Studio leader: Djordje Stojanovic
Studio 47 focused on the proximity, an increasingly important architectural measure in the present-day context. We explored the new proximities between individuals and communities, between different activities, and between indoor and outdoor spaces. The studio agenda was linked to Future Homes Student Design Competition, organized by IBA Melbourne, in partnership with The Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect.
Victorians are building the biggest homes in Australia, and therefore in the world, averaging close to 200 square meters. And, more than half of these new homes are detached houses. This trend is putting pressure on infrastructure and environment, and therefore many planners are advocating for a more rational approach through higher density development and more shared amenities. However, most recently, another perspective has emerged. On Friday, July 3rd, this year, three thousand people were detained in nine social housing towers in North Melbourne. The immediate lockdown enforcement was a response to the COVID 19 outbreak. Shared amenities including lobbies, corridors and elevators were quickly identified as a source of rapid infection transmission between residents. In this regard, the pandemic has added complexity to some of the well-established design paradigms. The use of shared spaces, often seen as a primary mechanism of community building by architects and sociologists, as well as the tendency to increase the density of urban fabric in response to population growth, are now to be rethought. The pandemic outbreak has also changed our daily activities. More than ever, the distinction between workplace and home has disappeared. It has also interfered with our access to and appreciation of outdoor spaces. Beyond a response to an immediate danger, these new conditions pose architectural challenges and necessitate creativity and design innovation in the longer run.