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)

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


What distinguishes an armchair from a mere chair is the support it provides for our arms. (Duh!) Yet we all recognise the occasions when these armrests have been redeployed as chairs themselves. When armrests become posterior perches for Instagramming. An armchair is frequently that seat of convenience when all other chairs have been taken. At such times the armchair for one transcends into an armsofa for three… Given this scenario, WHAT_architecture proposes the armMmchairsofa™ The armmMmmchair™ is an armchair with exaggerated arms to accommodate all your family, most of your mates and enough ladeez to constitute a fantasy harem. For greater domestic versatility, the armMmchairsofa™ comes in various sizes:
  • 3 person armMmchairsofa™
  • 5 person armmMmmchairsofa™
  • 7 person armmmMmmmchairsofa™
  • 9  person armmmmMmmmmchairsofa™ and
  • 11 armmmmmMmmmmmchairsofa™ so your entire football team can now watch the game together!
It is up to you, the  buyer / ‘perchchaser’, to balance your social relations so that the armMmchairsofa™ does not topple! The Unfolding armMmchairsofa™ version can be compacted should you find yourself at home alone (again!) or over-estimate your own popularity. The armMmchairsofa™ by Tacchini deploys 3M Materials technology for non-flammable, durable and high visibility décor-ware….mmm! Untitled1armmMmmchair1 bw armmMmmchair1 bw2  

265air_Massic Architecture

It’s Modern, it’s Classic, it’s basically a crazy kind of Massic. Something old, something new… as a fenestration strategy, Massic offers something for the (w)hole family. Blablablarchitecture LLP is participating not only in the digital but also in the physical world; with our partner Mark Stephenson (Wall or Space) we are looking for real-world / real-time outputs: in Shoreditch!WHAT_architecture

179prs_8bit synopsis


blablablarchitecture is talking buildings. In Soundbite 1, we listen to the strange language of architects talking architecture. As Ike Ijeh reported in BD, the insular language architects deploy is utterly unintelligible to the uninitiated layperson and even to the fellow professionals. This issue appears to be widespread among the avant-garde and within academic echelons. Ijeh cites that with the fall of modernism, architecture lost the rather prosaic discourse say evident in Le Corbusier’s Vers Une Architecture.  The supplanting of the singular grand narrative of  modernism with the multiplicit textural layers of post-modernisms created a context of divergent discourse, which at its worse became a pseudo-intellectualism of misappropriated literary reference. Peter Eisenman’s wholesale appropriation of the work of Jacque’s Derrida as a means to legitimise his own projects comes to mind. The result was a culture of aesthetic complexity: opaque prose accompanied by hieroglyphic representational systems to lend integrity to ideas that had been discredited in the real world. On the other Zaha Hadid’s straight-talking response to the BBC’s Sarah Montague provides an aural counterpoint: https://soundcloud.com/spectator1828/dame-zaha-hadid-walks-out-of


blablablarchitecture is talking buildings. In Soundbite 2, we listen to the general public talking about a building. Joe Public talking building is the polar opposite of ‘arch speak’: it is plain english casual conversations about architecture but not by architects. As part of the planning application for 127sho_Shoreditch Station, WHAT_archirecture sent Victor Wu out onto the streets of Shoreditch to ask and record the public. We wanted to formally test the Conservation perception that the existing modest single storey brick building was identifiably a railway station. Talkback ‘soundings’ is thus a valid form of public consultation/