Design Studio IIB – Ihi & Wehi
re-readings: designing the heart of a student community

Tutors: Sven Mehzoud and Tony De Goldi
Contact email:




The aim of this project is to explore how existing architectural/spatial and historical conditions of a site can become major drivers to develop spatial experiences. Site with all its complexity in this project is understood as a material itself with which to forge, design, transform, and adapt into spaces with new uses and functions – and at the same time providing hints of the original experiences of the previous environment – a rewriting or overwriting – a re-readings of original readings.

This project also examines the themes of ihi and wehi associated with the creative process and as a driver to address the intangible resonance within creative practices. It presents an acknowledgment that design is so much more than the sum of its component physical parts.


Ihi and wehi are complementary terms associated with emotional and psychological behaviour. Ihi can be described as an individual’s essential force, charisma, power or charm – which emanates throughout the creative process. Wehi, on the other hand, highlights the internalised feelings that occur in response to ihi.  Sometimes the terms dread or awe are commonly used to describe wehi. In this context, wehi is taken to mean the emotional response on the part of the observer.

How does your work make you feel? How does the work of others make you feel?  What effects, intentional or unintentional, does it provoke or generate? What energy or resonance does your work have for others?


We will be using the original historical Maori Hall of the Old Dominion Museum (Block 10) as our site to develop a new centre or heart for Massey’s Creative Arts student community (that’s you).

Monday Week 1


Get into groups (as prepared) and begin research and analysis of site. Allocate tasks within your group which involves 1. a site documentation including  the making of a physical and a digital model for Thursday Week 2, and 2.  a presentation of the site analysis for Thursday morning class in Week 1. The presentation needs to include:

-Site plan (simple and scale as appropriate), locating the building within the city and in relationship to the campus);

-Historical research – images, short text/description of the building’s intent, cultural significance, built form and use, and transformation into a Massey Wellington Campus building (150w). What is the historical style of the building and its interior?;

-Diagrams of the building’s layout- the planning of the spaces in relationship to each other, use, circulation/access (look at precedents and examples shown today and previously). Represent in particular the current space use  and circulation, including corridors, access to building and staircases/lifts. The diagrams should clarify and explain what the current problems for use and flow are, and what opportunities exist once the WWI exhibition spaces have been returned to the College of Creative Arts? You are a user of this space already therefore will know first hand what works and what doesn’t. Print out the provided plans (Levels A, B, C) and do a walk through the spaces to identify how they are used. Try to sketch diagrams showing all three floors – research how you can represent the three floors and the analysis through a concise diagram – research examples (eg OMA and BIG) and choose one or two to base your diagram on.

The site documentation needs to include a sketchup model of the great hall from provided dwg drawings as well as a physical cardboard model using the laser cutter and other tools from the 3D workshop.


-Digital modelling of site from dwg plans, sections – preparing files for laser cutter

Continue digital modelling of site, and preparing files for laser cutter for physical modelling.

Wednesday Week 1

The 3D Workshop runs laser cutter induction sessions each week at 3:30PM – make sure to have at least one student from each group sign up into this induction session – you need this expertise in your group in order to do the physical model which is due Monday Week 2. Attempt to have at least two students able to use the laser cutter so that you can help each other.

Thursday Week 1


Presentation of group work, followed by development of your group models – by now you should be working on the files to get your walls, trusses and other model making components laser cut.

1pm: CLINIC WITH OLI (tbc)

For Monday Week 2

Continue the model making processes – and watch the following video from this Toronto based design practice. Look in particular at their Printemps project and how they developed the forms and material effects of the inserted skin. This is important for your individual material and design explorations for your intervention development and workshop on the Monday morning with the 3D Workshop staff!: 

Monday Week 2


Meet in the Tea Gardens for a quick briefing on the day. We will discuss the video and UUfie work in relation to the material explorations and Great Hall project. This is followed by Workshop intros as follows:

_9:30-10:30 (demo for 6-7 students) – three groups in this time slot

-Plastics: including perspex, sheet like polypropelene, latex, and ‘product’;  manipulations through vacuum forming, Sheet bender, Band saw, Latex

-Casting: plaster/concrete/resin/wax – generating form and textures with moulds, and other ways of casting  – various materials

-Metal: easily manipulable, such as ‘light’ gauge sheeting, various metals, sheets, rods, wire – includes spot welding; bender, soldering, guillotine, hand tools like tin snips

_10:30-11:30am (demo for 6-7 students) – two groups in this time slot

-Timber: incl reconstituted boards, plywood, veneer, etc – introduces Band saw / table saw, Sanders, use of veneers (manipulating form, etc – think of skin etc

-Textiles: may also include plastics where applicable and introduces Sewing machine, cutting, ultrasonic welding  – think of pneumatic structures, etc

Following this introduction produce three models that explore and address:



-lighting opportunities

-haptic and other sensory responses

-structural opportunities

For Thursday bring your initial explorations of your material and research into a precedent designer/artist to class for discussion:

Identify, analyse and apply a key material artist/designer precedent showing it through image(s) and three key points. How is it informed by the precedent and what can be extracted and applied to your own work?

Thursday Week 2

Bring initial material trials to class for one on one / group tutorials. Present precedents and identify how and what may inform your further material explorations. These discussions will clarify how to move forward and what the models, tools and material processes can further offer/help explore, and how they can start linking to the project itself.
For Monday, finalise the three material exploration models and bring  to class for discussion. Make sure to digitally model further details into the already provided digital model by Oli.
Monday Week 3 
Finalise the three material exploration models – one of which (the last one of the three iterations) to fit the 1:100 model space – and bring to class at 9am for presentation and discussion
Thursday Week 3
  1. For Thursday create a ‘Return Brief’. While the general brief is to redesign the central hall of Block 10 in order to:

-increase use of the building and space

-provide a stunning space  as the gateway to the campus

-create a central hub and community for students and staff

We are asking you now come back to us this Thursday with a ‘Return Brief’ – your interpretation and ideas of the original briefl. What spaces and activities do you suggest for the Great Hall in order to make it a centre/hub for the student community in Block 10? As part of that produce the following list:

-the types of spaces you want to incorporate (ie lecture hall, cafe, etc)

-the sizes (square metres) that these spaces should be

-the activities that should occur in the spaces – the ‘left-over’ space of

the Great Hall included.

  1. We also want you to think about your own intervention now, in light of doing a concept design proposal for Monday Week 4. As a preparation for that analyse adaptive reuse interventions. Review the ‘rereadings text from last semester and analyse an adaptive reuse project such as the Tate Modern in London or Castelvecchio in Verona (in provided text already). Find your own example and analyse the following:

What are the proportion between existing and new, what are the materials, structural elements, program changes, response to the existing architecture and history?

Put on blog and present Thursday.

  1. Finish a well resolved one-point perspective of your model exploration / design idea as per today’s exercise for pin up and 9am!
Screen Shot 2018-08-02 at 2.05.32 PM

Adaptive Reuse Case Studies – Medley

Monday Week 4:

9am: Pinup of a design concept.

Develop a design concept presentation as a pinup – use A3s in colour and laser cut 1:100 model with the following:

-a plan a section to scale 1:100,

-the model explorations and updated model for 1:100 use (using the workshop!),

-sketch of what it will look like in space – you can augment this with digital sketching if you want but a hand sketch needs to be central to this part of the presentation,

-a programme proposition – what goes into that space…. size, function, experience

-research images – historical and contemporary,

-precedent studies,

-a rationale for the concept that describes the dialogue between old and new.

Thursday Week 4:

9am start –

As discussed on Monday, in addition to the below, begin to model your insertion into the digital model of the Great Hall and develop a dossier (a collection of researched information) with scanned images of architectural and interior design standards and time-saver publications for layouting as discussed this Monday Week 4, also the relevant information from the NZBC such as ramp and stair designs, railing heights, corridor width etc. You need this to begin your spatial planning in plans and sections. Research the library AND online for architectural time-saver standards. The dossier needs to include:

-cafe layout including kitchen and seating arrangements


-theatrette with seating block (rostrum)

-university classrooms including computer labs

-ramps, stairs, railings, corridors, etc. (NZBC:

This is followed by 1 on 1s to confirm your approach to establish the relationship between existing and new, the function, process and the dialogue that your design has with the context.

Monday Week 5:

9am. Bring all your work to class – print out 1:100 plans (tile and add 2 A3s together, begin to sketch into it – attend to all the various parts and project drivers and work on all the media and components to understand what you are doing from various perspectives (digital, material, orthographic, sketching perspectives) to have a good discussion on Monday.

We need to confirm your concept and see how you are making design decisions and how you have claimed the space – we will do some diagrams of your work to date. If you don’t attend to the deliverables as outlined and explained you will be your own worst enemy preventing the project from developing!

Thursday Week 5:

Group tutorials to advance your concept and design for presentation Week 6!

East Wing Bricolo elevation

East Wing Elevation Castelvecchio, Bricolo, 2017

Monday Week 6:

Monday Week 6, 9am, we are having a pin up and final review of the project before hand in in Week 7. The final hand in will be on A0 poster format using the same content and structure as below (just as in Sem 1).

You need the following on A3 colour printouts (make sure to be here early so we can start on time…. and to avoid queues…):

_Sheet 1: Title; project outline, 100w; program outline in bullet points and can be visually supported by a diagram (remember first week exercise of showing program/use of Block 10 in diagram format); Adaptive Reuse precedents perhaps to support overall approach, key conceptual idea expressed in some other’s work or/and programme example.

_Sheet 2: Material Studies page with photographs of models of explorations and iteration, including 1:100 model iterations; material precedents of artists, architects, designers.

_Sheet 3: Hand sketches showing hand drawn explorations of ideas in perspectival format – a few.

_Sheet 4: Perspective(s), digitally produced and rendered,.. can be mixed media if you want (collage, photoshop, sketching) showing the interior of the Hall in person’s view, NOT sketchup top view in perspective view or bird’s eye view or isometric like visualisations.

_Sheet 5: Another perspective?

_Sheets 6-8 in double A3 to have fit tiled 1:100 plan, 1 x longitudinal section, 1 x cross-section showing rendered surfaces, people, materiality, colour,… etc and correct lineweight,.. or moving towards that if possible.

_Exploration and developmental models and 1:100 model.

Thursday Week 6:

9am: Discuss plans, sections and poster design. Bring an advanced rendered and printed out version of the plans/sections and show us examples of the poster design you want. As discussed this Monday, many of you have not created a legible, accurately drawn plan(s) and section that properly represents your design. You have to have these ready for today!
Revise and fine-tune your 100w project outline – serves as your elevator pitch like script. Identify how the project responds to Ihi and Wehi! -In two sentences describe how your design can emotional impact or express your concept and notion of identity of the college, design students, creativity. How does your work persuade. What do inhabitants feel when they enter the space and get immersed in it? What are your intentions to achieve this? bring a printed out version to the tutorial to discuss!

Monday Week 7:

8:30am: All meet in the Tea Garden for hand in of Assignment 1 poster and models. We will select 6 projects that we take to D Floor in Block12 for a short 1 hour pin up and exchange with all the other Year 2 students in the BDes – they have their work pinned up there already. We will have coffee and muffins. This is followed by a pin up of our work in the corridor of the Tea Garden.

Thursday Week 7:

9am. Meet in Spatial Studio for the introduction to the second assignment running from Week 7-12 and which explores Koha in Spatial Design.

Last modified: February 25, 2019