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The Perth Design Week (PDW) program will go live online from 15 February 2024, with this year’s event running from 14 March to 21 March 2024 at venues across the City and beyond.

Perth Design Week 2024
Image by Dion Robeson

As with last year, the festival brings together a diverse coalition of Perth creatives - architects, interior designers, planners, product and graphic designers and more - in a week-long program of events, exhibitions, films and experiences.

There are over 80 events as part of the program this year - with last year’s inaugural PDW collaborators back on board for 2024 as well as some new faces.

Major partners include Western Australian Museum Boola Bardip, State Buildings, Block Branding, North Metropolitan TAFE, Curtin University, University of Western Australia and Central Park Perth. With new partners to be announced next week.

PDW’s first exhibition opens tomorrow at the WA Museum Boola Bardip. With housing affordability in the spotlight, the exhibition “WA Homes - S,M,L” explores alternative models for the great (West) Australian dream. The exhibition is arranged in order of size. But not as you would think. S,M,L covers small houses (S), medium density developments (M) and apartments (L).

“We need to change the way we plan for more housing. We can’t keep building out we need to create capacity for more infill, with more diverse types of homes,” say Perth Design Week Co-creators Sandy Anghie and David Smith.

“Small homes include award winning Celilo Springs House by architect Andrew Boyne. At just 120 sqm this beautiful hand crafted home is half the size of the average Australian home.”

“The exhibition will also focus on medium density developments, the missing middle. With the start date for the State Government’s new Medium Density Code announced just a few weeks ago, this exhibition shows the diversity of housing – and choice ‐ medium density provides.”

“Apartments featured in the exhibition challenge the norm. Architects have led the way in innovative apartment design across Perth for decades - from setting precedents in urban density, through to adaptive reuse of existing buildings and build to rent.”

Australia currently has the largest homes in the world and WA some of the largest homes in the country. On average, new houses built in Australia today are nearly 50% bigger than they were 40 years.

Over the years the consumer has become convinced they need four bedrooms, a home theatre, a butler’s pantry, a mudroom and more. In fact, here in WA we currently have the greatest proportion of four bedroom homes in the country at 36%.

But with ever diminishing household sizes, an increasing proportion of single person households, and a supply crisis, this does not really make sense. Large homes not only impact construction time and affordability but also ongoing running costs and the environment.

You really have to ask do we need all of these rooms and all of this space? Would we be better off in less space, just better and more sustainably designed?

Perth’s award winning architects show how beautiful, high quality spaces with a smaller footprint can be achieved with environmentally sensitive designs. We can definitely do with a greater supply of smaller homes – and housing choice – in WA. This exhibition shows what we can do.