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Housing Affordability and the Impact on the Architecture Profession

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

In episode 30 of Think Big Podcast, the first in season 2, I summarise some of my biggest learnings about housing affordability and its impact on the architecture and design profession.

Think Big is a podcast is for you if English is your second, third or (fourth - impressive!) language and you want to build more relevant vocabulary naturally by listening to interesting topics in architecture and feel more confident to use the language at work or in your studies.

We don't JUST focus on the grammar, we get you excited again about improving your language and communication skills:

In this episode I discuss:

✨ What housing affordability is and why it matters

✨ The role architects and designs should play and the key things we can do

✨ Some interesting project examples

This is just one of the many varied topics my clients and I discuss in our sessions to build relevant vocabulary and get them to speak and share their thoughts, ideas and opinions!

Tara's details:

✨ Connect with me on LinkedIn Tara Cull


Extended Show Notes

In the extended show notes, you'll find all the links related to this lesson and you have the option of watching the video, listening to the audio on the transcript player or you'll find Think Big on all your favourite podcast players.



Architects Design Just 2% of All Houses – Why?

Example Projects My Architectural Philosophy - Bring the community into the process (Alejandro Aravena)

Designs for Carbon-Positive Affordable Housing

Somnium London

Cascina Merlata - C + S Architects , Milan

Opod - Cybertects, Hong Kong

Brink Tower - Mecanoo



All too often - too frequently We see this problem all too often.

follow suit - conform to another's actions.

making ends meet - earning just enough money to live on.

Phrasal Verbs

give up - stop making an effort and admit defeat

kick back - relax and enjoy yourself

built out - the growth, development, or expansion of something.

check out - inspect or look at

Key Content Vocabulary

inflation - a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money.

democratise (verb) - make (something) accessible to everyone.

hustle and bustle - (noun) - a large amount of activity and work, usually in noisy surroundings.

social housing (noun) - housing provided for low-income people or with particular needs by government agencies or non-profit organisations.

property ladder (noun) - a series of ascending stages by which people are perceived to progress as they can buy more expensive houses,

adequate (adj) - satisfactory / acceptable (sometimes bare minimum)

communal living spaces (noun) - shared living spaces

open-source design - the goal of the open-source architecture movement is to share architectural designs, drawings, 3D renderings, and documentation under open-source licenses so that anyone can use or modify them.

Read more about Open Source Sharing.

incremental (adj) - step by step or on a fixed scale

incrementally (adverb) regular increase on a scale

prototype - preliminary version

carbon positive - goes beyond achieving net-zero carbon emissions to create an environmental benefit by removing additional carbon dioxide.

cohesion - forming a united whole

price hike - increase in costs

cutting edge - the latest or most advanced stage in developing something.

Sketchnote Summary

Affordable Housing Diagram - What is Housing Affordability
Episode Summary - What is Housing Affordability?

Animated Video


Download the transcript or listen to the episode through the player

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Have any questions about anything you've heard in today's episode? Send me an email.

Want to uplevel your communication skills to present your projects with more confidence? Find out more about my 1:1 & coaching programs. Find more examples to help you feel more prepared in our Coaching Guide, Planner and Language Guides.

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