University Of Tasmania

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The Castle: Digital Fabrication of Micro-housing

posted on 2023-05-22, 12:19 authored by Richard BurnhamRichard Burnham, Green, R

A little over a year ago the School of Architecture and Design moved location. One of our new neighbours, Youth Futures came to us with a proposal. Many of their clients are young people coming from stressful domestic situations, caused in part by inadequate space in the family home. Youth Futures explained that space limitations at home can sometimes interfere with a young person's growing need for independence, which in turn becomes a contributing factor to family tension, relationship breakdown and ultimately to young people contemplating leaving home prematurely, often with little or no means of support. Youth Futures are not alone in believing that there is a demonstrated need for flexible accommodation for young people experiencing difficulties at home. Kids Under Cover, a Melbourne based youth service organization have successfully managed a project with a similar agenda. They believe that the provision of a 'bungalow' can make a real difference in situations of overcrowding. They also propose that a bungalow could make it possible for a foster carer to take on the responsibility of looking after a young person.

In collaboration with Youth Futures and Studentworks (a 'high-school alternative' workshop), The University of Tasmania Architecture & Design staff and students have completed three prototype phases of The Castle. The Castle will be deployed from a 'housing bank' into domestic backyards, driveways or other domestic spaces, with the aim of alleviating family stress. The School of Architecture & Design is responsible for the design and development, Studentworks for fabrication and Youth Futures for the management of the housing bank. Other markets, such as disaster related emergency housing, tourist accommodation and 'starter dwelling', have also been identified. The Castle has the combined attributes of a caravan, a loft apartment and an oversized piece of furniture.

This chapter describes the development of The Castle, focussing on the education and training opportunities, the 'panitecture' construction system and the development of its parametric applications.


Publication title

Computing Cognition and Education


N Gu, MJ Ostwald and A Williams






School of Architecture and Design



Place of publication




Rights statement

Copyright 2009 Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA) in association with The University of Newcastle, named editors and authors

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Environmentally sustainable construction activities not elsewhere classified

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