r006tan_Tānewhirinaki, virtually stands.

Rebuilding Tānewhirinaki: A Digital Projection

The great whare Tānewhirinaki was built by the Ngātira chief Hira te Popo at Waioeka in 1874, to restore the iwi’s mana following the illegal land confiscations imposed after the killing of the German missionary Carl Völkner.  Tānewhirinaki became implicated in ominous prophesies by Te Kooti. This association and disturbing events on the marae led to the house’s acquisition of frightening tapu. One myth tells that the whare would not be standing after a kumekume a ruaumoko and so by the time of the 1931 Napier earthquake, Tānewhirinaki was no longer standing. Unable due to re-erected due to funding, the whare carvings have been in storage since that time. It is a travesty that such a significant part of Aotearoa NZ’s history lies in pieces.

In 2010 the School of Architecture began a collaborative project with the mana whenua Ngāti Ira o Te Whakatohea to look at reconstructing the whare. A 2014 lecture by Jeremy Treadwell and Yun Sung was the story of the first stage of the project; to reconstruct the house as a walk-through digital model (with Jordon Saunders) to provide this generation of the iwi with their first view into Tānewhirinaki. The animation was made with the blessings of the hāpu who lifted the associated tapu.

Jeremy Treadwell is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning. Jeremy is engaged in doctoral studies investigating the structure of the large 19th century Māori meeting houses. Yun Kong Sung graduated with a Master of Architecture (Professional) at the University of Auckland. His current work encompasses archaeology and conservation using 3D scanning, automation of prefabricated single living units, and building visualisation through augmented reality.

Form Follows Whakapapa: a tikanga Māori for tracing architectural influence.

Whakapapa means genealogy and is the core of traditional mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge). If we apply this Māori concept of tracing genealogy to architecture, then we have a genealogical framework for tracing architectural influence in Aotearoa. If we accept Form Follows Whakapapa we can then start to navigate the future of the built environment.

Form Follows Whakapapa binds our architectural relationships so that ideology, mythology, history, knowledge and custom are organized, preserved and transmitted from one generation to the next. Drawing and modeling avows a particular spatial knowledge such that the architect is well versed in infographics and diagrams. Whilst it might be tempting to consider information visualization a relatively new field that rose in response to the demands of the Internet generation, “as with any domain of knowledge, visualizing is built on a prolonged succession of efforts and events.”[1] In tracing architectural influence, it is likely that the family tree diagram will need to accommodate the efforts and events of: architects (Andrew Barrie’s NZ Architecture Family Tree, OMA Family Tree), ideologies (Charles Jenck’s Evolutionary Tree), publications (Andri Gerber’s Meta History tree) and even projects!? After all, every project the architect undertakes will ‘reference’ other projects, with branches according to: scale, materiality, landscaping.

Māori whakapapa and Foucault’s genealogy as methods of organising information… TBC

See also Barnaby Bennett’s excellent: Whakapapa and Architecture. Peer, Glimpse and Gaze: a pakeha view.

  1. Lima, Manuel The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge
Andrew Barrie, NZ Architecture Family Tree v1.0 May 2008
Charles Jencks, “In what style shall we build?” in Architectural Review


265cos_Phormium follows function: a NZ flax in Peckham

The history of Phorium is in New Zealand. The plant itself had been used for centuries as medicine by the Māori. The plant was brought to Britain during the 19th century around the time of major colonisation of New Zealand. The plant makes a large clump of leathery, strap-shaped leaves, with tall panicles of small, tubular flowers in summer and produces a lovely variety of four colours for foiliage. The plant itself is not hardy for the British climate at H3 and needs sheltering in winter conditions. H3 being the Royal Horticultural Society’s hardiness rating for coastal/mild areas. So let’s see… The plant needs no maintenance and only dead leaves need to be pruned during the spring time. It is prone to potential pests and diseases so keep this in mind. The final height of the plant is between 1 m – 1.5 m (3.2 ft – 4.9 ft) and the final width is between 1 m – 1.5 m (3.2 ft – 4.9 ft) blob:https://web.whatsapp.com/79cf5559-9690-47e7-977f-416bc00e74f8
Phormium Sundowner: https://www.gardenplantsonline.co.uk/product/phormium-sundowner-new-zealand-flax/?attribute_pa_potsizel=10-litres




acq_The Football Project: Pub Football Opta/misation

What if: pub football was “Optamised” to the level of Premiership Football? With data analytics ready for post-football pub review? What if a 5-a-side field had 6 cameras linked to your Smartphone for inclusive speculation: heat maps, stats, footage? This idea was borne in a pub, The Eleanor in East London, in a chat with Stuart Norfolk: for transparency. That’s important. (Stuart: this blog doesn’t aspire to collect Followers: it is simply my archival, digital sketchbook space. To propel innovation, relevance, rigour and fun – my four research goals with any project. Anything we discussed belongs to our conversation and can be taken down, or out, if necessary:) This kernal of an idea is to be developed but could include the following values: TBC>>>

265cos_The architecture of the White Picket Fence.

The picket fence is a type of timber fence often used decoratively for domestic boundaries, distinguished by their evenly spaced vertical boards, the pickets, attached to horizontal rails. The white picket fence came to symbolise, particularly in the US, the ideal middle-class suburban life: the nuclear family with its 2.4 children, a dog, a station wagon, a large house and peaceful living. With his film Blue Velvet, David Lynch deployed the picket fence as a visual ploy to subvert suburban living as “stultifying at best, soul-poisoning at worst. The visual monotony of a given neighborhood’s cookie-cutter architecture becomes a predictable stand-in for the unthinking conformity of the community’s expectations, as well as the narrowness of the denizens’ dreams and desires.”

265cos_Brick walls, slate roof

The materialisation of our Costa Street project in Peckham is merely a contemporary interpretation of the traditional two-storey semi-detached house. Formally this was a central entry, with framed windows and a pitched roof;  materially, brick walls and a slate roof.

Gossip as discourse.

Whilst studying under Peter Cook of #Archigram at @TheBartlett in the mid-nineties I was exposed to architectural discourse as tittle-tattle. Yet as this article in @TheObserver suggests, gossip unlocks the secrets of power: or rather what I experienced as an exposure to the back story of architectural politics.

265cos_ slate v brick

Slate (roofs) and brick (walls) are ubiquitous building materials in London and thus can readily facilitate planning consents through ‘normalcy’. On the other hand the architect in her quest for innovation is always asking: how can I contribute something new to the dialogue between brick and slate? She did a quick mock-up… TBC