The Waste Age:

In Aotearoa NZ:
• New Builds in Akl produce 570,000 tonnes of waste
• CDW contributes to 50% of landfill volume
• Every new house produces 4.5t of waste, apartment blocks more
• In contracting, EoT claims often more expensive than material over-supply: PGCert in PM research?
• Waste Levies ($10/t) in AKL a joke compared to LDN ($100/t)
• Deconstruct don’t demolish
• Digital off-site prefabrication CLT has minimal waste
• Fly-tipping problem / Litter Act ineffective
• NZL is not green by design but by accident


The use of Scalectrix to rationalise boardwalk construction.

Navigating the stars.

As my ode to Witi Ihimaera, the Stardome Observatory tells me:

  • Five planets can be seen with the unaided eye.
  • Planets look different from stars and different from each other.
  • How close a planet is to the horizon affects how bright it appears. When high, there’s less air to look through – so the higher they are, the brighter they appear.
  • Mars’ brightness varies hugely over the course of a couple of years.
  • Mercury (the hardest to spot) and Venus (the easiest) are sometimes called the ‘evening’ or ‘morning’ star. Mercury comes and goes very quickly (just a few weeks) while the others hang around for many months.
  • The planets will always be found near the ecliptic against the backdrop of the Zodiac constellations – approximately east or west when rising or setting, or near north when they are highest in the sky.

Mars is stooging around in the early morning sky as I write but as spring approaches it will appear in the evening sky as well. Approaching mid-October 2020 it will reach opposition and will be brighter than Jupiter and won’t be this bright again until June 2033! Best viewing will be around midnight half-way up the northern sky.

The giant planets Jupiter and Saturn will be in our evening sky for the rest of 2020. Watch this pair as they slowly draw closer to one other. On 21st December they’ll give us a one in twenty year treat as they seemingly almost ‘touch’. Called a ‘great conjunction’ we might think of this as a modern rendition of the Christmas Star 😊.

The design and build of a whare manu utilizing the birds of Project Island Song.

A taxonomy of kākahu: kahu huruhuru, kahu kiwi, kahu kuri and korowai.

A kahu huruhuru is a feathered kākahu (weaver Erenora Puketapu-Hetet has used different birds).

A kahu kiwi is a kiwi feathered kākahu (weaver Erenora Puketapu-Hetet).

A korowai is a hukahuka, or tassled, kākahu (weaver Dame Rangimarie Hetet).

Identification and description of feathers. By Hokimate P. Hardwood

Belly feathers from an (a) albino North Island kiwi; (b) rump feathers from a pheasant (c) underwing covert feathers from a North Island kākā (d) back feathers from a kākāpō’s_MAori_cloaks/download

ABSTRACT: For the first time, scientific research was undertaken to identify the feathers to species level contained in 110 cloaks (käkahu) held in the Mäori collections of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa). Methods of feather identification involved a visual comparison of cloak feathers with museum bird specimens and analysis of the microscopic structure of the down of feathers to verify bird order. The feathers of more than 30 species of bird were identified in the cloaks, and consisted of a wide range of native and introduced bird species. This study provides insight into understanding the knowledge and production surrounding the use of materials in the cloaks; it also documents the species of bird and the use of feathers included in the cloaks in Te Papa’s collections from a need to have detailed and accurate museum records.

KEYWORDS: Mäori feather cloaks, käkahu, cloak weaving, birds, feathers, harakeke, microscopic feather identification, barbule, nodes, New Zealand.

Grey Warbler. Grey warbler. Adult on reeds. Nelson sewage ponds, July 2015. Image © Rebecca Bowater by Rebecca Bowater FPSNZ AFIAP

Project Island Song

Anthony Hoete and Richard Robbins talk to Neil Waka of Māori TV on 29-Mar-2021.

Mimiro and Tānewhirinaki

Anthony Hoete on Te Ao Tapatahi (Māori TV): Mimiro and Tānewhirinaki


In a mid-semester Zoom review of The Housing Puzzle studio at the SoAP (University of Auckland), a Master’s student (RH) pointed out that Zoom had exposed the workspace of the student as being: the bedroom. Thanks to a COVID lockdown, the bedroom was typically the only space available to the architecture student which could accommodate ‘design’ which demands both the clean digital space of the computer as well as the dirty, analogue space of modelmaking (plaster, cardboard, knives, cutting mats, dirt, water, glues etc). The bedroom is thus more a place to sleep: it is a place also to work, a space where there is a bed as part of the room.

So what are the functional and spatial requirements of the bedroom as atelier? Given the economic demands of renting, how could the bedroom as dormitory, containing 2 or more beds for affordability, be better designed? Can one really compress a mezzanine bedroom into a micro-flat and suggest one literally ‘crawls into bed’ (SP)? How to can the idiosyncracies of the bedroom be better relayed through furniture?

In the drawing project, Nine Rooms To Die In (published by in Soil magazine), the Serbian architect-illustrator Irena Gajic illustrated an article about the design and medical ramifications of spaces for palliative care.  “As a dying person goes through their last stage of life, the circle of physical spaces in which they inhabit and encounter shrinks, from their community, down to their living or hospital spaces, and finally down to the bed in a room.”  Gajic’s illustrations express in a lucid manner the idiosyncrasies of the bed-in-a-room through furniture (beds, tables, chairs, animals and plants) yet thanks to the use of oblique projection) the drawing is without hierarchy: each object is as important as any other within the frame, producing a narrative space in which what is relevant is not so much the point of view of the observer, but the possible recombination of the elements. The drawing is further constrained by colour: nuances of only two colors, purple and yellow, so as to include each room within a larger consistent whole.

Irena Gajic, Nine Rooms To Die In. (2016)

WHAT_if: The British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018 had partnered NZ.

Writing about loss. The British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2018 is writing about a lost architectural job. A project not won. Like being shortlisted for the NZ Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2016. So like any’ good’ loser we wait and see our victor achieves. It’s The Game of Architecture. We pitched Brexit; the winner pitched Brexit. So we had the guessed rightly that Brexit – Britain leaving Europe – was the only theme in town for The British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. We suggested a game of doors, the winner went island. Hmm, I am an islander, I come from Motiti Island with a population of 22. ‘Islands’ are a pretty seductive theme – see the RA Oceania exhibition in 2018 – so did I miss a trick? So I saw the some press images of the Venice Biennale 2018 (a zoo I had thought when I last visited in 2016) and naturally looked out for Britains’ entry. Or rather exit. Yes it was void: the pavilion had nothing in it. A luxury I thought. When I saw the roof, it made re-question the luxury of architecture. Britain is supposedly a rich nation…yet the roof treatment of the British Pavilion 2018 could have matched its ideological ambitions by being more physically ambitious. Not just another sun deck but say a proper pool – the one that Australia dreamed about in 2016 but paid for and delivered by NZ in 2018. In return NZ could exhibit downstairs, in 2018? After all, the last time NZ exhibited at the Biennale di Venezia it cost the NZ tax payer $NZ3m or £1.5M. Britain would have accepted say £500K or Biennale rental to help raise their rooftop ambitions beyond tartan ply deck into pooling the crowds… WHAT_architecture thus drank the sour grape Veneto and dreamt of another, more enhanced British pavilion/ whereby the mother country partnered one its colonies to deliver a better project.


It’s World Cup time again. In England this means a lot of buildings draped with the St George flag. Football here is bigger than God. According to a 2016 YouGov poll, England is supposedly a Christian country yet only 23% of the total population say they subscribe in a faith. Football is the religion which both unites, under the flag, and unties, see club vs country, the nation. This is fan flare as flag. Walking through the streets of East London in a World Cup summer means you will see more flags draping from buildings than say at Christmas time, Santa’s reindeers twinkling homes. Selling a dream? Welcome to the flagged world of fantasy football. Every flag unites and unties. he St George’s flag divides. As a red cross it could seen as a symbol of safety… TBC Bunting: This house in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, has flags attached to the garage and window. Visitors will also be greeted by a cross draped over the front doorComing together: Residents of an estate in an area known as The Blue in Bermondsey, south-east London, have turned it red and white after smothering the outside of their homes in St George's flags In a bizarre twist of fate, only Inter Milan have ever word the St George flag as shirt… TBC

515a_Royal Academy of Arts Courtyard as an Oceania Marae

WHAT_architecture speculates as to the Courtyard of the Royal Academy of Arts being temporarily reconfigured as a ‘Oceania Marae’: in London, this September 2018. A Marae (Māori), or Mala’e (Tongan) is a sacred social space framed by carved buildings. The Courtyard at the RAA / Burlington House could be a wonderful entry into Britain’s first art review of Oceania: #RAOceaniaMarae