Urban Māori Rebuild

Urban Māori Rebuild add

The Christchurch Press recently sparked debate by asking ‘How Māori will rebuilt Christchurch look?’ This year Architectural Designer Amiria Kiddle will encourage discussion of how Māori identity can be expressed in the urban realm – as part of the Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA) 21-24 October in Christchurch.

For Amiria's second contribution to FESTA, the Ngāti Porou/Ngāpuhi architect is interested in exploring the role of architecture in the wider community.

"Because Māori don't have a long tradition of creating and living in cities, we don't have many precedents to look to. The transitional movement provides opportunities to create precedents reasonably quickly, proposing and creating short term interventions to determine in a low risk situation, what works and what doesn’t", Amiria says. "What we learn from the process can also be fed into permanent projects."

Her project - Ahorangi's Spider - was inspired by traditional weaving and working with plastic strapping waste. A 48 hour live installation, it will temporarily transform the Arcades on the high profile corner site at Durham and Kilmore Streets, into a playful expression of a contemporary Māori story in an urban setting.

Amiria will be calling on family and friends for assistance as well as Landscape Architect Erin Diao and volunteers from FESTA.

"Māori culture makes Aotearoa special and unique and now with the Christchurch rebuild, we have an exciting opportunity to include Māori values in the design of the city and its buildings", says Amiria.

"Ahorangi's Spider is a contribution to the conversation of how contemporary Māori Identity is expressed in the urban realm. Patricia Grace's book, the Kuia and Spider, inspired the idea of having a pet spider as a child, how that spider might weave its web and colonise space in a natural, playful way", Amiria says.

As one of New Zealand’s leading industry bodies for architects and architectural designers, ADNZ has decided to get behind this special project as a sponsor.

ADNZ CEO Astrid Andersen says it was important for ADNZ to challenge assumptions and support conversations around Māori design and architecture.

"In addition to fulfilling treaty obligations, there are enormous opportunities for large scale public works - like those that are under development in Christchurch and Auckland - to express our international point of difference," says Astrid.

FESTA is held biennially and is an urban creative celebratory event that keeps pace with the city as it rebuilds and regenerates.

This year's theme is We Have the Means in response to the community's vision for Christchurch to be an environmentally sustainable city.

For more information on FESTA click here