The Great Australian backyard

Work in Progress

A large backyard has long been considered an iconic feature of the Australian suburb. Nonetheless, during the 1990s, a dramatic change occurred: large backyards largely disappeared from new suburban houses in Australia substituted by smaller outdoor spaces.

Whatever the size of lot, the dwelling now covers most of its developable area. Although the planning system does not actually promote this change, it also does little to prevent it. It appears to be a physical expression of the way that Australian lifestyles, and most Western ones too, are changing – for the worse. This raises issues about health and wellbeing, especially for children. Digital addiction is growing at an alarming pace and we follow it blind. Question is, who are we raising? The digital toys are no longer toys  – they’re very profitable tools used in advertising for children, shaping their character.