Whether you're an architecture fiend or just appreciate that next-level house in your neighbourhood, you'll get quite a kick out of this year's Sydney Architecture Festival. The fully-loaded 2016 event will be headlined by internationally renowned architect and Wikihouse founder Indy Johar, specialist in socially-driven sustainability and home ownership game-changer. If you've ever dreamed of owning a house, if you've given up on the dream, sit up and pay attention — he's about to change your mind on October 3.
What is socially-driven sustainability? Well. Today's world certainly looks different than the world our parents and grandparents grew up in and nowhere is this more acute than in the built environment. Generally speaking, house prices are skyrocketing, land is at a premium and millennials, unlike our Baby Boomer counterparts, have far less opportunity to own a house.
But while we might not ever own the three-bedroom terrace house of our dreams, architects like Johar are working to change the paradigm of home ownership (and low-key saving the planet at the same time). His project Wikihouse is an open source catalogue of design and construction blueprints for cheap, material-light houses that offer a glimmer of hope that even the lowest of socioeconomically positioned people may own a house in this century.
They're also developing a chain of manufacturers and partners to follow the process through and cut down cost while minimise environmental harmful material wastage. This cute cottage (the 'Microhouse') will only cost you approximately AUD$77,000 to build.
It's a big deal as localised prefab and 3D printers are ushering in a fourth industrial revolution and changing the way construction and design is executed. Like so many pioneering companies that shift more control back to the individual (like Airbnb and Uber), Wikihouse makes these sustainable designs public property.
Of course, it's a little more complex than simply picking your design and plopping it on a block of land. Truly sustainable architecture responds to the conditions of the site, the needs of the inhabitants and the available materials so while the building technology is universal, it can be adapted to each site and then printed and assembled like IKEA furniture (check out a video of the designs in action here).
Indy Johar will appear at Sydney Architecture Festival, running September 30 to Monday October 3 across Sydney. Register to here to see Johar talk or check out his work through his firm architecture00 here.