2–5 February 2021


Student Forum

Flip, split or extend – helping ‘mum and dad developers’ navigate housing design processes


Presenting Author(s): Nicholas Temov
05 February 2021

Please be aware that multiple presentations will take place during this session commencing at 05:30PM AEDT and share the same zoom link. Check how presentations are clustered in the program spreadsheet when adding the calendar.

How do we apply service design theories to improve the way ‘mum and dad developers’ navigate housing design processes to achieve more liveable house designs in Australia's middle-ring suburbs?

With over 300,000 people migrating to Australia’s capital cities in 2018/19 alone (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020), there is pressure on our middle ring suburbs to house many of these people. Joining established architects and building designers are ‘mum and dad developers’ who are inspired by their family, friends and reality TV to ‘have a go’ at developing their own land – either by building in their backyard or replacing a family home with smaller villas.

While this can bring benefits, there are a many poor outcomes brought about by a lack of knowledge of how good house design can impact our quality of life – houses designed with no eaves to protect from the sun, poor ventilation, dark rooms, and small unusable gardens with no trees.

House design is influenced by many factors, including the people who design them and the policies which guide them. Government planning departments typically write residential design policies for a narrow audience of building designers and architects, but there is a changing dimension to this. With more ‘mum and dad developers’ getting involved, they often experience difficulty navigating these policies and processes, and understanding implications of the design decisions they make.

This research looks at ways to address their knowledge gap so they are empowered to make better choices when they work with their building designer or architect. The method for this research uses service design tools to interview users and map journeys through the redevelopment process, identifying pain points and opportunities to improve processes. Emerging findings may involve the production of supporting visual communication materials, the development of virtual assistants or education programs. These ideas propose a collaborative ‘housing design service,’ which provides communities with accessible services to promote engagement with good design.

Europe (CET): 5th February 2021 7:30 am to 8:30 am

US (EST): 5th February 2021 1:30 am to 2:30 am

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Nicholas Temov
Nicholas Temov
University of Western Australia, Australian Urban Design Research Centre

I’m an urban planning and design professional with Hames Sharley’s Urban Development team. I have over 12 years’ experience working on major urban projects and policy reforms – including Design WA, METRONET, Elizabeth Quay, Cockburn Coast, Scarborough Beach Road Activity Corridor and MAX Light Rail.

I work hard to make cities better places for people. I use my communication skills to bring complex planning projects to life, balancing vision with pragmatic outcomes. I pride myself on my personable work style, my extensive networks through government and industry, and my ability to deliver high-quality projects quickly.

A recent achievement was leading reform in the WA planning system through the introduction of Design WA, a policy suite that elevates the role of design quality through new performance-based apartment codes and design review processes. Design WA was prepared with leading practitioners and is highly regarded as a collaborative and thoroughly tested example of state policy reform.

I’m dedicated to promoting planning and design as tools to help locals shape their own neighbourhoods. I’m a Board member for Open House Perth, and coordinate free local walking tours as part of an international network, Jane’s Walk.

Student Forum poster by Nick Temov