Finalist 2019

The Assemble Model

The Assemble Model is a pathway to home ownership – bridging the gap between renting and owning your home.

Home buyers are at the heart of our approach, not property investors, to deliver projects where good design, community and sustainability go-hand in-hand.

The model allows residents to lease their home for 5-years while saving to buy. Before construction, Assemble commits to future residents who sign a 5-year lease with fixed rent. A purchase price is also agreed, if they choose to buy at the end of the lease. If a residents circumstances change, they are free to leave at no cost.

Design Excellence

The Assemble Model is a response to an increasingly difficult market for first home buyers in Australia. People who are unable to purchase a home face rental instability, resulting in housing anxiety. We believe everyone deserves access to fair and stable housing. To develop the pathway, we researched overseas markets and worked with consultants on a financial model giving residents 7 years (2 years construction and 5 years renting), complemented by Assemble\'s custom financial coaching program and bulk-buying initiatives providing stability, support and the increased savings capacity to help them realise their ownership dream.

Design Impact

The Assemble Model is underpinned by having capital partners that take a long-term view with a more patient and socially conscious approach to development. The equity returns underlying the Assemble Model are less than one third of the traditional off the plan approach. This long-term approach also provides our residents with rental stability, financial support and opportunity to build strong social connections within their community before choosing to buy.

Design Transformation

Since launching the Assemble Model in 2018, we have had an overwhelming response from the public, industry and government and have since received over 3,000 registrations of interest for our pilot project at 393 Macaulay Rd, Kensington. In November, 2018 we ran a ballot process to allocate the available apartments at 393 Macaulay Rd and the project received over 300 applications for the 66 available apartments. It has been fascinating to see how our future residents have embraced an entirely new concept, signed their documentation and are now just as excited as we are about what lies ahead.

Design Innovation

The Assemble Model has evolved based on the experience of our residents and the feedback they provide along the way. Collaboration with local experts and practitioners with diverse skill-sets has also enabled us to develop the model, such as identifying the need to undertake a thorough service design process to assist us in developing our resident services (e.g. ensuring our financial coaching service is of value to our residents).

Other Key Features

  • Assemble fulfils the role of Building Manager during the lease to ensure all building maintenance is stress-free.
  • Assemble provides a range of opt-in services and bulk-buying initiatives to help make our residents’ lives more convenient and enjoyable.
  • Assemble supports residents with Financial Coaching to set saving targets and provide opportunities to reduce their living expenses to help achieve their home ownership goals.
  • During the design phase of each project, residents participate in our community presentations and are asked to complete surveys to provide feedback on the design and services to help build a community they want to live in.

Service Design 2019 Finalists

Co-Designing Authentic Narratives with Darebin Youth Services

Darebin Youth Services, City of Darebin / Public Journal / Hilary Walker Photography

Justice Connect Gateway Project

Justice Connect / Today Design

Our Languages Matter Workshops

ThinkPlaceVictorian Aboriginal Heritage Council (VAHC) / Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) / ThinkPlace


Monash University, Faculty of Art Design and Architecture / Plan International / Crowspot

Alchemy – Monash x Alpha60

Local Peoples / Monash University - Department of Materials Science & Engineering / Alpha60


Isobar / Worksafe

GovMap User Discovery and Roadmap Design

ThinkPlace / Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning


PluginHUMAN (Justin Dwyer and Betty Sargeant)