Dr Louise Dorignon

Dr Louise Dorignon is a Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow and an urban geographer based at the Centre for Urban Research, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University.

Louise’s current research focuses on emerging construction and building practices as a means to sustainable urban densification. Her VC Fellowship project at RMIT (‘Factory-built homes: Investigating industry prospects and lived outcomes of modular apartment construction in Australia’) focuses on modular apartment prefabrication to analyse how it can enable the production of more sustainable and affordable homes and support everyday experiences of post-carbon housing in Australia.

Her publications so far have focused on the socio-material and emotional entanglements of lives lived in, around and out of urban apartments. She seeks to understand apartments as urban homes, and their fundamentally diverse, uneven characteristics in contemporary cities.

She has collaborated with a wide range of stakeholders, from material manufacturers and builders, to architects, developers, policymakers, regulators and householders in Australia and internationally, especially in Europe.

She has worked on several AHURI-funded projects including ‘Building materials in a circular economy‘ (2021-2023), ‘Inquiry into housing in a circular economy‘ (2021-2023), which aimed at establishing an evidence base and framework to support a transition to circular economy housing in Australia, and ‘The lived experience of COVID-19: housing and household resilience‘ (2020).

Between 2019 and 2022 she was a Research Fellow within the ARC Linkage Project HOME (Housing Outcomes Metrics and Evaluation), investigating the production of design standards and apartment lived experiences in recently built apartments across European and Australian cities.

Awarded in 2019, her jointly awarded PhD from The University of Melbourne and University of Lyon explored the privatisation of high-rise housing in affluent suburbs of Melbourne and the resulting shifts in social class relations.

Previously based in France, she participated as a doctoral candidate in two international research projects (ANR projects SKYLINE and HIGH-RISE) on the socio-political impacts of high-rise developments in Europe and South America, and in an industrial partnership addressing more inclusive housing policies (Chaire HEVD, Habiter Ensemble la Ville de Demain).

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Building materials in a circular economy

This project uses a circular economy framing to investigate use and waste in material supply chains to contribute knowledge so that the housing construction sector can reduce, reuse, recycle and recover resources and rely much less on virgin material

Infill Developments: Housing Outcomes Metrics and Evaluation (Project HOME)

The project links housing outcomes to metrics and evaluation of housing design in the rapidly growing infill multi-residential sector.

News & Blog

Building houses in factories for the Commonwealth Games was meant to help the housing crisis. What now?

After Melbourne hosted the 2006 Commonwealth Games, the athlete village in Parkville was largely sold off, with 320 houses going to social housing. Victoria’s now cancelled 2026 Commonwealth Games were meant to have the same effect in the state’s smaller cities.

Turning the housing crisis around: how a circular economy can give us affordable, sustainable homes

Australia needs a bold national project to tackle the climate crisis and support households by shifting to a more sustainable housing industry.

Six actions we can take towards closing materials loops in Australian residential construction

On May 10, 2023 the World Green Building Council (WGBC) and its global network launched the Circular Built Environment Playbook — a guide for the building and construction sector to accelerate the adoption of circular economy and resource efficiency principles. This builds upon a series of reports by the Sustainable Buildings and Construction programme (part of UN’s One Planet […]

Report shows our homes must change for better health and living

A new study examining Victorians’ lived experience during COVID-19 points to the design and quality of homes and neighbourhoods as a key mitigating factor in people’s capacity to cope with disasters.

New project investigates how COVID-19 impacts housing stress

RMIT urban researchers have received funding from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute to investigate COVID-19’s impact on housing stress in Melbourne.

Meet the women helping to improve how we live in cities and with nature

As our cities evolve, so too should our approach to building and planning our urban habitats. Here, six RMIT urban researchers share how their work is shaping how we live in our cities and with nature.


Building circular economy housing: An Australian story

Dr Louise Dorignon, Professor Ralph Horne, Adjunct Professor Julie Lawson, Hazel Easthope, Stefanie Dühr, Trivess Moore, Emma Baker, Professor Tony Dalton, Illustrated by Zhen Xiong

Visual summary

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Informing a strategy for circular economy housing in Australia

Professor Ralph Horne, Dr Louise Dorignon, Dr Louise Dorignon, Hazel Easthope, Stefanie Dühr, Trivess Moore, Emma Baker, Professor Tony Dalton, Hal Pawson, Peter Fairbrother

AHURI report

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