Galaxy Poll - the Benefits of Good Design

13 August 2015

The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia's recently commissioned Galaxy Poll finds that the community understands the value that good design brings and the importance of involving qualified, experienced designers in public buildings. 

The results of the poll are heartening. They indicate that the public does indeed care about good design and understands the impact of design on quality of life and community wellbeing.

Architects should familarise themselves with the findings, which provide a useful tool when advocating for the value of design and the contribution that high quality public buildings and spaces make to public life. 

Undertaken by Galaxy Research, the poll included a national sample of 25.93 Australians aged 18–64 years across all State and Territories,  weighted to latest ABS population estimates. The AACA provides the following overview of the findings. 

97% of Australians believe that cities and towns are better to live in when public buildings and public spaces are well designed. 

99% say that it is important to invest in the good design of hospitals and schools.

93% of Australians agree that ‘having a qualified and experienced designer involved from start to finish [public buildings and residential apartments] would result in fewer defects than if left to the builder alone’

The poll also makes a useful contribution to current debates about design standards for apartment buildings. 

Australians believed all of the following design principles were important factors to be properly considered in the design of residential buildings:

  • New buildings should use green/conservation principles such as minimising power use, recycling water, and maximising use of natural light (79%)
  • Proposed building size takes into account the impact on local infrastructure such public transport, community facilities and traffic density (78)


  • The new building considers the benefits to both residents and neighbours (77%)
  • The size of the building should suit the scale of the street and surrounding buildings (76%)
  • The new building contributes to the character of the streetscape and local area (74%)
  • The building optimises safety and security and clearly defines public and private spaces  (73%) 


When asked whether it would be good if explicitly agreed design quality principles for apartment buildings were implemented in their state,  49% of Australians say that it ‘definitely’ would be good, and a further 45% say that it ‘probably’ would be good. Only 6% say that it is not needed.

If an apartment building was to be built in their area almost everyone (97%) would want the principles of design quality to be professionally considered and implemented in the design of the new building.

The full Report is can be downloaded from the AACA website. State registration boards haave also commissioned state-specific reports – contact your local board.



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