Revisiting Our Home in Australia

A commissioned essay for the book The Material City, Revisiting Our Home in Australia reflects on the seminal letter written in Adelaide by Joseph Elliott to his mother back home in England in 1860. First contextualised by academic Stephan Pikusa in his book Our Home in Australia, the illustrated letter describes in intimate detail how Elliott and his large family used his small four roomed cottage in multiple ways. The essay argues that there are lessons to be learned from Elliott still; that in the historical use of our older dwellings – where room functions would double up and change use throughout the day – lies a key to flexible living in current times.

Recommended citation:
Madigan, Damian. “Revisiting Our Home in Australia” in The Material City: Density and Design in Contemporary Australian Architecture, edited by Ron Ringer, 378-79. Sydney: Dry Press, 2019.