WIT Press

The creative suburb: A study in creative reflective practice


Free (open access)


Volume 11 (2016), Issue 1



Page Range

1 - 14

Paper DOI



WIT Press




As long as population growth continues, policies for urban consolidation closer to city centres fail, and there is land available, Australians will continue to build in new Greenfield suburbs. However, the 50-year legacy of the homogeneous one-size-fits-all approach to suburbia beyond the sticks and sometimes hours away from where one can find a job, is proving unsustainable, the commute alone a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions across the globe. The ‘creative suburb’ was inspired by the possibility to create new, innovative and entrepreneurial suburbs, places which are more self-sufficient and self-contained than the ‘product’ perpetuated down under even today. The ‘creative suburb’ draws on significant primary research with suburban home-based creative industries workers, vernacular architecture, and town planning in the Toowoomba region, in the state of Queensland, Australia, as inspiration for a series of new building and urban designs available for innovators operating in new suburban greenfield situations in Queensland and possibly further a field. This paper considers the role ‘creative reflective practice’ played in the process of developing the building and urban designs presented in a book and showcased in a building as creative outputs of this practice-led and property development industry embedded inquiry.


creative reflective practice, reflective practice, reflective research, creative suburb, ver- nacular research, vernacular creativity, vernacular architecture, creative city