Caricatures of a House
An illustration and a conversation about Perth homes and the people who make them come to life.
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#006 - The transient Studio Apartment
1 9 . 1 0 . 2 0 1 8
Q u e s t i o n n a i r e / f e e d b a c k :
How is your house different/ or not different?
It’s not and it is. It’s a studio apartment in a 1970’s block of 30 odd units. The bones are the exact same as everyone else's, however, overtime the interior worlds have changed with each tenant. My space is just a blip of difference.
In places like this, its important to define your own space, as it can developed into an extension of your self. We can grow attachments to the material world quite easily, like that feeling you have when your phones not in your pocket, as if it were a misplaced organ. Physiologically, objects can be apart of us. Space has this ability too, although it can’t be misplaced like a phone, the interior objects can change and the sense of it as your space changes with it. It’s the furniture I’ve built, the collection of objects on the bookshelf, and that knack with the lock on the back door that only I know that makes my interior world different even if the shell isn’t.
What parts of your home are the most important to you and why?
All the things that can fit in the back of a truck. Renting in Perth is highly transient. It’s the furniture and objects that become your home as opposed to the four walls and the roof. For me at the moment, what I call home isn’t a fixed architecture. However, furniture can be architecture. From what I call my rental renovations, I have built two screen walls that have defined my space in a way that suits me. These can adapt to various scenarios, be it sleep, work or party, the walls can fold to suit the occasion. The autonomy keeps me sane in my rental state.
Are there any parts of your home that you would like to change and how would it improve your quality of life?
Yes, I’d like to pick up the 30 unit apartment block and rotate it 180deg to face north. There are full unit width windows and a courtyard on the south side and 1/3 the amount of glazing on the north. I don’t understand how the architect / designer could have gotten it so wrong. If it were flipped, I would get full northern sun inside during the winter with a nice sunny courtyard. Warmth and natural light are fundamental, get them right and everything else falls into place.
What are your thoughts on housing in Perth?
It’s shit but most people like it because they have no idea of how shit it is. If you tell them it’s shit they will defend their shit-dom because its a part of them - spaces and places attach themselves to us, like shit. Why? It’s industry, economics, and advertising / education. Most of the housing stock you see built is the cheapest and the most convenient to the consumer. Anything that isn’t that is scarce. We need to make beautifully sustainable housing cheaper and more convenient than what is currently available. As well as educating the public and the younger generation about good design and architectural appreciation.
What is your dream for Perth’s housing landscape?
An urban sea of solar chimneys that thermally moderate each house passively using zero energy, gleaming roof’s of solar power and hot water, connected to a blockchain power grid that shares electricity, heavily shaded streets with large native trees, autonomously shared cars, more bike lanes, vibrant neighbourhood communities that each have their own unique sense of culture, agriculture and enterprise, a diverse choice of affordable dwellings for all possible human scenarios of families, couples, migrants and the differently abled. This isn’t science fiction anymore, all these things are possible right now. If we aren't aiming for this, what are we doing?
What impact do you think ‘Caricatures of a house’ will/ could have on the general public?
Education and awareness is the most important staff of change. If people are aware, not only of the problems but most importantly, what is possible, we might have a chance. We have to start dreaming of better futures. Caricatures of a house is young and is building a strong foundation of where housing in Perth is at the moment. I’m looking forward to the next phase where Kura is designing our future built environment! This will, truely, be beautiful.