Saturday, 17 October 2020

three minute thesis

 Rahele and Rob enter the three minute thesis comp, with Rob bringing home the big prize !!!! well done

Thursday, 27 August 2020


 A great day of presentations with all students passing , y to many highlights to mention but congratulation to all the students and many thks to our excellent review panels


Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Spring Critics

Damian Powley   

Ngāi tai 



Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Wainui te awa
Ko Parepaupau te maunga
Ko Ngaitai te iwi
Ko Torere arua te hapu
Ko Damian toku ingoa

Damian is a Landscape Architect and Project Manager working with Isthmus.


Bela Hinemoa Grimsdale, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa Graduate Landscape Architect


Being of bicultural background, with Māori and Pākehā whakapapa. Bela has naturally developed her professional interests and studies to be strongly grounded in the culture of Aotearoa. Her previous studies at the University of Auckland with a double major in Art History and Cultural Heritage and Museums, where she developed her interest, knowledge and practice in traditional Māori techniques of weaving, carving and the uses of native plants.

In 2017 Bela undertook a walking design audit of the Tāmaki Makaurau CBD to locate, record and value existing Māori design elements for the Auckland Design Office. The audit was eye-opening in terms of thinking about where there might be potential for Te Ao Māori in the city and to the extent of where these values are lacking. The audit has become a useful tool and informative resource for Auckland Council.

Bela joined LandLAB in 2019 after completing an internship whilst studying. Bela looks forward to adding a strong cultural dimension to the team drawing on her knowledge, skills and affiliations, and to build on her Te Ao Māori knowledge and research gained throughout her studies and how she can apply this in the professional field.

Bela enjoys collaboration with clients, professionals, academics and practitioners with a passion for the landscape and Te Ao Māori.

Dr Jessica Hutchings 

Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Huirapa, Gujurati

Director and Consultant – Māori science strategy, innovation and transformation.  

Co-Director, Tīaho Ltd. Kaupapa Māori research, evaluation and policy development consultancy(2016 – present) 

Dr Jessica Hutchings  is a research strategist, leader and communicator will 25 years of experience in the development and implementation of Māori science strategy which includes building research landscapes and leading Māori research initiatives with clear community outreach objectives including Oranga (wellbeing), toitoi (creativity) and auaha (innovation) for diverse Māori communities. Dr Hutchings hasdeep experience working at the interface of both science and society and mātauranga Māori. It is through this work that she continue to develop her expertise and reputation as a critical kaupapa Māori research leader and science strategist who contributes to and furthers understandings of mātauranga Māori. 

Current Board Appointments  

MBIE Science Board (2019-current) 

Rauika Māngai Cross NSC Senior Māori Leaders Rōpū (Chair 2018-) 

Resilience to Natures Challenges, National Science Challenge (2020-current) 

Previous Board Appointments 

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand 

Te Waka Kai Ora (National Māori Organics Authority) Recent nomination to the Board of the International



Jamie Stronge BLA (Unitec) 

Jamie Stronge is a Senior Landscape Architect for ARUP in the Cities and Digital team in Auckland.


Zoe Avery 

Master of Landscape Architecture (by Design), Bachelor of Planning (Hons) and currently completing a Master of Urban Design.

Zoe is a principal at 4Sight Consulting Limited, a Board Member of Green Roofs Australasia, Director of Living Roofs New Zealand and member of the World Green Infrastructure Network.

Zoë has been working on sustainable development in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, including the encouragement of green infrastructure through design, planning and policy development for over twenty years. With a knack for managing multiple demands 


Steve Hutana   M.Arch (prof) NZCAD (arch) 

Ngāti Porou 

Director WakaTipua Architecture ltd and Hutana Design ltd.

Whakatipuria te matauranga mai te whenua, te iwi me te mahi hoahoanga 

WakaTipua Architects is an indigenous focused practice with over 30 yrs experience.
With 4 Maori Directors we are one Practice operating in three regions of Tamaki Makaurau (Otara in the South, Albany in the North, Henderson in the West)
WTA Specialize in a matauranga Maori design led approach to commercial transcultural architecture, Landscape Architecture, urban planning with a honed passion for reflecting cultural, heritage identity in innovative contemporary ways.



Paola Boarin

MSc (Architecture), PhD (Architectural Technology)

Senior LecturerSchool of Architecture and Planning. UoA   

Dr Paola Boarin graduated with a Master of Science in Architecture from the Department of Architecture of the University of Ferrara, Italy, where she received also a PhD in Architectural Technology.

Paola joined the University of Auckland in 2015, where she is Senior Lecturer of Architectural Technology, School Director (Architecture Programmes) and the Architecture Technology and Sustainability Stream Leader at the School of Architecture and Planning. 


Paola is also the co-founder and inaugural co-director of the Future Cities Research Hub, whose aim is promoting research collaborations and cross-disciplinary approaches leading to evidence-based understandings and design innovations at the building and urban level.

Prior to her appointment at the University of Auckland, Paola collaborated with the University of Ferrara as Adjunct Professor of Architectural Technology and Environmental Design and as Research Fellow. There, she was also a member of the Architettura>Energia Research Centre, a research hub focussing on building sustainability and performance, where she played a key role in its establishment and development. 


Paola has been collaborating with the Green Building Council of Italy since 2011 by leading the development of sustainability rating systems as Chair of the Technical Advisory Group ‘Historic Building’ and Vice-Chair of the Technical Advisory Group (Academic) ‘Materials and Resources’. This collaboration resulted in the development and publication of GBC Historic Building®, the first and only rating tool assessing the level of sustainability of conservation-related interventions on historic buildings.


Her research addresses the links between architecture, technology and environment, with a focus on sustainable conservation, adaptation and retrofit of existing and heritage buildings, regenerative design and post-occupancy evaluation of buildings (new constructions and existing buildings, also with heritage significance) and the wider neighbourhood scale. She has extensively worked on the sustainable adaptation and energy retrofit of existing and heritage buildings, on the sustainable regeneration of historic villages and on the development of environmental sustainability assessment tools, particularly for preservation-related interventions on heritage and character buildings.


Paola is an invited member of the Steering Committee that developed a "Manifesto and Guidelines for Resilient Communities", as part of the 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale.


Dr Dermott John James Mc Meel

Senior Lecturer School of Architecture and Planning. UoA   

Dermott McMeel is a lecturer and researcher in Design and Digital Media at the University of Auckland. He has degrees in Architecture from the Queens University in Belfast (1995, 1999) and a PhD (The Artistry of Construction) from the University of Edinburgh (2009).

Dermott’s research focuses on the social, organisational and cultural disruption that technology causes in the built environment. He has sustained a critical enquiry into how architecture, public space and design processes are influenced by communication technology through a variety of installations, funded research, journal articles and conference publications.


Currently Dermott is a team member on a 6 year project researching the next generation of digital manufacturing materials and processes (NZ$ 12,000,000) funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. Ongoing research is investigating: how fitness data affects our relationship with the built environment; how is artificial intelligence reshaping the home?; and in what way robotics change value systems in  the creative processes, including building design and construction.


Dermott was PI on ACEFutures, a research project investigating new technologies in the construction process, funded by the Building Research Association for New Zealand (NZ$65,000); PI on Digital Fieldnotes, an investigation into group working through locative media, funded by the University of Auckland (NZ$ 25,000). Dermott is also a member of the New Zealand National BIM Education Working Group, written advisory reports on innovation in the construction sector, and is Chair of the AECFutures thinktank supporting innovation in the construction sector.



Sunday, 23 August 2020

Spring Workshop Abstracts

 Ahlia-Mei Ta’ala

The Fires of Ambition: Te Awa Tupua 2040

Since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi the Whanganui river has actively been destroyed through legislative acts by the Crown. The Highways and Watercourses Diversions Act 1858, the Wanganui River Trust Act 1891, and the Coal Mines Act amendment in 1891 have all undermined the Treaty and the ability for Whanganui uri (descendants of the river) to care, protect, manage and use the river. This has diminished the mauri of the river and resulted in the loss of ancestral knowledge around tīkanga towards the river. 

The Te Awa Tupua Act that was passed in 2017 represents a significant turning point. A point where we acknowledge the people who championed the longest running legal battle in New Zealand’s history, through imagining the future of the river and its people through their eyes. Now that the river is legislated as a legal person through Westminster law, Whanganui uri can shift efforts towards restoring the mauri of the awa and rebuilding their relationship with the river to be what it once was. 

This research follows a process of decolonisation towards re-indigenisation within Kaupapa Māori Rangahau, specifically through Whanganuitanga and Te Awa Tupua. Within landscape architecture, this research situates itself within the context of tūpuna (ancestral) landscape mapping - as the researcher is a descendent of the river, and the river is her tūpuna (ancestor). This follows a site investigative process of visualising the socio-cultural layers of histories of the site of Pākaitore and its context within the Whanganui river and to Whanganui uri, in order to reimagine the future of the urban site of Pākaitore to be a site that reflects its people and its history, through the rebuilding of the indigenous knowledges that reside within the landscape. 

The site of Pākaitore was chosen through the expression of Whanganui uri at He Waka Pakoko - a pathways to 2040 symposium (March 2020) - to rebuild waka knowledge and practises. Pākaitore was once a fishing kāinga, and trading hub for Whanganui uri. In 1995 it became the site for Whanganui uri to reassert their Whanganuitanga in opposition to the Crown’s Treaty settlement processes. Rob Small 

Rob Small

What Design of a māra kai and māra rongoā will best reflect the ambitions, values (Mātāpono) and needs of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei today?

The return of Lands to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, alienated from their rightful and plural ownership for decades, has been a significant event for this Iwi. The return of lands on the Bastion Point area on the Waitematā harbour near central Auckland, along with their traditional lands at Okahu Bay and Pourewa restored their mana (standing and pride).
This project involves the return to Orākei of their rightful ownership of Pourewa Reserve and the reoccupation of this land as recently as 2018. It involves the establishment of gardens that reflect the Ōrākei world view. The question began as, ‘How to establish an Ethnobotanic garden to meet the Māori world view.’ However, this project has adopted the methodology of Kaupapa Māori Rangahau (research by Māori, with Māori, for Maori). The question therefore evolved into the current research proposition as an adaptation to fit the methodology.
The recent pandemic exacerbated the needs of many of the members of the hapū and refocused the Trust and its service providing entity, Whai Maia, on their kaupapa about members’ health and wellbeing. During the epidemic many of the members were provided with the support of weekly food parcels by Whai Maia. The focus now is to produce good wholesome vegetables in a Community vegetable and fruit garden as a priority. The focus of the Hapū has always been around respecting Papatuanuku (the earth Mother) and healthy living through Hua Parakore (a concept of organic land management and “slow Food”)
Both the Ōrākei Visual Framework and the Pourewa Master Plan have given guidance and a hapū endorsement of this development. The proposal is to develop a Community vegetable garden (māra kai), a traditional pre-colonial Māori vegetable garden and a garden for rongoā plants (māra rongoā ngahere.) to assist in rongoā remedies and education.
The project examines the best design of these gardens on the site along with other infrastructure and functions that are also to be located on the land. The final test is to see how the design meets the values, principles, and needs of the hapū today.
Key words: Māra kai, Māra rongoā ngahere, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Hua Parakore, Mātāpono, Kaupapa Māori Rangahau

Raheleh Jahanbani

Safer Cycling Networks in Auckland

High-density cities around the world are trying to reduce the amount of usage of motorized transportation mode and use a sustainable alternative such as cycling. It is quite clear that how cycling affect significantly on enhancing environmental, financial and health benefits. Apart from greenhouse gas emissions and economic advantages, “bring back the bike” could provide more physical, psychological and social pleasures.
Auckland is the largest urban region in New Zealand and has the challenges of growing population and accordingly, ongoing urban growth. A Snapshot of Cycling in Auckland (2016), released annually by Ministry of Transport, shows the rate of cycling on 2016 was only 2 percent, comparing to the other travel modes, such as motorized vehicles, public transport and so on. In a recent report, Stuff (2019) comments that Auckland riders had been raised by 8.9 percent for a year, compare to the previous 12 months. The increase trend in biking requires more facilities, safer cycleways and convenience routes. According this need, this project intends to provide a practical solution to enhance cycling by increasing safety. Reducing car dependency can preserve Auckland’s green network and help to keep future growth be ecofriendly and sustainable.
Project methods contains defining appropriate environmental, social and technical criteria. Five different case studies were investigated to test this approach. This paper promotes a safe bike network design in order to address future needs, through a set of criteria drawn from literature relating to New Urbanism and Human Scale. Andreas Dalsgaard (2012) in his film, The Human Scale, states “If you invite more cars, you’ll get more cars. If you make more streets, you’ll have more traffic. Same mechanism, if you invite more people to cycle and walk in open spaces, you’ll get more live in the city. You’ll get what you invite more”.

Faizan Javed

“Prescription for Nature: Making room for urban green spaces in highly dense city to combat stress “

The importance of land and personal space among individual signifies a lot to one’s overall being. It is one of the necessities of a single person to fully express its’ true nature. But in this modern Metro Manila, many resources that are indeed important for an individual has undergone in a quite shortage manner due to the rapid growth of urbanization and people migrations from different parts of the nation seeking for better opportunities. This is the reason for the enormous land scarcity and uneven distribution on properties. Creating a wide range crisis on lot entitlement on individuals who dreamt of having a valuable life in the city. Despite of being the nation’s major center for commerce, services, leisure and entertainment, the life’s value predominantly decreases. Causing a lot of problems on how the people respond to everyday life around, making them more stressed and deprived to the point that Metro manila is now one of the top 10 most stressful cities to live in the world. (Tom Connick, 2017)
The association between urban green space and well-being has been extensively studied and practiced in many parts of the world such as Australia, Europe and North America. However, in tropical countries, especially in developing countries such as Philippines there are few examples of such studies.

This research looks at the effects of urban densification on urban green space and its planning. The researcher will identify the problems, challenges and strategies of urban green space planning during densification processes. Furthermore, this research will also investigate the effect of urban green spaces in relation to public health.  

Princeton Motupalli

Water Reclamation.

This Dissertation aims to address a growing threat that remains unseen until it has reached the front lines, a water crisis. As our world continues through its Anthropocene, fresh clean drinking water is being abused and misused through negligence, the elixir of life itself is being depleted without repercussions. We see this in recent events as Auckland city broke its record of a 39-day drought early 2020 causing the front line of the water crisis to edge closer as the seasons’ pass. Auckland’s average rainfall per annum is around 1284mm which means that hypothetically, we get an average of 107mm if rainfall per month, now to be a city that is fortunate enough to get scattered rainfall throughout the year yet dumping that same water into our harbor is a huge waste. Through our highways and infrastructure, we have built yet utilized foundations.

This thesis will critiquing Aotearoa’s stormwater management system in terms of treatment and conservation, more specifically through our roading network and our rural medium to high-density housings. Auckland city already has the foundation laid to create a well-functioning stormwater circulation system; however, it is unfinished due to most of Auckland’s stormwater being dumped out into our harbour unfiltered, this is a huge waste, not to mention, very polluting. Auckland isn’t far away from becoming a well-functioning city of sails, with our public system and our transporting networks heading towards completion of its current stage a well productive city is looking promising, however during this process a lot of focus is being taken out of critical needs such as water mitigation and climate change, are we ready for the upcoming challenges that are heading towards our direction? 

Jon Davies 

The Parka Project. 

The purpose of the research is to create architectural interventions to increase thermal performance in existing occupied as-built homes. 
The limitations are the walls, as pre 1980’s homes in New Zealand do not have insulated walls. 
The barriers that are preventing every architect/government/policy makers/etc to implement change are: 
1. A lack of willingness to require better outcomes protects industry as we don’t have the skills in the industry to design and build to measurably high performance targets, 
2. An unwillingness to admit failure of a performance based code with too many ‘out clauses’, and,
3. The perception that requiring change (seen as higher cost of building) will be political suicide. 
Focus question:
Can Kainga Ora’s occupied Starblocks meet EnerPHit Standard.
The hypothesis for this research is that we can externally insulate existing masonry buildings to internationally recognised performance standards. 
In New Zealand there are major knowledge gaps in how we build thermally efficient homes. It is very simple to design improve thermal performance for existing dwellings and harder to implement.  
There is an underlying barrier to implement the change = cost, social and understanding/knowledge. 

Peter Raimondo 
Tall Bricks 

I would like a homegrown guide based on NZ-based research to reference while designing brick veneer facades. Through my engineering practice, I have been designing brick facades based on international standards and best practices, and often get pushback and scepticism from others in the industry questioning how international standards could possibly be used in New Zealand. The opposition to my design methodology has come from two polar opposite camps, both of which do not understand the strength and/or limitations of bricks.  
Firstly, there are those that reference the Christchurch earthquakes as a reason why brick cannot or should not be used in New Zealand due to seismic activity. This group would likely have seen the damaged buildings with damaged bricks either in person or in photos/videos, and would have written off bricks in their mind as unsafe for New Zealand due to seismic activity. They have decided that brick is inherently unsuitable for the local conditions without having done research into the causes of brick damage/collapse, and without knowing that there are different ways to build a building that is covered in brick.
Secondly, there are those that seem to believe that brick veneers have no limitations whatsoever, and therefore can be applied to mid- or high-rise buildings in the exact same way that they are applied to small 1- and 2-storey homes. These people try to “value engineer” or eliminate required items within the brick design to save money on a project without understanding that these deletions can and will compromise safety and durability. 
While the two groups opposing groups are opposite in perspective, they are two sides of the same coin as they both believe that the physics in NZ are different than the rest of the world and therefore international standards and best practices cannot apply and should not be used here. A NZ-written guide based on research done in New Zealand with local products would provide much more convincing and ironclad evidence to both the fearful and the stingy.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Fall workshop Day 1

Excellent work from all the researchers . Many thks  to our critics and supervisors for all there hard work

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Fall Workshop

The latest research from the Master of Landscape Architecture and Architecture students will be presented on the 18thand 19thof June . Topics encompass the use of brick in tall buildings to the making of an indigenous garden for Ngati Whatua. Join our distinguished critics that include Dr Ella Henry and Roger Birchmore . Email for a zoom invite.