The notion of ‘sea change’ has been at the forefront of Australia’s imagination in recent years. A significant proportion of the population has already made a ‘sea change’ and an even greater number are currently thinking about it and will ultimately make the shift in the near future. There is evidence that with the passing of time the ‘sea change’ phenomenon will continue to gather momentum and be a major factor in Australia’s urban future.
For a variety of reasons an ever increasing proportion of the Australian population is becoming dissatisfied with life in metropolitan areas and is looking for an alternative. One alternative is the ‘sea change’, and the perceived benefits of the lifestyle that such a change has to offer. This change has fuelled an unprecedented demographical shift and as a result, the coast of Australia is experiencing rapid growth.
A demographic shift and growth of this scale, places great pressure upon existing coastal communities and creates many significant challenges in dealing with the environmental, urban and socially related issues. Such challenges require innovative responses. Within this context, architecture and its allied professions have an important role to play, especially in working with, contributing towards and enhancing the desirable aspects of these coastal communities, those aspects that contribute to the driving force behind the ‘sea change’ phenomenon.
This research is intended as a guide to identify positive contributions that architecture can provide in actively working with and responding innovatively for the benefit of coastal communities undergoing the effects of ‘sea change’.