ASSEMBLE Small Footprint Living Survey

ASSEMBLE Small Footprint Living Survey
ASSEMBLE SurveyLead Image © Alice Oehr
Laurence DragomirJune 23, 2015

It's a really interesting discussion and I think it really is an ongoing discussion. I know the guys from Assemble Papers are working on something in relation to it which I'm participating in and they're asking some interesting questions; not necessarily about asking people if they want a larger apartment because a lot of people will say yes, but they're asking would you be willing to sacrifice size for design. For instance would you rather a 45sqm well designed apartment over a 50sqm stock standard apartment?

Michael McCormack, Milieu co-founder and Director

Touched on briefly during's interview with Milieu's Michael McCormack, the above quote relates to the ongoing debate within the industry regarding apartment design standards and how best to tackle the issue.

Our friends at Assemble have taken it upon themselves to go the extra mile and have conceived a highly detailed survey by asking people what their expectations of apartment design are based on their lifestyles, needs and desires. The findings of the survey will form the basis of a report that Assemble will submit to the State Government as part of the consultation process.

Having been invited to review, comment and provide any additional points on the draft format of the design I can honestly say that it is nothing short of comprehensive. We ask you, our readers, on behalf of Assemble to take the time to complete the survey, which provides a great opportunity for everyone to have a say and help inform apartment design in Melbourne.

Help redefine the great Australian dream

To understand what makes for great medium and high density living, and to contribute to the current debate on apartment design standards, Assemble is reaching out to you to tell them how you live now – and how you’d like to live in the future – via a national small footprint living survey. Once you’ve shared your thoughts and experiences, you can throw your hat in the ring to win a weekend at Hotel Hotel in Canberra. The survey should take no more than 15 to 25 minutes to complete and all responses will be recorded anonymously.

Assemble is a Melbourne-based residential property developer focused on small footprint projects. They work with like-minded developers to share and realise their vision for sustainable cities. Assemble’s values and ideas find a voice in Assemble Papers – an online and biannual print journal about the culture of living closer together, across art, design, architecture, urbanism, the environment and financial matters. The three directors of Assemble are Giuseppe Demaio, Joachim Holland and Ben Keck. Between them, they also provide to clients architecture services via Fieldwork and brand communication services via Local Peoples.

The quarter-acre block we once aspired to is no longer affordable for most Australians, nor does it match up to our 21st century vision for well-connected, culturally diverse, sustainable and smart cities. To live better in cities, we need to live smaller. However, the capacity to do so is necessarily affected by government regulation. The Victorian and NSW governments are currently reviewing policies that will have a significant impact on the way we live in years to come, and we have a chance to be part of the process.

Ben Keck, Assemble Director

Assemble’s Small Footprint Living Survey follows the release of ‘Better Apartments, A Discussion Paper’ by the Victorian Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne MP, on 14 May 2015 – a fresh start to the discussion following the leak of the proposed Victorian Apartment Design Standards in July last year.

Assemble will prepare a report on the survey findings that will be made publicly available on their website. Assemble will also submit the report to the Victorian Government as part of the consultation period for ‘Better Apartments, A Discussion Paper’ and use it as a conversation-starter to engage with industry stakeholders and policymakers across the country.

Our hope is not only to influence policymaking, but also to provide a useful resource to assist decision-making by home-buyers, renters, developers, planners, architects and city-lovers alike. This is a vital, complicated and passionate debate for our cities. There don’t appear to be any silver bullet solutions. Close consultation between government and the property, planning and architecture communities will be necessary to strike the delicate balance of encouraging new and affordable apartment supply and a high standard of living for current and future generations.

Ben Keck

Come stay at Hotel Hotel

Hotel Hotel is a place of collaborative craftsmanship made by artists, makers, designers and fantasists. It is the brainchild of the Molonglo Group who are also responsible for the NewActon precinct within which Hotel Hotel resides. NewActon is a series of landscaped and edible gardens, commissioned art, cafes, bars and restaurants, residential and commercial spaces, cinemas and ongoing cultural programs designed to make the everyday special.

The final piece of the NewActon precinct is the series of Nishi buildings – conceived and designed by Molonglo Group, working with Fender Katsalidis Architects, Japan’s Suppose Design Office, March Studios, international engineering consultants Arup, and urban and landscape designers Oculus. It is one of the most radically sustainable buildings in Australia – both environmentally and socially. This is where Hotel Hotel lives – a conduit for NewActon’s communal culture and the product of countless collaborations with artists and designers from all over the country. From Perimeter’s books in the library to Kris Coad’s ceramics in the restaurant, every object and experience is curated to create a supremely pleasurable stay.

Assemble have made friends with Hotel Hotel so one of you will get to go on a weekend away – what better way to thank you for your feedback than by giving you the opportunity to experience small footprint living first hand. The prize includes two nights’ accommodation for you and a friend in the month of September, return flights to Canberra from your nearest Australian capital city and some goodies during your stay.

ASSEMBLE Small Footprint Living Survey
Hotel Hotel illustration © Alice Oehr #smallfootprintlivingsurvey

The The Small Footprint Living Survey will be open for submissions until Monday 20 July, 5.00pm.

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.

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