Continuing the conversation on Affordable Housing, Design Matters talk: Small Footprint Housing was facilitated by Madeline Sewall with panelists Dan Honey, Colin Chee and Mike Day. The discussion centered around the planning, design and delivery of small footprint housing, including current and perceived barriers, as well as lived experience, quality of life and environmental impact of living with less. In the context of the housing crisis, cost of living crisis and climate and biodiversity crisis, the discussion provoked thought around the way we live and why through the lens of small footprint housing.

An audio recording is available below.

Madeline Sewall, Breathe Architecture
Madeline Sewall is the director of houses at Breathe Architecture. Since commencing work at Breathe Architecture in 2014, she has led projects and managed teams across a variety of sizes and typologies, ranging from home renovations to multi residential projects such as Nightingale Village. With her team, Madeline specializes in the design of sustainable, meaningful and loveable homes, working closely with families and builders on collaborative projects that have positive impact. In the face of a climate and biodiversity crisis, Madeline is passionate about making sustainable architecture accessible and understandable to a wide audience. She contributes generously to the architecture industry and wider community through her participation in design media, TV, YouTube, podcasts, radio, panels, juries, committees, mentoring and more. She was awarded the Dulux Study Tour Prize in 2021 as recognition of these efforts.

Dan Honey, Molonglo 
Dan Honey is Chief Creative Officer at Molonglo –  a property developer with offices in Athens, Melbourne and Canberra. Molonglo’s built projects include a new centre for creative work in Collingwood, the restoration of a series of buildings in Athens, a 14-hectare neighbourhood in Canberra where light industry, working, living, recreation and entertainment will take place in a restored native landscape, and a modest housing prototype on an unassuming plot in Brunswick – in partnership with Paphitis C.I. Current collaborators include David Chipperfield Architects, Assemble (UK), 6a architects, Dan Pearson Studio, Peter Märkli and Pezo von Ellrichshausen and authors Rachel Cusk, Nadine Monem and Bruce Pascoe. Dan spent seven years raising her family in a 55 square-metre apartment and believes small homes can be comfortable and uplifting as long as fundamentals such as light, height, airflow, outlook and acoustics are well considered.

Colin Chee, Never Too Small
Never Too Small, born as a YouTube channel, has evolved into a modern media company promoting better small-space living globally. Through YouTube series, documentaries, TV shows, books, digital guides, and exhibitions, it inspires and educates on creative, sustainable design. Featured in publications like the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times Magazine, its creator, Colin Chee, also speaks at global events. Based in Melbourne, Australia, the core team collaborates with international talents, sharing a vision for sustainable, inclusive cities where small-footprint design thrives. Never Too Small advocates for a more resilient future through thoughtful living.

Mike Day, HATCH | RobertsDay
A co-founder and partner at HATCH | Roberts Day, Mike Day has moderated visioning and planning design forums and led the firm’s design teams responsible for an array of urban transformation projects and new towns throughout Australia, New Zealand, UAE and Asia since the inception of the company in 1993. Mike is a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Mike was the principal master planner and urban designer of the Ellenbrook New Town in Western Australia and in 2004, the recipient of the Russell Taylor Award for Design Excellence for Ellenbrook. Most recently Mike led the master planning for the jointly funded Consolidated Land and Rail Australia | Federal Government Strategic Business Case for the CLARA High Speed Rail and eight sustainable, liveable, connected cities between Sydney and Melbourne.


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