30th October 2014


Design for wellbeing in public housing, NSW- Australia


Australia’s housing authorities experience great challenges in managing social housing. In response, they have explored innovative service delivery approaches to enhance tenants’ wellbeing. This paper presents two examples of social designs for tenancy management in public housing. The first, known as ‘Sustainable Tenancies’ program, is a one year project to reduce arrears among tenants with complex needs — conducted by a housing authority. The second example is an alternative reframing exercise based on Sustainable Tenancies and developed by the Designing Out Crime Centre (DOC). We used qualitative interviews and document analysis to evaluate the program. Subsequently, we applied Dorst’s (2013) the ‘Frame Creation’ model of innovation to generate an alternative design to the program. The ‘Sustainable Tenancies’ evaluation revealed elements with potential for positive design of services in public housing. The alternative design highlighted the usefulness of reframing in providing fruitful new perspectives contributing to sustaining tenancies and increasing well-being for tenants.



Salamanca, J., Desmet, P., Burbano, A., Ludden, G., Maya, J. (Eds.). Proceedings of the Colors of Care: The 9th International Conference on Design & Emotion. Bogotá, October 6-10, 2014. Ediciones Uniandes, Bogotá, 2014. ISBN: 978-958-774-070-7