Emeritus Professor Catherine Bridge
PhDArch (USyd), BAppSc (OT) Cumb, MCogSci (UNSW)
Catherine has a significant National and International reputation in the area of enabling environments, as evidenced by invited participation in: International Design Awards as a judge; International forums and publications; Commonwealth Governments Building for the Future Consumer information committee; National and State based Home and Community Care planning; and the NSW Premiers 2030 Roundtable on Ageing as one of Australia’s eminent experts on housing solutions for older people.
Her housing research portfolio includes: research on housing and care; housing and health; older people and sustainability; accessibility of the built environment and extensive research on home modification interventions.
In 2006, Catherine was awarded a plaque by the Sri Lankan Urban Development Authority for her input regarding the creation of a non-handicapping environment in the National rebuilding initiatives undertaken following on from the Tsumani of 2004.
She directs the Home Modification Information Clearinghouse (HMinfo) Project which was nominated for the NSW Premiers Public Service Award in 2006. HMinfo is a recurrent research consultancy project funded by the Home and Community Care Program (60% Commonwealth and 40% State based) and was established to develop and disseminate an evidence base for Home Modification Interventions in Australia.
Catherine has been instrumental in researching the intersection of environmental impact on human performance. Her funded research has been sustained and substantial. Over the last decade her grant income has totalled several million dollars. The majority of research reports are available online and have made a significant impact nationally and internationally on both housing policy and practice and have been cited in National Productivity Commission reports.
Within the University, Catherine’s contribution to the overall research performance quantum and research review outcomes both within the City Futures Research Centre and the larger Faculty of the Built Environment have been significant. Her research program is strategic and is shaped by a clear vision that builds on significant faculty, interfaculty and industry collaboration.
Bathrooms and older people: A literature synthesis to underpin design innovation and future domestic design guidance, Caroma Industries Ltd., 2011
Home Modification Information Clearinghouse, University of New South Wales, Non-recurrent research funding, Commonwealth Home and Community Care Program, 2010
Home Modification Information Clearinghouse, University of New South Wales, Recurrent research annual funding, Commonwealth Home and Community Care Program, 2008.
Older Peoples Housing Policy, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) 70636: 2010.
Liveable Communities photographic resource project, Local Government and Shires Association of NSW, 2010.
Reverse mortgages and older people, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) 60512: 2008,
Age-Specific housing markets, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) 70589: 2008.
2008, Prize for leading the best research proposal for multi-national ageing research. The project as carried out was titled ‘Sustaining ‘Aging In Place’: Towards a Multidimensional Analysis of Informal Care within the Asia Pacific Region’, HORIBA Corporation and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), and the Institute of Gerontology at University of Tokyo.
2006, Presentation of plaque by Minister of Urban Planning in recognition of resource role in development of new access standards, Sri Lankan Ministry of Urban Planning
2006, The Home Modification Information Clearinghouse was nominated for NSW Premiers Public Sector Awards by the Department of Ageing Disability and Home Care, NSW Premiers Department
2006, Chapter Award for an outstanding dissertation in 2005, The Australian Institute of Building (Incorporated by royal charter) NSW Chapter
2005, Visiting Senior Research Fellow appointment with the Centre for Health Service Development, University of Wollongong
Catherine’s teaching interests combine the areas of human abilities, health, built environment, disability, ageing and computing so as to create a more inclusive environment for all people. She teaches inclusive design practices and supervises research students in the areas of design for older people, people with disabilities and carers, social sustainability and the built environment, design for wellbeing, measurement of the built environment and research methods relevant to the above.
In the Media
- Bridge, C. (2014, February 4). The empty nesters. ABC Brisbane. Retrieved from http://blogs.abc.net.au/queensland/2014/02/the-empty-nesters.html?site=brisbane&program=612_drive
- Bridge, C. (2015, July 26). Staying upwardly mobile for life. The Daily Telegraph. http://www.be.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/20141729%20Staying%20upwardly%20mobile%20for%20life.pdf
- 2010 - present, Invited Member, NSW Home Modification and Maintenance Service Review Advisory Panel.
- 2008 - present, Member of the Australian Association of Gerontology.
- 2008 - present, Invited member of the policy working group, NSW Council of the Ageing; Chairperson Council of the Ageing Age-Friendly working group.
- 2008 - present, Director of the Board, Independent Living Centre of NSW.
- 2007, Benevolent Society ‘Ocean Street’ Housing for life Project.
- 2006 - present, Invited Member, Australian Network on Universal Design in Housing.
- 2005 - 2006, Invited mentor and resource person for the ‘Access for All’ project in Sri Lanka.
- 2006 - 2007, Invited Member, Commonwealth Office of FACS, Building the Future Consumer Information Advisory Group.
- 2006 - 2008, Invited Member, NSW Council of the Ageing, Housing Policy Advisory Group.
- 2005 - 2006, Invited Member, NSW Home Modification and Maintenance Service Review Advisory Panel.
- 2002 - present, Invited Member, Standards Australia ME-064, Committee for Adaptable Housing.
Catherine directs the Home Modification Information Clearinghouse (HMinfo) Project see http://www.homemods.info. HMinfo is a recurrent research consultancy project funded by the Home and Community Care Program (60% Commonwealth and 40% State based) and was established to develop and disseminate an evidence base for Home Modification Interventions in Australia.
My area of specialty is enabling design, particularly for people with disability, and I am interested in how we can structure built environments to make them work for everyone – not just the Vitruvian Man. I investigate how our assumptions and knowledge about built environments impact disabled people. Whether they enable movement and independence or disable people further.
I have led innovative research projects that have provided the evidence needed to directly influence national policy and standards, including the National Construction Code. As the Founder and Director of the Home Modification Information Clearinghouse, running continuously since 2002, my research has helped improve the quality of life of many thousands of people with disability in 190 countries around the world.
Through research, teaching and the supervision of research students, it is my aim to raise awareness about the vital importance of design for inclusivity, and positively impact policy development and practice in this area.
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