Alternative Housing Ideas: How We Can Reimagine the Way We Live


Sydneysiders can hear international architects and innovative thinkers reimagine the way we live at the Sydney Town Hall on Friday 15 November.

The free City of Sydney event, Alternative Housing Ideas: Reimagining how we live, is part of the 13th Sydney Architecture Festival, a week-long yearly festival presented by the NSW Architects Registration Board.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Making. Housing. Affordable.”

Paul Karakusevic, founder of Karakusevic Carson Architects, will deliver a keynote address about the future of housing.

An expert in the design of public housing, Karakusevic has worked with residents and local government in the UK to investigate new ways of funding, building and improving homes and civic spaces. He is a design advisor to Homes England, the mayor of London and the Design Council.

He will be joined on stage by the seven short-listed teams of the City of Sydney’s Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge to present their ideas for new housing models that will increase affordable housing supply.

An independent jury selected a shortlist that showcased new and innovative housing models to increase alternative and affordable housing supply across the city and reduce housing stress.

The shortlisted entries were whittled down from more than 230 as part of the international challenge, which invited housing ideas in the areas of financing, design, building, ownership and management.

The City anticipates the successful chosen projects will provide learnings for future initiatives.

The 7 selected entries:

  • An equity housing model that provides affordability through ownership types from Eddie Ma and Linseen Lee, co-founders of Sydney-based spatial design practice, Vigilanti.

  • A smart home that monitors its residents and collects data to offset costs for residents by Joe Colistra and Nilou Vakil in Kansas, principal architects with US firm, in situ Design and instructors at the University of Kansas.

  • A metropolitan lands trust policy framework from researcher Dr Louise Crabtree at Western Sydney University and Jason Twill of Urban Apostles, an urban advisory and property development firm specialising in creative city-making and alternative housing.

  • Temporary pop-up shelters which repurpose buildings to provide crisis and transitional accommodation in the short to medium term from founder and director of Housing All Australians, Robert Pradolin.

  • A Right Size Service allowing residents to adapt the size and function of their property as their circumstances change from Dr Alysia Bennett, Monash University, Dr Dana Cuff, UCLA’s cityLAB and Monash University and Dr Damian Madigan, University of South Australia.

  • The Pixel Project that would establish radically affordable, high amenity dwellings that match more closely the way people live in the city today, from Anita Panov and Andrew Scott at panovscott Architects and Alexander Symes of Alexander Symes Architect. Pixels are 16 square metre minimal dwellings located around generous communal living areas.

  • A cooperative housing model adapting the Zurich “non-profit build-to-rent” model to the Sydney context by associate director at MGS Architects Katherine Sundermann, urban strategist Alexis Kalagas and urban designer Andy Fergus.


  • Lord mayor Clover Moore

  • Professor Philip Thalis, City of Sydney Councillor

  • Paul Karakusevic, partner, Karakusevic Carson Architects

  • The people behind the seven shortlisted ideas from the City of Sydney’s 2019 Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge

  • Stephen Varady, architect and director, Stephen Varady Associates

  • Professor Bill Randolph, director, City Futures Research Centre, Built Environment UNSW Sydney

  • Helen O’Loughlin, social commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission

  • Deborah Brill, director of housing and infrastructure policy, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Alternative Housing Ideas Challenge: Reimagining how we live

When: 6-8:30pm, Friday 15 November

Where: Lower Town Hall, Sydney Town Hall

The event is free to attend but bookings are essential. Book now.

The Urban Developer is proud to partner with the City of Sydney to deliver this article to you. In doing so, we can continue to publish our free daily news, information, insights and opinion to you, our valued readers.

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