Perth Design Week 2024 Perth's best architects prove that smaller homes are in vogue
Exhibitions like “WA Homes – S,M,L” explore innovative housing solutions, challenging conventional notions of home design and ownership. Image: Dion Robeson
  • Running from March 14th to 21st, PDW 2023 celebrates innovation in design.
  • This year's PDW will feature over 80 events.
  • First exhibition, "WA Homes – S,M,L", opened last week.

Only four weeks are left before the eagerly awaited Perth Design Week 2024, a public festival spotlighting excellence in design.

The Perth Design Week (PDW) program will be released on 15 February 2024 this week, with the event spanning 14 March to 21 March 2024 in Perth City and its surroundings.

A celebration of Perth’s best in design

Like the previous year, the festival gathers an eclectic mix of Perth creatives, including architects, interior designers, planners, and graphic designers, for a week-long itinerary of exhibitions, films, events, and experiences.

Similar to last year’s program, this year’s PDW will feature more than 80 events, with last year’s collaborators returning, together with a couple of fresh faces.

Central Park for PDW 2023
Central Park for PDW 2023. Image: David Broadway.

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

WA Homes – S,M,L

PDW’s first exhibition opened last week at the WA Museum Boola Bardip. With the nation gripped by a housing affordability crisis, “WA Homes – S,M,L” investigates alternative concepts for achieving the great Australian dream of home ownership.

WA Homes – S,M,L exhibition. Image: Supplied.
WA Homes – S,M,L exhibition. Image: Supplied.

The exhibition is organised in order of size. Accordingly, the letters refer to (S) medium-density developments, (M) apartments, and (L) environmentally sensitive designs.

WA Homes – S,M,L exhibition. Image: Supplied.
WA Homes – S,M,L exhibition. Image: Supplied.

“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,” said PDW co-creators Sandy Anghie and David Smith.

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

WA Homes – S,M,L exhibition. Image: Supplied.
WA Homes – S,M,L exhibition. Image: Supplied.

“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.”

Sandy Anghie and David Smith, PDW co-creators

Home to the largest homes in the world

Australia has the largest homes across the globe, with Western Australia (WA) holding some of the biggest homes in the country. New houses built today in Australia are 50% bigger than 40 years ago on average.

Home buyers have been gradually persuaded that expansive dwellings featuring four bedrooms, home theatres, a butler’s pantry, and more are necessary. WA has the lion’s share of four-bedroom houses in the nation, at 36%.

However, with household sizes shrinking, solo living becoming more prominent, and supply remaining scant, some have questioned whether the country’s obsession with spacious homes makes sense.

Perth total property listings

Large homes take longer to build, are more costly, and require more substantial running and environmental costs.

This PDW, Perth’s award-winning architects will prove that stunning, top-notch, environmentally friendly designs are possible with a smaller footprint.

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