Design Studio IIA – Kaitiakitanga
kaitiakitanga: adaptive reuse, site and context

… the sustainability movement’s politics, not to mention its marketing, have led to a popular misunderstanding: that a perfect, stasis-under-glass equilibrium is achievable. But the world doesn’t work that way: it exists in a constant disequilibrium — trying, failing, adapting, learning and evolving in endless cycles… “Resilience” … doesn’t propose a single, fixed future. It assumes we don’t know exactly how things will unfold, that we’ll be surprised, that we’ll make mistakes along the way. It’s also open to learning from the extraordinary and widespread resilience of the natural world…
-originally printed in The New York Times. ©2012 by Andrew Zolli


Develop an understanding of the term kaitiakitanga and how it can become an informing principle for the adaptive reuse of residential buildings.


This project responds to aspects of kaitiakitanga. It examines guardianship of resources and includes broader ideas of ‘sustainability’ and ethical considerations. It encourages you to think about where materials come from and the consequences of their use.

Kaitiakitanga begins with a holistic understanding of how the environment and the people within it exist in balance, and a care to maintain that balance. What is your role as a creative practitioner in negotiating that balance? How does your work impact on the environment and on people through its manufacture, or its content, or its use?


For this project, you will employ strategies of adaptive reuse to a house and its site. You will undertake thorough investigations of the existing building fabric and use, considering its strengths and failings for the current occupation to propose a revised residential dwelling.


Michael Parakowhai The Lighthouse, 2017. Image:

Assignment 2 brief

Schedule wk 7-12

SITE group blog link   RESPONSES

TEXT group blog link  RESPONSES

Week 7

Studio 7.1


-Introduction to paper: Kaitiakitanga and our response to the brief.

 Assignment 2_Intro_2017

-Introduce group aspect of the project

-Introduce texts and sites


-To provide an overview of the brief and the next 6 weeks of the semester.

-To begin unpacking some of the key concerns and questions raised in the brief.


-Go through the brief together and in group discussion.

-Discuss and source examples of adaptive reuse.

-Assign texts.

-Discuss and generate strategies to map and measure your site.


  • Read your text.
  • Produce 10 ‘drawings’ per person in response to your text.
  • Site visit and documentation: sketches and photos (print out) and bring to class.
  • Bring printouts of site documentation to class on Thursday.

Studio 7.2


-Text-image-text explorations.

-Discussion and exercise: What is in your site?! What does it mean?

-Discuss and map out the social, cultural, material and political implications of your site.

-Look at site measure approaches.

-Sourcing plans from archives.


-To share your responses to the play with your group.  To consider the relationship between the types of images suggested to you in the text to begin generating spatial responses.

-To continue building documentation of your chosen site.

-To analyse some of the effects on site and occupancy that are the result of outside factors.

-To assist you in ‘accurately’ and effectively measure your site.

-So that you can access plans for your sites.


-Share your images with each other.  Discuss your initial responses to the script and how you have incorporated this into your images.

-Print out all documentation and discuss.  Identify elements that might need a closer/second look.

-Pin up and map out the documentation you have in relation to some of the information extracted from the Housing Standards Resources provided.  Discuss and annotate your findings.  Apply to appropriate sites on your ‘map’

-Going through the resource provided and discussing these approaches.

-Direction to WCC website.

Housing Standards Resources:

“Healthy Housing – He Kainga Oranga” research group

Bierre, S., Mark, B., Howden-Chapman, P.  2014. Decent Expectations? The Use and Interpretation of Housing Standards in Tenancy Tribunals in New Zealand. New Zealand University Law Review Vol,26 No2, PP153-185

Government / Statistics New Zealand data on accommodation patterns and the (statistical) effects of crowding and ‘sever housing deprivation’ (aka homelessness). 


  • Add to your information about your site.  Rephotograph. What did you miss the first time around?
  • Source plans for next Thursday. [Wellington City Archives (search and request what you want – please be polite) / Hutt City Archives (mostly online)] NOTE: some boring files have useful info eg. ownership transfer doc. tell you who owned what when, sanitary & drainage files might tell you when some minor modifications happened that are not recorded in construction drawings. etc.
  • Measure your site. Measured Drawing Guide
  • Bring materials for 1:1 testing exercise

Week 8

Session 8.1


-Interventions that respond to each of the characters in the text.

-Source images + insert into space exercise

-Scale drawing

-Map the play on A1.


-Using modelling as a tool to respond spatially is a tool to translate an abstract idea into a spatial concept through form, scale and materiality.

-Inserting the object/form/model you have created into sourced images is a tool to reimagine how it fits in space.

-Drawing to scale is an important representational too for spatial designers as we are often working on scaled down (smaller models or drawings) of large sites.  Understanding how to move between different scales is a key skill to understand.

-Mapping the play is a way to understand how the play unfolds, documenting the range of sites and characters that are in it.  Doing this mapping will helo you to analyse the text.


-Using modelling and drawing techniques to respond in with a 3D form to an aspect of your play.

-3D form/model/object with sourced images.

-Draw the form at a range of scales.

-On a large piece of paper maps out the play using images and text.  This does not need to be a linear map of the story.


– Follow up sourcing drawings of your site from the council.

-Each group member is assigned a character.  Complete 3 spatial portraits each of your assigned character.


Session 8.2


-Workshop reading, understanding and drawing Plans, Sections.

-Identifying zones in site. Respond to text and zones.

-Construction process.


Different ways of understanding site and developing a body of information to hand-over to the next group.


Reading about drawing/drafting as a ‘working out’ process. Marco Frascari ‘Lines as Architectural Thinking‘ in Architectural Theory Review 2009, 14(3).

Looking at the old plans – drawing over them.

Looking at your new plans, drawing into them.

Looking at the precedent of Carlo Scarpa.


-Package up your site documentation for handover on Monday.  Including measured drawings, plan, sections, and elevations, photographic and sketched documentation, video, material studies.

-Take ideas of zoning discussed in class and apply these to the sites of your text, both described or imagined.

Week 9

Session 9.1


  • Share character studies from week 8 with your text group. Document and discuss.  Create a document of shared insights, concerns, interests about your text.
  • Swap sites
  • Get to know your new site
  • Create a series of drawings placing your text into your site.


  • Sharing your visual responses to the play help you as a group to develop a visual language for the text.  You can draw from and refer to this language as you redesign your site in response to the text.
  • Reading, understanding and then utilising documentation prepared by others about a site you are working on is a common task for spatial designers.
  •  Begin the process of designing for your assigned site.


  • Share character studies, discuss and document.
  • Look over the site information you have been given about your site.
  • From the document you created earlier in class select an insight, concern or interest and as a group produce 3 different spatial responses.
  • Draw these responses into your site.

Notes for the handover of site documentation:

Please create a single folder that contains all of the digital information you have collected about your site.  Label this with the street name of the site.  All mapping exercises done in class can either be given to the group or scanned and added to the street name folder.

Ensure you have documented all materials on your site blog before the handover.

Notes about the next 4 weeks of the project:

Your text group is now your only group. Together you will create a proposal, using principles of adaptive reuse that redesigns/revises a residential dwelling (your assigned site) in response to your text. Your text is a starting point and your response to it, the concerns, insights and ideas that you have drawn from it will form the basis of your redesign/revision of the site.


  • Create 5 spatial drawing investigations each placing your text* into your site. One of your drawings needs to be based on or a reworking of one of those made in class.  At least one of these needs to be a reworking of one of your group members images (posted to the blog). Consider how you might enrich the drawing. Bring these to class on Thursday to workshop with your group and others.
  • Prepare for a presentation of findings on Thursday. Bring all explorations of your text that you and your group have conducted- drawings, models, sketches, collages etc. to class on Thursday.

*your text refers to the ideas, concerns and insights that your group has interpreted from the text. These can be any or all – setting, character, thematic based observations.

Session 9.2


  • Presentation of findings and workshop.
  • Introduction to construction drawing software


  • Discussing your ideas with your peers is a way to get clarity about your idea.  It also allows for feedback and ideas from others who are not familiar with your project, they may see things you’ve not noticed or respond to something you present in an unexpected way or from a different perspective.
  • There is a range of tools available to you to represent your designs.  Selecting which of these tools to use is based on what information you need to communicate and t whom.  Construction drawings require particular information and Revit is one program available to assist you in the creation of construction drawings.


  • Present your findings to date to another group.  Discuss your projects based on the questions generated by the class.
  • Oli will introduce Revit alongside other representation techniques.

Here is a link to the Visual Representation page that Oli referred to in his presentation today. You can find it under the ‘resources’ tab, ‘Visualising Space’ on our website.

Revit tutorials are also found in the ‘resources’ tab under Revit.

A precedent (aka. artist model) that we thought might be useful is Sarah Wigglesworth and Jeremy Till’s ‘Table Manners’ project that turned into a building called the Stock Orchard Street Building. Here is an essay called Critical Practice, and links to publications of the final project, here and here. The scenario is different (ie. design is not a response to a play/narrative) but there is a clearly explained process moving from conceptual explorations, through ‘other’ concerns (mostly about sustainability) through to an actual building. Fyi. the project was included in a Grand Designs episode.


  • Continue working on the design for your residential dwelling.
  • Begin the Revit exercise
  • Bring tools for gnarly site model making exercise on Monday.  Cardboard, tape, papier mache equipment, glue, paper.

Session 10.1


  • Talk about scale models: part of your submission is a 1:20 scale part-model.
  • Section and materials model. Introduce principles and problems.
  • Build gnarly model of the existing site.


  • Spatial designers employ a range of tools to communicate their thinking and designs to different audiences including different sorts of models to describe construction details, materiality, material detail and the overall volume of the site.
  • Building a gnarly model will provide your group with a template to design into.  It will also give you an understanding of the shapes and volumes of your existing site.


  • Presentation and discussion about different sorts of models Models presentation
  • Build a model of your site, including the surrounding the terrain.

Some links to websites with modelling tips:


  • Continue working on your design
  • Complete your section model
  • The Revit tutorial is available.

Session 10.2


  • Explore interior and exterior spaces, boundary conditions and climates.
  • Create a materials library for your design.
  • Follow up Revit tutorial with Oli.


  •  Interior and exterior spaces have different conditions that require consideration when designing spaces.  The boundaries between these are points, where materials meet and residue from outside and inside spaces permeate each other.  These changes in the conditions of the site inform the materials and surfaces that you might use in your design.
  • Creating a materials library for this project will help your group to assign materials to spaces and work independently together on the development and visualisation of your ideas.
  • Completing or having a go at the construction drawing task using Revit may have brought up some questions that Oli can answer with the group. Also, to cover some of the details we didn’t get to last week e.g. the roof.


  • Explore the boundary conditions and interior/exterior spaces around the studio and surrounding buildings.
  • Identify the boundary conditions in your play/text.
  • Using the drawing tools available to you – your site model, your plans sections, elevations and perspectives you’ve already created – create drawings  that integrate and respond to the exterior aspects of your site – of the structure itself and the surrounding land (within the property boundary) based on the boundary conditions you have identified in your play/text.
  • Using plan drawings or your site model, map out the material surfaces of your site.  How might you alter these?  Re-map your site according to the changes you make to it. Create a materials library for your design.  You can continue to add and take away from this as your design develops.


  • Complete 20 drawings per group of the exterior/interior drawings that we started in studio.
  • Continue creating your materials library.
  • Continue developing your design.

Week 11

Session 11.1


  • Using section and plan drawings, draw out your design.


  • To communicate the key ideas of your design to other people and get feedback from them.
  • To map out your ideas and articulate the areas that require further consideration and development.


  • Create 1:20 plan and section drawings of your design as you understand it currently and present these to the class.


  • Bring 2-3 A0 newsprint pages (per group) to studio on Thursday.
  • Continue working on your projects, responding to the feedback you received in studio on Monday.

Session 11.2


  • Review project deliverables.
  • Discuss poster layouts and look at examples from previous year’s projects.
  • Look at what you still need to do and decide who will do what and when
  • Talk through the plan for next week as a group.


  • It is useful for us to re-look at the project deliverables, to ensure that you are aware of all of the elements included in the project submission.
  • Carefully looking at what you need to complete, in detail that includes what each of drawings needs to communicate will help you to work effectively towards your submission next week.
  • As you are working in a group you will need to divide up tasks and work on some elements of the project individually.  Deciding on who will complete what together will ensure that you are all on the same page about what needs to be achieved and how to do this as a group.
  • Ensuring that everyone understands how next week will run means that everyone gets the most value out of the workshop and feedbacks sessions planned.


  • By looking at the project deliverables on the blog and discussing them together.
  • Discussing poster layouts, look at examples from previous years.
  • Using the A0 newsprint pages you brought along to studio, plan out your poster, deciding how best to organise the drawings and text on your page to communicate your concept in a dynamic and clear way. Include details about the content of each drawing eg. the point of view of the perspectives are from.
  • Using your poster plan and the deliverables outlined on the blog, make a list and plan for how your group will work over the next week.  Post this to the blog.


Week 12

NOTE: Submission of all elements of this project are now due 5pm Thursday, 1st June.

Submission details:

  • Group poster and model, set up in studio 11B by 5pm Thursday. 
  • Revit exercise AND individual reflection on group work form (this will be distributed on Thursday) upload to the dropbox on Stream. Text Group Reflection Document
  • Text group blog updated with a link to/post of your ‘final’ poster file.
  • Text and site group blogs updated with all of the work you have completed for this project.



As a poster

  • 1:50 Plan/s
  • 1:50 Section/s
  • Elevation
  • Key Perspectives


  • Sketch, diagrams, concept and generative process drawings including documentation of models (could be included where relevant on poster)
  • 1:20 Scale Model (exhibited)
  • Body of work displayed on your group (site and text) blogs

On Stream: technical drawing exercise (individual)

Last modified: June 1, 2017