The University of Sydney will reveal an apartment prototype that allows residents to adapt their internal space to suit their living needs. 

The university’s Innovation in Applied Design Lab has undertaken a complex multi-year project in collaboration with Lendlease to deliver the Innovation in Multi-Storey Housing Project.

The research team will soon reveal the Future Living System, a real-scale 69sqm prototype apartment constructed from a range of prefabricated elements including timber, which was used to replace concrete. In addition to being more sustainable, the prototype is also adaptable, meaning that future residents can take advantage of small spaces by configuring their homes based on their changing needs. 

The team developed the prototype as a response to the immediate demands of the construction sector and in anticipation of the changing needs and challenges of housing density. 

“In Australia, apartment or high-rise living is often seen as temporary,” says Professor Matthew Aitchison, director of the Innovation in Applied Design Lab. 

“We approached the design from a functional perspective, to provide an environment for life – where residents can upsize or downsize, and where certain adaptations are possible.”

With apartments becoming smaller, the prototype, designed by architect David Tapias-Monne, was developed to promote adaptive living. Multi-use and flexible, the Future Living System is created using modular elements that allow the living area, kitchen and bedrooms to be reconfigured, maximising the space and responding to the changing needs of occupants. The research team also designed furniture to enhance the adaptive nature of the design and further increase functionality of the space. 

Constructed from a range of prefabricated elements, the displayed apartment will be reconfigured every few days, giving visitors the opportunity to engage with the space in a different way. 

The Future Living System will be exhibited at the Tin Sheds Gallery during the university’s Innovation Week (30 July – 4 August). 

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