Swinburne survey explores the impact of media on renovation practices

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Wakefield Street sunset landscape

Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology are calling on home renovators to share how broadcast and digital media are influencing their home renovation practices.

Working with a number of industry and government bodies, the aim of the three year research project is to better understand the intersections between media and home renovation practices.

“We know that reality TV shows such as The Block and social media communities such as Pinterest  enjoy great popularity. We also know that home renovation and DIY practices are incredibly popular amongst Australians,” Swinburne researcher Dr Aneta Podkalicka said.

“But we have a limited understanding of how the changing media landscape is impacting the way people carry out their renovations. 

“Where once upon a time home renovators may have consulted the local hardware store or home magazines, many people now have multiple options and sources to draw on.”

The project aims to uncover exactly how home renovators are sourcing their inspiration and information for renovation projects, to what extent they are using broadcast and digital media, and how they are exchanging their ideas and experiences with others.

The results of the research will be used to create more effective ways to engage and empower home renovators to undertake renovations that use sustainable materials and outcomes.

“Ultimately, we want to empower home renovators with the knowledge of energy-efficient, sustainable renovation practices, as these not only reduce environmental impact, but in the long term they can save home owners more money,” Dr Podkalicka said.

The research team come from a range of backgrounds including media, communications and design strategy. They will use the results to run workshops with a number of stakeholders such as government bodies and commercial companies, to develop and test collaboratively the best ways to engage and communicate with home renovators around sustainable practices and renovation.

In addition to Dr Podkalicka, the research team includes Professor Kath Hulse, Associate Professor Esther Milne, Dr Gavin Melles, and Ms Tomi Winfree.

This Swinburne research project is funded by the CRC Low Carbon Living project  and is being conducted in conjunction with Sustainability VictoriaBlueScope SteelCSRMaster Builders Association (Vic), the Housing Industry AssociationSA department of State Development and the Victorian Building Authority.

Are you in the midst of a renovation project? Or have you recently completed a renovation project? Swinburne’ Research team would love to hear about your experience. Complete the short survey