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Facing Australia’s ageing population

Melbourne architecture collective Sibling opens a new exhibition, which includes a live research project, on the link between ageing and the future design of our homes.

Titled New Agency: Owning your Future, Sibling Architecture’s latest exhibition at the RMIT Design Hub is focused on shining light on Australia’s ageing population and how design can impact.

Accompanying the exhibition is a live research project that will be gathering data to feed into public conversation, design speculation and the development of insights into home ownership for older generations.

Some of the questions being raised include: “Who do you wish to grow old with?”, “Will your house outlive you?”, What kind of ancestor do you want to be?” and “What will your future housing look like?”

Sibling_New-Agency

Still from a video which is part of the exhibition New Agency: Owning your Future by Sibling.

The exhibition itself invites users to actively participate in the research, which will help fuel its investigations and discussion about new models of home ownership and ageing.

For New Agency co-curator Timothy Moore, one of the five directors of Sibling Architecture, ageing is a central and ongoing concern for their architectural practice.

“People are living longer today, with Australia seeing one of the highest life expectancies in the world and twenty-one per cent of Australians predicted to be over 65 by 2053.”

“As the retirement of Australians relies upon the asset of the family home (and superannuation), and with home ownership becoming an impossibility for a huge swathe of younger Australians, the exhibition explores how this will influence future models of living and architectural design for the elderly.”

In addition to the physical exhibition space, which users navigate through, a series of public forums is also being organised. In addition, the questionnaire integrated as part of the exhibit is also available to complete online.

Architecture is often criticised as a practice that is too insular, this project in both exhibition and research is attempting to open the dialogue between end-user and practitioner. And we can’t wait to see the outcome.

New Agency: Owning Your Future opens at RMIT Design Hub’s Project Rooms 1 + 2 from Wednesday 29 August to Saturday 22 September 2018. Admission is free to the exhibition and all public programs.


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