Design Studio IIA – Puna

Puna: Homely (re)sources

“Whatever its form, drawing transforms perception and thought into image and teaches us how to think with our eyes.” Kit White


Te Puna can be translated as well spring or source. It is a watery term, suggesting things that, while powerful (like a river carves the landscape) is also flexible. We see -puna appearing in words like Tipuna ~ ancestors and Mokopuna ~ grandchildren. Te Puna is the past and leads to the future.

Thinking of the ‘well spring’ of Spatial Design encourages us to consider how we actually know and experience space, at an intimate 1:1 scale. In other words, how everyday existence ‘produces space’ It also asks us to interrogate the ‘origin’ of the design: is it with the designer who plans (produces representations of) the space, the construction team who build the space, or the client who raised the ‘problem’ of the space in the first place.


The aim of this project is to engage in a shared exploration of the rituals that define ‘home’ you will participate in a client/designer relationship, as a dynamic source for the design of a personalised intervention to a room within a ‘standardised’ house.

This intuitive and experimental work will  provide cues as to the ways in which an abstract concept might be activated through the manipulation of objects, materials, space and experience. You will be introduced to conventions of representing your design process, to aid in the understanding of your project through drawing and modelling.


This project responds to aspects of puna. It examines the way that ideas are generated and developed, the negotiation of authorship and ownership and the relationships between creative practitioners, clients and communities.

Puna (wellspring or source) is understood in this context as the wellspring of ideas and knowledge. Ideas don’t just come from nowhere, but have their own whakapapa (lineage or genealogy) – from clients, from communities, from other designers and artists. In using and developing those ideas, we need to be aware of where they have come from, so we can contextualise and articulate through design and make in a conscious way.


You will be introduced to ideation processes of; drawing, modeling, looking, and thinking. These processes will enable you to design for someone else, a spatial intervention within a room informed by a selected ritual. You will learn how to read your design process and develop representation skills to express the narrative of transformation. You will develop a spatial concept by which to structure, understand, and give meaning to your design. To investigate spatial concepts to develop design ideas that explore space planning and inhabitation of domestic living.

How do we design for routines and rituals in relation to the body in the home? What effects do light and material have on space and how can you design using these? The project will be sited within a room located at no. 20 Wallace Street, Mt Cook Wellington.


“Distraction and concentration form polar opposites which may be stated as follows: A man who concentrates before a work of art is absorbed by it… In contrast, the distracted mass absorbs the work of art. This is most obvious with regard to buildings. Architecture has always represented the prototype of a work of art the reception of which is consummated by a collectivity in a state of distraction.” ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’



Puna, 2014 by Xavier Ellah –

week 1



  • Introducing the paper
  • Clinic, workshop and health & saftey information
  • Shared Introduction Monday 11-12 (The Pit or 4B06)
  • Unpack and discuss the significance of Puna
  • Documenting rituals and habits workshop
  • Site Visit to number 20 Wallace Street Tuesday 9am
  • Design exercises
  • Workshop Introduction Tuesday 9:45 – 12
  • Complete workshop orientation (clinic on Wednesday at 2pm)
  • Start sketchup tutorials (if needed)


  • To give you an overview of how the studio and projects will be run what we expect of you week by week.
  • The Site visit will take place on Tuesday it would be a good idea to bring a camera and other items to assist in the analysis.
  • Workshop orientation is for those who did not complete this in first year.
  • The workshop Introduction will be introducing you to the bandsaw, sanders and laser cutter, please bring safety earmuffs and glasses.


  • Documenting the ritual – For this task you are asked to select one ‘homely’ ritual, and think about how you can ‘express its homeliness’.
  • Site Visit – it is important to take this opportunity to do an analysis of the site, research its history, mapping etc. Take notes, photos, measurements and sketch.
  • You will act as client, by documenting an instance of how you live in space everyday. Rather than negative ideas of habit, you are asked to think of the homely activity as a ‘ritual’.


  • Start a blog and update form with correct details here:


  • Produce a ‘document’ (drawing, model, tracing, audio or video recording, map) recording its space & time, the objects and how you touch them, your sense of pleasure, frustration or even disgust in such a moment.


  • Site Analysis


  • Aesthetic gesture in response to documented ritual


  • All uploaded to your blog



Digital collage inspired by aesthetic gesture – Xavier Ellah –

week 2



  • Client/ Designer interview and exchanging of rituals.
  • Review of aesthetic gesture in response to documented ritual
  • Design exercises
  • Start Physical and digital structural models
  • Complete workshop introduction Tuesday 9:45 – 12
  • Aesthetic Gesture in response to Clients Ritual
  • Basic introduction and discussion on structure (NZ3604)
  • A  guide to plans and sections


  • As a designer you will negotiate the demands of a client, the restrictions of an existing structure, the inspiration of precedents, the expanse of your own imagination and the grounding effect of translating ideas into a proposal for spatial reality.
  • Through playing and experimentation sketch models and drawings can be a process of thinking by doing, so play, experiment, create and you will find that it will start to inform your design ideas.
  • The workshop Introduction will be introducing you to the bandsaw, sanders and laser cutter, please bring safety earmuffs and glasses.
  • Having a thorough knowledge of building construction is an essential skill when working as a spatial designer.In this talk we will look at ideas about structure and load (generally), and then specifically at light timber frame construction, including how to use a couple of tables from the New Zealand Standard (NZS 3604).


  • Treat this ritual document as something a client has come to you with as their requirements for the renovation of a room in an otherwise unmodified, house. Explore the conventions of brief writing defining which room to modify, assessing how that room currently does or does not fit client requirements.
  • The ‘Design Pitch” should include some precedent examples to suggest ergonomic qualities of comfort and ‘fit’, light, colour, material finish, and spatial qualities of enclosure, connectedness and expansion, as desired by the client.
  • In pairs take turns to swap an analysing a ‘client’s’ ritual document. Then extend you understanding by using the guide to interview the client. By refining this information you can develop the ‘brief’ for your project.



  • A brief that clearly articulates your intentions (50words max)


  • Have a digital working model of the perimeter of the house.


  • Aesthetic Gesture in response to Clients Ritual


  • a “good” section and plan that showcases your initial design ideas.


  • All uploaded to your blog



Atelier Bow-Wow, ‘House Behaviorology’ at Venice Architecture Biennale, 2010

week 3



  • Making a digital model in SketchUp
  • Response to the ‘Client’.
  • Start Introducing design elements into the space
  • Start development of 1:20 working model
  • Workshop on representation and presentation
  • 1:1 Scheduled Time


  • It is important to start building a digital model so that you can start introducing your design elements into the space. This also helps you to understand how houses are constructed.
  • You will be presenting for no longer then 3 mins. It is important to be clear and precise particularly when pitching to a potential client.


  • An ‘aesthetic gesture’ which turns your ‘clients’ idea into your own new idea.
  • Make a proposal suggesting how the daily routine can be made ‘beautiful’.


  • Develop work for Group Reviews


  • Start 1:20 model


  • All uploaded to your blog


concept model 2

week 4



  • Group Review to take place in small groups Monday morning.
  • Continued development of design
  • Create a 1:50 conceptual model
  • Revisit Structure and whats expected for your 1:20 Scale model



  • It is important to be attending classes and getting feedback on your work particularly in-group reviews.
  • From the feedback at group reviews you should have some pretty good ideas about what to move on with developing your project. This needs to keep evolving through to the final submission.
  • It is important to be able to adjust, reconfigure, rethink your design, working with limitations and new information with an open mind.


  • In this talk we will look at ideas about structure and load (generally), and then specifically at light timber frame construction, including how to use a couple of tables from the New Zealand Standard (NZS 3604).
  • You will have a total of 3 minutes to present your ideas this will need to be precise and to the point.


  • All work to be uploaded to your blog


  • Group Reviews


  • Concept 1:50 scale model


  • Continued Development of Design


Xavier ellah1

Puna, 2014 Front elevation by Xavier Ellah –


week 5



  • Small group sessions
  • Resolve your design according to the submission requirements.
  • Discussion and presentation on spatial representation.


  • The small group sessions open up discussions that allow you to reflect on your work and resolve any potential issues.


  • By this stage you should have prepared work that addresses the feedback from group reviews it would be great to see these changes in the group sessions.
  • If you are feeling stuck try doing a few quickfire drawings or sketch models this might add more inspiration or help clarify your ideas.




  • Final 1:20 Scale model due Tuesday at 5pm


  • All work uploaded to your blog


Check this out.. Student Work 2014

Block 11 Dual Powerpoint Template can be found through Stream

week 6



  • Resolution of final work
  • Presentation Review
  • Responding to Feedback
  • Submission of final work


  • It is important to learn how to edit your work it is not always necessary to show every single thing that you have done that is what your blog is for, be selective what is going to get your idea across and sell your project.
  • learning how to present your work to a client is an important skill , articulating/ selling your design in a clear and precise manner both visually and verbally is essential in convincing your client that your design is a winner.
  • You have worked really hard and it is now time to put your best work forward show us your design and be proud of your work!


  • Practice presenting your work to your friends, classmates and family the more you do it the easier it becomes. It’s also a good way to edit your work, are you showing too much, not enough or are you missing something? Time yourself ……..
  • Please do not panic when: Files corrupt, implode or simply disappear. Models break or melt. Drawings get wet, burnt or get eaten by the dog. We can help with all these things because we’ve been there too!
  • Take care of yourselves, keep us in the loop with any problems, and don’t try to ‘ride out’ the problems on your own.



  • Site Analysis / Plan / Section / Perspectives / Essential development work


  • Design response to final feedback


  • Final hand in at the end of the week


  • All work uploaded to your blog for marking



WARNING: Presentations will take place on both Monday and Tuesday of week 6 starting from 9am. This means you will need to have your files named and on the desktop prior to 9am. There will be a presentation schedule posted ahead of time to say when you will be up to present. 




Drawing/ digital/ mixed media

  • 1:50 Plan/s
  • 1:50 Section/s
  • Elevation/s
  • Key Perspectives
  • Sketch and process drawings

Model Making

  • 1:20 Scale Model
  • Conceptual Models
  • Body of work displayed on blog

Student Blogs

Helen Middleton
Anna Hamilton
Emi Pogoni
Vanessa Russell
Bree Atherfold
Natalie Willcox
Greta Anderson
Sasha Lewis
Bryony Shelton
Megan Taylor
Emily Bulkley
Sarah Joubert
Paige Maddren
Lewis Ellison
Bianca Destounis
Nga Roma Poa
Jess Bunnell
Kelly Druitt
Jordyn Baldwin
Greer Carmine
Christina Roberts
Ellie Tuckey
Elliot Hume
Cassandra Sutherland
Jordyn Baldwin
Zoe Schoeller-Burke
Liam Carroll
Rochelle Treymane
Molly Smith
Molly Brankin
Sopanha Kham
Julia Brown
Etanah Fuimaono-Lalau
Emi Pogoni
olivia lloyd
Madeleine Peacock
Watthanat (Bamboo) Lertsongsak
Julia Brown
Connor Hamill
Chris Thompson


NZS 3604:2011 Timber-framed buildings. (February 2011), Standards New Zealand: Wellington, N.Z.

Coles, J. (2007). The fundamentals of interior architecture. Lausanne: AVA Academia. [also as e-book]

Melchionne, K. (1998). Living in Glass Houses. In Taylor, M., & Preston, J. (2006). Intimus: interior design theory reader. Chichester: John Wiley, 228-232

Muller-Scholl, A. (2013). Manuscript : essentials for the everyday use of interior architects and designers. Basel : Birkhauser Va, 2013. (recommend textbook)

Pringle, T., & Bennett, M. (2011). House building guide. Porirua, N.Z. : BRANZ, 2011. (recommend textbook)


Spiller, N. (2013). Drawing Architecture AD. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.

Verschaffel, B. (2002). The meanings of domesticity. The Journal of Architecture, 7(3), 287–296.

Online resources:


Last modified: March 27, 2015