Design Studio IIIB – Tuakiri
tuakiri – dwelling well

Learning Outcomes | Student Blogs | wk1

Course Description:

In this studio course students will negotiate a critical position through individual or collaborative professional practices, with opportunities to apply their specialist skills to a range of contexts. In addition to advancing spatial design concepts, techniques, skills and processes in the production of their creative work, students will develop and apply transferable skills relevant to professional environments.


This project addresses the ways in which houses, or dwellings, support the identity and wellbeing of their inhabitants. You will consider identity and wellbeing both in the project, and in the way you practice.

Your identity, and the identities of others, are shaped by various factors or influences. Identity (including gender/class/ethnicity) affects the positions that you take up; it also affects the positions of ourselves and others within interactions and communication. What are the contemporary influences and factors that condition your approaches? How do these impact on your own position or the positions of others you might work with? How might these be organised within society?

You will participate in and reflect on four interdisciplinary EXCHANGE sessions.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria checklist:

assessment criteria

358 checklist


“Today there is a crisis, not just in access to and affordability of housing in New Zealand, but in the quality of our housing. […] This has serious implications for health, social cohesion and the economy.”

Phillipa Howden-Chapman, Home Truths: Confronting New Zealand’s Housing Crisis, Wellington, Bridget William Books, 2015, p. 1.

“New Zealand must have its own architecture, its own sense of what is beautiful and appropriate to our climate and conditions.”

The Architectural Group, on the necessity for architecture: The Manifesto of the Architectural Group, Auckland, 1946.

In this project you will work individually and collaboratively to re-imagine dwellings for healthy people and places, responding to local sites and situations. This project is in three parts:

_In Part 1 (weeks 1-4) you will undertake pre-design research on a given site on Matairangi (Mount Victoria), as well as a series of excercises on tectonics – the “poetics of construction“[1].

_In Part 2 (weeks 5-12) you will design a dwelling on this site that considers the relationship between the site, dwelling, inhabitants and wider community in relation to identity and wellbeing. How might your dwelling be a “machine for living in“[2] or “a framework in which our lives are lived“[3]? Your design decisions will be informed by research into contemporary best practice for healthy, energy efficient, sustainable or regenerative buildings that exceed current NZ building codes and explore emerging technologies. How is your dwelling “conceived within the spirit of our time“[4]? The design process for this project will be modelled off architectural or interior design conventions of professional practice, including deliverables for elements of Concept Design (sketch proposal), Developed Design (resolved proposal) and Detail Design (construction documentation).

_In Part 3 (week 13) you will reflect on your project, your practice, and the way in which you engaged with people through both of these. Part 3 includes Exchange reflections.

1 Chad Schwartz, Introducing Architectural Tectonics: Exploring the Intersection of Design and Construction. Taylor & Francis, 2016, p. i.

2 Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture, 1920.

3 Ernst Plischke, Design and Living, Wellington, Dep. of Internal Affairs, 1947, p. 31.

Announcement of the Case Study House Program, Arts and Architecture, 1945.

Week 1.1

PRE-DESIGN: Intro & Site visit

We will be going for a walk to visit our site for the semester, so please bring walking shoes that can get muddy, and suitable clothing for cold, wind and rain. You will also want to bring a sketchbook and decent pen/pencil


  • site analysis
  • contextual research (including ownership/governance and historical narratives)
  • identity/wellbeing concerns of our time and place

Week 1.2

Today we:

Discussed the findings and analysis that people completed including, social, cultural, community, land and land use, architectural concerns and conditions, histories, vegetation, destination Wellington, site conditions.

Made A3 responses to the explorations and discussions conducted over the week, identifying areas of current interest framed by ideas of identity and wellbeing.  These could become seed projects and will be shared at some point next week.


-Look at Revit and or Vectorworks tutorials on the Spatial website to reacquaint yourself with these programs.

-Continue site analysis and exploration of the site and ideas of wellbeing and identity.

Last modified: July 21, 2017