustainable construction, and are a demonstration model for affordable housing.


Hannah Tribe

Principal, Tribe Studio Architects

Hannah Tribe is the principal of Tribe Studio Architects, a practice recognized for design excellence in its built and conceptual work in residential and urban design, education, installation and interiors. Tribe Studio Architects currently has a team of 15 architects working on projects in Australia and internationally.

Hannah has taught at the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of New South Wales. She has tutored in design and lectured in both design and design communications. She is has sat on the New South Wales Chapter Council of the Australian Institute of Architects. She has been an invited juror on awards panels, including the Australian Institute of Architects Awards, the IDEA Awards and the 2020 Houses Awards.

More About Hannah Tribe →

Andrew Burns

Principal, Andrew Burns Architecture

Andrew Burns graduated from the University of Sydney in 2004, establishing his practice Andrew Burns Architecture in late 2007. The practice’s approach seeks to combine social engagement with design excellence, and is characterized by precise geometry and material exploration.

Undertaking projects Australia-wide, the practice has broadened from a base of small cultural and domestic commissions to undertake multiresidential, public, educational and hospitality projects, often in landscape-based settings.

Andrew is currently completing a design-based PhD at Monash University, exploring the potential of systematic concept generation.

More About Andrew Burns →

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