New Agency

The Future of Dwelling and Ageing

How will you grow old? Can you live forever? What kind of ancestor do you want to be? Will your house outlive you?

The twenty-first century has ushered in a longevity revolution with the life expectancy of human beings almost doubling in the last hundred years made possible by healthier lifestyles and improved medical care. This is echoed in Australia, which has one of the highest life expectancies in the world.

But growing older tomorrow will be very different than today. The retirement of Australians relies upon the financial security of the home and superannuation. As home ownership is becoming an impossibility for many younger Australians, how does this shift future models of living for the elderly and for society? What can one learn from radical forms of dwelling currently underway in Australia and overseas? What models of home ownership can adapt to the maturing of society and a changing market economy?

New Agency is a research project that poses these questions. Taking the form of a public investigation, Sibling has collected and displayed its research as an exhibition in Melbourne and Sydney, with film screenings in Perth, Sao Paulo and Melbourne, and as a meditation at the 2019 National Architecture Conference in Melbourne.

The research culminates in the publication New Agency: The future of dwelling and ageing that collates the findings, including the provocation of a cooperative housing model in order that land and housing in Australia are provided for the common good – for both young and old. Sibling believe transitions in housing markets are possible through rethinking finances, land ownership, and rental relationships.


Photograph by Tobias Titz
The Alastair Swayn Foundation respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Custodians on the land of which we work, the Ngunnawal people of the ACT. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay respect to Elders past, present, and emerging.

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