University of Technology Sydney

86530 Design Studio: Hybrid Typologies

12cp; 1hpw (lecture), 2hpw (studio), 4hpw (studio)
Requisite(s): 86529 Design Studio: Performative Spaces AND 86005 Design Studio: Inhabitations AND 86004 Design Studio: Foundations in Interior Architecture
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


According to official predictions, Australia's population is projected to hit 42 million by the year 2066, and is likely to reach 30 million around the end of the next decade. The consequent urban growth strategies in Sydney involve the development of denser urban fabrics, which appear to be the solution to the geographical conditions of a sprawled metropolitan region that collides with the ocean to the east, and with several national parks to the south, west and north. However, new collective housing projects simply replicate archetypical colonial and modern building typologies (block, tower, row, colony, etc.) without critically addressing the possible aspirations of rapidly changing and emerging social landscapes. Instead, the rigid configuration of housing stock typifies the programmatic needs of nuclear families while complying with marketable standards, which facilitate the eventual economic transaction of discrete units. The commodification of housing-stock and current legislation are also enabling the private acquisition of ever-greater areas of the city by corporate conglomerates and transnational financial groups. Consequently, and according to Demographia's 2018 'Housing Affordability Survey', Sydney is the second least affordable housing market in the world, after Hong Kong. This report does not only render visible the unsustainability of the current economic and political model – and its exhausting effects on the city and its inhabitants – but it also demands radical political action, along with new imaginaries and aesthetics of the domestic and the city.

This subject thoroughly explores the role of interior architecture in imagining alternative forms of collective domesticity capable of disrupting neoliberal agendas in the city. The subject departs from the study of some of the most paradigmatic collective housing projects of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and their alliance/opposition to specific political agendas and social contexts. Similarly, students critically revisit the history of the most prominent 20th-century housing fairs and their role in the staging of aspirations and reconfiguration of desires along with exhibitions, magazines and films. The brief fictionalises a 21st-century housing fair promoted by the City of Sydney to 'instigate forms of coexistence for multispecies and collective bodies in times of planetary burn-out'. The design process departs from the performative implementation and spatial planning of a housing fair that, eventually, is occupied and transformed into a fully operative domestic laboratory. The design process explores radical ways of inhabitation detached from the reproduction of hetero-patriarchal nuclear families and the logic of housing as a real estate asset. This design studio appeals to the imagination of students in challenging the convention of housing design as a distributive and stable problem. The design proposals should question preconceived notions of belonging, limit, ownership, intimacy, desire, comfort, luxury, conflict, interior, exterior, care and seduction; as well as move away from current modes of ultra-securitised, individualised, stable and aseptic domestic environments.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.