Damian’s PhD thesis, Alternative Infill: a design study of housing intensification, adaptation and choice in the established suburbs of Adelaide, was undertaken as a major design project. It describes ways in which Adelaidean villas and cottages (which form so much of the city’s housing stock) can be adapted in order to accommodate multi-generational housing, shared living arrangements, or divisible housing. Utilising our existing building stock, these new housing forms can enable owners to age-in-place without leaving the suburbs they love and/or provide new smaller housing options for family members, friends or like-minded others.
This design research work demonstrates that our established suburbs have the capacity to help achieve both increased housing numbers and greater housing choice and that when it comes to the retention of suburban character and the introduction of new suburban infill, it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. The work shows that density increases don’t always have to be realised through knock-down-rebuild subdivisions or battle-axe backyard infill and that new housing forms can be achieved without the loss of the established landscape that helps gives our suburbs the amenity we enjoy.