000mot_House on Mōtītī x Drone

Zane goes for a fly by.

Philip Johnson and Aunt Matilda

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


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 www.floraandfauna.co.nz

How To Make A Thesis. By Anthony Hoete.

  1. Write The Research Question.
  2. Read How To Write A Thesis By Umberto Eco.
  3. Make The Thesis as a Book. Assume 300pp say for 20,000 words.
  4. Add content. Assume minimum rate of 2,000 words pcm.
  5. Recall: You are not Proust. Do not write long sentences.” Your Research Question might be your longest sentence.
Deconstructing the Research Question as:
Inquisitive + Subject + Site + Architecture + Participant.
Then using as chapter organisation.
Eco la! Every writer has a library, every book has a bibliography, every building has a design lineage through which it can whakapapa other buildings.
Thesis as model.

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 couldbearchitecture.com 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)