October Members Meeting

MEETING: OCTOBER 6 at 7.30pm
Burnside City Uniting Church, 384 Portrush Rd Tusmore

This paper will explore the design of sleep-outs which were common in South Australian homes during the first half of the twentieth century. These varied in design from enclosed verandahs to purpose-designed rooms and were intended for sleeping in the fresh air. This paper will trace the design, construction and use of sleep-outs within the context of medical and architectural ideas, specifically discussing the concept of the healthy home.

The public health rationale for the adoption of sleep-outs will be explored with reference to its relationship with tuberculosis (a common airborne disease of the era) and its widely accepted ‘open-air treatment’. Among the sleep-out designs to be examined are those purpose-designed by architects as well as the do-it-yourself plans for alterations and additions to existing homes by owner-builders. Using a historical interpretive method, primary archival materials, including architectural drawings from the Architecture Museum, have been drawn upon and contextualised using published contemporary sources on both health and architecture.

About the speaker: Dr Julie Collins is a Research Fellow and Curator in the Architecture Museum, UniSA Creative at the University of South Australia. Julie’s research interests focus on aspects of architectural history. She has written on the history of South Australian Architects and their works, architectural drawing collections, and on the relationship between buildings and health in her book The Architecture and Landscape of Health (Routledge, 2020).