Designing and building living spaces for remote communities

May 14 / 135

Architecture students have designed and built innovative outdoor living spaces with a remote Indigenous community in the Northern Territory township of Titjikala.

Project Lead Dr David O’Brien said it was a unique opportunity for students to further their design and community consultation skills while making a contribution to much-needed remote infrastructure.

“Designing culturally and environmentally appropriate housing for Indigenous communities remains a challenge that faces Australia at large," he said.

“It’s a challenge that some of our brightest Master of Architecture students have taken up."

“This particular housing project takes into account the desire for outdoor living spaces, due to extreme heat and the cultural preference to conduct daily activities outdoors, such as cooking.”

Overcrowding can also be a big challenge, so these outdoor living areas also provide additional living and sleeping space.

“Housing is a shared responsibility with Indigenous communities and support organisations, who must provide their own ‘sweat equity’ to help plan, build, maintain and repair their homes,” Dr O'Brien said.

Since 2008, projects such as this from the yearly Bower Studio have helped design and construct houses, computer labs, an early childhood learning centre, community bathing facilities and community centres. 

These projects have taken place both in Australia and overseas.

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