Design Studio IIIB – Tuakiri_2021

tuakiri – spaces of 21st century wellbeing


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 semester you will do one 12-week individual assignment that will account for 100% of your assessment for the course. This requires a more advanced level of time management and accountability. Please remember that the guidelines around workload expectations for a 30 credit course are 20 hours per week (6 hours contact time, 14 hours independent study). The total body of work you produce should represent around 240 hours of work. 

For some perspective… if you were to charge a low graduate rate of $25-$30/hr+GST for the project you would be charging a client $6-$7.2k+GST for 240 hours. If that was to represent a percentage-based fee of what is usually around 10% of the overall build cost for an average architecture, interior design or event design project, that would be a build budget of $60-$72k+GST. While the nature of your project might be very different from these examples, it’s interesting to keep in mind!

Learning outcomes

224.358_learning outcomes checklist



This project addresses the ways in which spatial design constructs and reflects social, political and cultural values and identities.

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?

This semester, all School of Design 358 students will be addressing tuakiri in relation to ideas of wellbeing. We encourage you to discuss the implications of this with your peers across different design practices.



Lindah Lepou, 2017, video work of gowns being burned, screened at Government House. Image from massey/about-massey/news/article. cfm?mnarticle_uuid=DDA6BD59-D54C- 48DF-A311-0A6716A2233D. Lindah Lepou, Hāpai Productions with spatial designer Wai Mihinui, Massey University Toi Rauwhārangi, Office of the Governor General. Mātairanga Mahi Toi artist in residence 2017. For a video by SIK Productions see 


Project Brief:

This project explores the intersections between space and the politics of identity and wellbeing. Spatial design projects are subject to the codes and regulations of governing bodies and societal systems or narratives, but can also have agency in challenging and shaping those systems. You will be proposing a reimagining of Government House for a purpose that aligns with or critiques a particular wellbeing concern for Aotearoa New Zealand. You will design a multi-programme adaptive reuse of the building (considering ‘adaptive reuse’ in an expanded sense, which could range from a full interior architecture refit to a temporary performative intervention/event) that unpacks the existing programming of the site as a residence, event-space, and stage for the ‘performance’ of nationhood. How does your spatial proposition respond to this context to embody a vision of 21st century wellbeing?

Part 1 (weeks 1-6):

  • site & context research, analysis, modelling & technical drawings
  • critical spatial intervention exercise responding to a selected concern & critical text – initial proposal for adaptive reuse (to include position statement, research, site documentation, masterplan, hero image, code report) with presentation via a website and short video

Part 2 (weeks 7-12):

  • design development, detailing and refinement, including material specification, material detail or prototype (project specific)
  • design communication (written, verbal and visual)
  • developed proposal for adaptive reuse (to include developed Part 1 material + Part 2 design development & material studies + presentation visuals that communicate your overall proposal as well as a selected aspect of the design developed to detail, considering construction, materials, connections, lighting, services, etc.) with an oral and visual digital presentation

Part 3 (week 13):

  • reflect on your project, your practice, and the way in which you engaged with people through both of these. 

[See Stream for full assignment brief, learning outcomes and deliverables. See also Wk1 slideshow in shared google folder for a breakdown of some of the key terms/concepts.]

‘Help Hours’ sign up sheet : add your name into a time slot and we can chat over any technical questions you might have – Georgina. 

We will be using this blog to post weekly updates and deliverables.
See Stream for resources, readings and digital submissions.
You will keep your own blog and we will occassionally use Mural for group/class activities.


STUDIO 1.1 – Tuesday Wk1:

  • Intro: Tuakiri, wellbeing, brief, site (Government House), schedule, deliverables, examples
  • Manaakitanga circle: clearing the way for a semester of rich learning and developing a resilient, critical spatial practice
  • Wellbeing kōrero and exercise looking at the Wellbeing Budget and He Ara Waiora
  • Critical Spatial Practice kōrero, introduction to readings, and exercise to identify examples of critical spatial practice
  • Government House kōrero (site/context), important information around access and protocols for use of sensitive information associated with the site
    • Site visit information – discuss shared resource/site documentation strategies, parking list
  • Introduce Wk 1 tasks including
    • Setting up blog
    • Setting up digital models
    • Research & upload to blog and shared mural

Here is a link to the schedule we will be working from, this will be updated regularly and with more detail as we progress through the project.

Please note: We’ll be having tutorials 11am Wednesday starting this week. Please ensure that you can come along to these or make time to complete the tutorial via the zoom recording.

TUTORIAL 1 – Wednesday 11am 11A26/Zoom
Digital modelling – setting up Government House Files and establishing workflow expectations




Session 1 Brainstorms above 

Independent Study:

  • Digital model: Begin creating your digital model – this is independent study for the whole week. We will be addressing these in tutorial this week and class next week.
  • Site/context research: research into site and context, upload to your blog, post selected useful info to shared mural
  • Wellbeing research: Review Labour’s “Wellbeing Budget” and the He Ara Waiora framework and select a focus area from one of them that is of interest to you.
    • For a quick overview of the Wellbeing Budget see this video from 2019, the Budget 2021 web page, and the overview documents “WB2019A4” and “Wellbeing Budget 2021_at a glance” in Ngā Rauemi | Course Resources folder Readings – Wellbeing Budget + He Ara Waiora
    • For an overview of He Ara Wairoa see the Treasury’s He Ara Waiora web page and/or the brief overview A3 in the readings folder. For a more detailed read (optional) check out one or both of the discussion papers in the readings folder
    • Upload research to your blog, post selected useful info to shared mural
  • Readings (x2 + optional further/recommended reading):
    • Read Intro to “Spatial Agency” by Awan, Schneider & Till (see Readings – Critical Spatial Practice folder on Stream)
      • If you want to go further (optional), read the second section “Motivations of Spatial Agency”, particularly the section on politics. You may also wish to read Rendell’s “Critical Spatial Practice” as well as looking further into some of the key theories referenced in these texts, e.g. Latour’s Actor-Network Theory, Lefebvre’s (social) production of (social) space, and de Certeau’s ‘tactics’).
    • Select and read one (or more) of the following short articles:
    • For the Spatial Agency reading and one of the articles above identify three key points made in the article and identify a key idea that you that you take away from the writing (approx. 100 words per article). Post the 2 responses to your blog and shared mural.
    • You may also want to refresh yourself on Brooker & Stones’ “Re-readings” chapter on adaptive reuse strategies (also in readings folder).
  • Blog: Set up blog and complete blog address form – please note that blogs need to be password protected with the assigned password (you can find the password on the brief and on Stream)
  • IMPORTANT: See below re Friday’s site visit and what you need to know/prepare/bring. Keep in mind parts of the site or information you come across in your site/context research that you might want to enquire about from the tour guide or document more closely whilst at the site visit.

STUDIO 1.2 – Friday Wk1:

Site visit 9-11: Please come prepared for this session starting 9am at Government House.

  • Meet at Government House. Please be on time, our tour is scheduled to start at 9am, so arrival around 8.45am would be preferable. Everyone has to sign in and start the tour together so you can’t turn up late.
  • If you can’t make it let Jen know in advance so we can take you off the tour list and are not waiting for you to show up.
  • Entry is via the back gate at Hospital Road. There is no entry through the Basin Reserve gate, or through Drummond Street.
  • Let Jen know by 12pm Thursday if you are planning to drive so that we can let Govt House know. There is lots of parking but you will only be let in if we have provided Govt House with your car registration number.
  • Please dress appropriately for the mana of the site we are visiting.
  • We have been given permission to photograph and measure the site as needed. Bring measuring equipment (we will bring some too).
  • Come prepared having started your site/context, wellbeing focus and critical spatial practice research as this will guide your attention to areas of interest to document/measure and questions to ask the tour guide.

Debrief + independent study 11-12

Independent Study:

  • Site visit reflection
  • Upload site visit documentation to shared google drive folder (see Stream for link)
  • Continue on with digital model
  • Continue research on site/context, wellbeing focus and critical spatial practice / critical positioning reading responses, uploaded to blog with selected bits shared to mural

Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 10.45.38 AM


STUDIO 2.1 – Tuesday Wk2:

  • Manaakitanga circle
  • Review shared research, reading responses
  • Site visit reflection
  • Positioning your critical spatial practice workshopping: where are you in the galaxy? This will help to generate an initial framework for action. Visualise your thinking as an A3 collage.
  • Slides from studio today will be posted to the shared google folder at the end of the session


TUTORIAL 2 – Wednesday 11am 11A26/Zoom
Adobe XD to develop your website


Independent Study:

  • Finish A3 collage from in-class exercise, that captures your thinking in that moment
  • Complete your ‘action framework’, which should consist of:
    • Critical positioning statement (100-200 words, A3), summarising: research (including 1 found reading), selected wellbeing focus, selected site of intervention, mode of critical spatial practice
    • Image (A3): Detailed and refined collage/drawing/image that uses as a starting point a selected excerpt from a text of your choosing and captures the key concerns within your ‘action framework’ and critical positioning. Consider:
      • site of intervention
      • level of intervention (micro, meso, macro, meta)
      • mode of intervention (actions, strategies, tactics)
      • viewpoints(s) (plan, section, perspective, isometric, plural, objective, embodied…)

Have your 3x A3s pinned up ready to share on Friday morning.

STUDIO 2.2 – Friday Wk2:

  • Pin-up 3x A3s (collage from last session + action framework (critical positioning statement + image)
    • Discuss, feedback
    • Form practice constellations, workshop action frameworks
  • Anecdotes exercise (finding connections to site through narrative)
  • Look at further examples of previous projects

Independent Study:

  • Using the anecdotes exercise we did in class as a model/example, generate three spatial responses to your action framework. Strategies discussed include:
    • identify a specific focus to respond to (something that acts in a similar way as the anecdote)
    • set yourself a short timeframe for initial ideation (then develop to a more considered level)
    • consider critical spatial interventions at different scales (of space, time, level of socio-environmental intervention e.g. micro, meso, macro, meta etc)
    • as per the last independent study exercise, consider site, mode of intervention/practice, viewpoint from which to represent/visualise etc
  • Finish digital model of existing
  • Set up XD website with placeholders

STUDIO 3.1 & 3.2 – Tuesday & Friday Wk3:

  • Meet in pairs/threes with Jen and Georgina to discuss your action framework and initial responses. We will workshop half of your projects on Tuesday (ie one of the pair or one or two projects in a group of three), and the rest of your projects on Friday.
  • When you are not meeting with Jen and Georgina, you should aim to complete the following tasks:
    • ensure you are up to date with your blog, independent study tasks (including contribution to the shared Murals), digital model and XD website setup
    • continue develop your critical position and proposal for critical spatial action
    • spend some time looking at the shared ‘critical practice mapping’ mural
      • read through the critical discourse overview in the ‘sidebar’
    • as an individual: put your project and research into the mural
      • find your place in the galaxy in relation to your cluster
      • upload a developed/refined image/collage/drawing representing your proposed critical spatial action/intervention
      • caption the image with your name, working title and refined critical positioning statement (this should be a shorter summary statement (approx. 50 words)
      • add square post-its for critical discourses your project will engage with
      • add round post-its for examples of spatial practice that engages with these discourses
    • as a cluster: get together to come up with an overview statement for your cluster (approx. 50 words) and add this to the mural

TUTORIAL 3 – Wednesday 11am 11A26/Zoom
Moving image


Independent Study:

  • Complete the critical practice mapping task as outlined above. You will be using the mural to present your ‘working proposal’ to the class next Tuesday.
  • Start exploring moving image as a way of thinking-through-making and more-than-visual representation.
  • Ensure you are up to date with all other tasks and your blog, including posting a critical reflection on your project journey to date



STUDIO 4.1 – Tuesday Wk2:

  • Share and discuss working proposals from critical practice mapping mural
  • Intro to Codes
  • Wk6 deliverables recap & intro tasks for week:
    • Code report
    • Video
    • Masterplanning

wk6 deliverables recap wk4

TUTORIAL 4 – Wednesday 11am 11A26/Zoom

Tutorial shifted to online recording / in class on Friday (Georgina unwell)


Independent Study:

  • Continue to develop your proposal. Use video-making and masterplanning as vehicles for this (masterplanning to be discussed in more detail on Friday)
  • Code report – see overview and examples from Tuesday’s slides in google folder


STUDIO 4.2 – Friday Wk4:

  • Masterplanning intro/tutorial, workshop and pin-up of first drafts by last part of session 


Independent Study:

  • As per above (proposal, video, masterplanning, code report)
  • We will view the first iteration of your video on Tuesday. Please upload to youtube or vimeo and add your link into the spreadsheet in the shared folder



STUDIO 5.1 – Tuesday Wk5:

  • Have videos set up to play on loop by 9am
  • Share and discuss videos
  • 1:1s


TUTORIAL 5 – Wednesday 11am 11A26/Zoom
Technical drawings


Independent Study:

  • Consolidate proposal
  • Work through Wk6 deliverables checklist
  • Start populating website
  • Start working on hero image
  • Technical drawings of existing (site plan, plan, section)

STUDIO 5.2 – Friday Wk5:

  • 1:1s – use your website to take us through where you’re up to

Independent Study:

  • As per above (proposal, deliverables, website, hero image, technical drawings of existing)
  • Ensure your blog is up to date including critical reflections on your process



STUDIO 6.1 – Tuesday Wk6:

  • Manaakitanga circle / confirm presentation format for Friday
  • 1:1s

TUTORIAL 6 – Wednesday 11am 11A26
Drop-in session / help hours / troubleshooting


Independent Study:

  • Prepare for Friday formative presentation and submission (see below)
  • Submit google form with website, video and blog links (by end of Thursday latest)
    • note: this form also asks you to identify your wellbeing focus, areas of critical discourse and mode of spatial practice as well as summarising your design brief for Part 2
  • Ensure your blog is up to date including critical reflections on your process


WEEK 6 formative assessment 

STUDIO 6.2 – Friday Wk6 (20 August)
Interim presentations & submission 


  • Present your website and video:
    • the website should contains all the elements of your proposal for critical spatial practice, including:
      • project title & critical framing / position statement
      • hero image
      • curated (relevant) research & site documentation
      • masterplan (overview of spatial & temporal programme)
      • code ‘report’ and corresponding design parameters that your proposed design will need to consider
    • the website should also contain the link to your video (and/or placeholder), which can be used to explore or communicate any of the above
    • presentations should be 5mins max including your video, e.g.:
      • 1min to read your concept statement while we look at your hero image – concept statement should include:
        • WHAT you are proposing, WHEN/WHERE it will happen and WHO it is for
        • positioning/WHY (wellbeing focus, critical position informed by key findings from research informing your proposal)
        • HOW (informed by what critical discourse and modes/examples of critical spatial practice)
      • 2mins to take us through your master plan
      • 1min to play your video
      • 1min to summarise your design brief/intent for Part 2 – what will you be designing?

Submission (by end of day Friday):

  • Ensure you have completed the google form to submit links to your website, video and blog
  • Submit as PDF to Stream: technical drawings of existing site/building: site plan, plan, section
    • Drawings should be completed on Vectorworks (or Revit/Archicad), and will be technical line drawings, to scale, with critical (important/key) dimensions, annotations/labels, title blocks and with good attention to line weights and clean layout.
  • Have up to date on your blog:
    • all other research & process work, including critical spatial intervention exercise(s) and previous video exploration(s), along with critical reflections


WEEK 8-10
  • Shift to blended learning during Alert Level 2
  • All information to be found via Stream: Akomanga ā-ipurangi | Online classroom
  • Friday Week 10 there will be a Developed Design checkpoint review


Further information will be updated as we go along. See below for previews of important deadlines:


WEEK 12 – summative assessment (preview)

Final presentations Friday 15 October
9am-2pm (longer session)

Final deliverables:

    developed proposal for adaptive reuse / critical spatial intervention, to include:

    • developed Part 1 material + Part 2 design development
    • presentation visuals that communicate your overall proposal as well as a selected aspect of the design developed to detail, considering construction, materials, connections, lighting, services, etc.
  • STREAM (digital submission)
  • BLOG (due wk13):
    • design development, detailing and refinement, including detail drawing and specifications
    • development of design communication (written, verbal and visual)



Last modified: September 13, 2021