Sharing the Interior:

economies in the Antipodes


  • Jacqueline McIntosh Victoria University of Wellington
  • John Gray Victoria University of Wellington



Interiority, Interior environment, Interior architecture


Economy is often neglected in the literature on housing, and the design of house interiors. Exploring emerging forms of interior environments, this paper examines the relationship between sharing practices and models of economic domestic interiors. It maintains that sharing can be seen as a sustainable desirable and economic practice because it reduces total housing cost (and total construction), provides opportunities for exchange through collective use of space, and increases overall quality of life by enhancing chances for social interaction. The paper then provides examples of shared housing drawn from the authors’ current research and practice with respect to conjoined hous- ing in New Zealand and Australia, and concludes by suggesting interior design strategies to better accommodate changing household structures and facilitate desirable sharing practices while achieving economies.


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Author Biographies

Jacqueline McIntosh, Victoria University of Wellington

Jacqueline McIntosh was educated in urban/human geography and architecture at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the University of Calgary in Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from UBC, a Masters of Building Science from Victoria University of Wellington which evaluated the indoor environment of 35 primary school classrooms and is currently completing her MArch at Unitec in Auckland, New Zealand. She is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture in the Faculty of Architecture and Design, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand where she researches primarily in the area of sustainable housing.

John Gray, Victoria University of Wellington

John Gray is an architect and urban designer, educated in architecture at Melbourne University, and through working in research-oriented practices interior, architecture and urban design practices in Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand. He recently retired from an academic career in architecture at Victoria University of Wellington, but continues to practice design and design research. He is a principal researcher with the Centre for Sustainable Cities in New Zealand. His current projects focus on intensification of hillside suburbs, urban villages, urban farming, and affordable and sustainable housing.




How to Cite

McIntosh, Jacqueline, and John Gray. 2011. “Sharing the Interior:: Economies in the Antipodes”. Idea Journal 11 (1):74-89.



Design Research Paper