Listen to AUDIO recordings from past gcoh talks and Panel Discussions.

Recorded at HOTA, Home of the Arts, on 4 October 2023.

Tiny houses figure increasingly in discussions about meeting our housing needs and some have even suggested they are a panacea for the current housing crisis. But we need to recognise they cover a range of possibilities, from self-built tiny houses on wheels to luxurious prefabricated modules capable of being stacked into multi-story structures.

In this panel discussion, we explored both the opportunities and the challenges offered by tiny houses and smaller living. These include not only finding suitable sites and ensuring they can access or provide their own water, waste management and power, but also designing them so we can live well in them.

Learn more about how to design for living well and more affordably in smaller spaces, how they are regulated, and what it’s like to live in a tiny home.

Leading the discussion:

  • Nicole Bennetts – State Manager, Queensland and Northern Territory, Planning Institute of Australia

In conversation with

  • Dr Heather Shearer, Lecturer in the School of Environment and Science, Griffith University
  • Amy Degenhart, Director degenhartSHEDD, Urban Pure and Bubbl(up)
  • Lara Nobel, Director, Nobel Carter Architects
  • Jimmy Hirst, Director, Polkadot Community Inc / Tiny Houses

Recorded at HOTA, Home of the Arts, on 28 September 2023.

Australia’s affordable housing crisis has been decades in the making and exacerbated by the long-term effects of the Covid pandemic. It’s a complex problem with no quick fix.

In this panel discussion, we heard from experts from various fields who are actively engaged in the course of their work in considering solutions for this problem.

Leading the discussion:

  • David Ransom, Director, Zone Planning Group

In conversation with

  • Dan McKenna, CEO, Nightingale Housing
  • Dr Diaswati (Asti) Mardiasmo, Chief Economist, PRD Real Estate
  • Daniel Krause, Managing Director, Novium
  • Fiona Caniglia, Executive Director, Q Shelter
Beyond the water views: Designing a city surrounded by water

Recorded by Nikolas Strugar, Ravens at Odds, at HOTA, Home of the Arts, on 5 October 2022.

The Gold Coast’s identity is shaped by its labyrinth of waterways. From our beaches to the rivers, creeks, canals and lakes that surround our city, our waterways are both natural and manufactured environments on a grand scale.

But beyond the water views, how can we best live with, and design for, water? In a world where water is both life-giving and a destructive force, what are the socio-economic and ecosystem implications for the Gold Coast as we continue to surround ourselves with water on all sides?

In this Open House Talks session our panel discussed whether we as a community need to revise our expectations about our relationship to water. And as we look ahead to the Gold Coast of the future, do our architects and designers need to review how they accommodate water, from the urban scale to the individual site?

Leading the discussion:

  • Karen Johnson / Gee, Architect & Founder, Coast Arc

In conversation with

  • Chris Derksema, CEO, Gold Coast Waterways Authority
  • Prof Brendan Mackey, Director, Climate Action Beacon, Griffith University
  • Pradesh Ramiah, Urban Planner, City of Gold Coast Natural Hazards Team
  • Jaime Traspaderne, Queensland Urban Design Leader – Economics, Planning + Design, ARUP
Designing liveable houses for life: Future proofing homes that will adapt to our changing needs.

Recorded by Nikolas Strugar, Ravens at Odds, at HOTA, Home of the Arts, on 6 October 2022.

We expect modern homes to be energy efficient and accessible, but standard design has been letting the community down for a long time. Until now.

The inclusion of new liveable housing standards in the latest updates to the National Construction Code (NCC) can be seen as ‘future proofing’ new housing stock – designing homes that can be more easily adapted to the changing needs of all Australians over the course of their lifetimes.

Forward-thinking clients and architects have been getting on with better design, but these changes to the NCC mean the benefits of higher standards will be enjoyed by all. Sometimes all it takes is a design tweak.

In this Open House Talks session our panel discussed what the anticipated benefits of the NCC update are for occupants and the supply chain, how it might contribute to a more liveable and just city, and and how minimum practice and standards could be more inclusive.

Leading the discussion:

  • Alison McDonald, Architect and Neuro-architecture Consultant, Griffith University

In conversation with:

  • Barry Lee, Architect, The Dark Horse Studio
  • Perry Cross AM, Director and CEO, Accessible Homes Australia
  • John Moynihan, Director, Ecolateral Sustainability
  • Coral Gillett, Interior Designer and Hopkins Centre Researcher, Griffith University

Thanks to our event sponsor, the Australian Institute of Architects. 

Good design without deep pockets:
Creating cost-effective architecture from backyard extensions to share houses and affordable homes

Recorded by Nikolas Strugar, Ravens at Odds, at HOTA, Home of the Arts, on 11 October 2022.

Engaging an architect is sometimes seen as something that only money can buy. But there are many ways to cost-effectively build or renovate your home without resorting to off-the-shelf or DIY solutions that are never quite right.

Where should homeowners who care about getting it right best invest their money to create a long-lasting, fit-for-purpose home? And how can architects bring design ingenuity, innovation and insight to projects without breaking the bank?

Leading the discussion:

  • Amy Degenhart, Director, Degenhartshedd Architects and Urban Design

In conversation with:

  • Matt Eagle, Director, ME Architects
  • Luke Rowlinson, Co-Founder, Creating Positive Futures
  • Jeremy Salmon, Director, Jeremy Salmon Architects
  • Dr Kirsty Volz, Director, Toussaint and Volz Architects
Nowhere to grow: Designing green spaces in a towering city

Recorded by Nikolas Strugar, Ravens at Odds, at HOTA, Home of the Arts on 12 October 2022.

From Elkhorn to Pine, Staghorn to Norfolk, our Surfers Paradise avenues and streets are named for striking trees and vibrant plants. But as taller and taller towers squeeze onto smaller and smaller sites, are we designing spaces that allow them to grow?

What is paradise without its trees?
Will the Gold Coast become just another hot and heartless concrete jungle?

In this Open House Talks session, we were joined by a group of panellists who have seen and been part of the Gold Coast’s evolution into a high-rise, beachfront city. Together they discussed why we need to pay attention to space for life on the streets, and how we can do it – from attractive walkable streets, to spaciousness and greenery.

Leading the discussion

  • Dr Rosemary Kennedy FRAIA, Director, SubTropical Cities

In conversation with

  • John Punch OAM, Board Member, Destination Gold Coast
  • Kate Rogers, Urban Planner, City of Gold Coast
  • Greg Forgan-Smith, Principal, Forgan Smith Architects
  • Gerard McCormick, Director, 8LA Landscape Architectur

Recorded by Nikolas Strugar, Ravens at Odds, at HOTA, Home of the Arts, on 16 October 2022.

The rivers, creeks, beaches and lakes of the area now known as the Gold Coast have long been its life blood. From the region’s first inhabitants, tens of thousands of years ago, to shaping the city’s more recent identity, lifestyle and economy, the waterways of the Gold Coast have played an important role in sustaining all those who call this area home.

Discover the significant social, spiritual, educational, historical, and natural resources of these waterways through the lens of our local first nations people and the oldest form of capturing history, storytelling, in the documentary film and panel discussion Yana Yenyin Baia: Go with the rising tide.

Leading the discussion:

Shannon Best – Indigenous Oral History Officer, City of Gold Coast and Director on the Board, Jarbree LTD Gold Coast Native Title Group

In conversation with:

  • John Graham, President of Yugambeh Regional Aboriginal Corporation Alliance
  • Zara Meha, Manager Business Support and Office of Architecture and Heritage, City of Gold Coast
  • Candace Kruger, PhD Candidate and Yugambeh yarrabiligingunn (song woman)

This talk is brought to you by Gold Coast Open House and HOTA, Home of the Arts.

Coastside Q&A: A conversation about a spacious narrow-lot house in Mermaid Beach

Recorded by Nikolas Strugar, Ravens at Odds, at Art-Work Studios, Mermaid Beach, on 15 October 2022.

Coastside is a spacious home on a narrow-lot in Mermaid Beach. It was shortlisted for a Queensland Australian Institute of Architects Award in 2022. 

The design of Coastside invites cooling breezes, balances light-filled spaces with pools of shade, and makes living across three floors seamless. The upside-down top-floor living has been designed to capture ocean and city skyline views, with the mid-floor devoted to sleeping, studying, or working. The functional ground floor is poolside, ideal for guests and entertaining. In the clients’ words, “Our architect designed the home we wanted”. 

Listen to this conversation with architect Amy Degenhart and landscape architect Joel Lewis, hosted by Gold Coast Open House Chair Dr Rosemary Kennedy, at Gold Coast Open House 2022. 

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