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The Ranch
A residential retrofit tapping urban waste streams
Independent research and volunteer project
Brisbane, Queensland
Green Dreams Turned Into Reality / Article, North West News
Humble Be Workshop / Feature, Winsome Journal
Changing Gears / featured in-text, Greg Foyster
Role: Project Lead

The Ranch is a radical residential retro-fit in Brisbane. This was a live design + build project which aimed at maximum integration of re-purposed materials as a design generator.


The design and construction of spatial interventions occured concurrently, and the unique materials harvested from local waste streams were generative elements in that process. Volunteers were also invited into the process through intensive working bees, 1 week in duration. I took on the role of project management under a rent-free residency arrangement.

Each intervention materialised in the following steps:

  1. discussion and sketch design with property owner at the scale of the single space / whole of household relationship

  2. material quality determined in reference to available catalogued materials

  3. sketch design at the scale of the intervention

  4. detailed design by construction, completed by either:

    • volunteer pairs (under light supervision)

    • myself with the aide of a volunteer

    • myself

The 2 year project was conducted in the following phases:

  1. material collection, preparation + catalogue (6 months)

  2. major external + minor internal works (12 months)

  3. finalisation of works, documentation and communication of project (6 months)

This project fed directly into the Trash to Treasure workshops delivered in a range of formats over the following years.

View working bee images below.

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