Decolonising Landscape Architecture Education in Aotearoa New Zealand

  • YEAR
    Paul, Jacqueline
    Bloomfield, Sibyl E. M.
    2020 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Design Thinking and Innovation


Aotearoa is growing rapidly with expansive development occurring across the country as the creative and design industry responds to support the diverse needs of the growing population. This enables opportunities for emerging practitioners in the built environment to engage with communities and develop their cultural literacy and contributes to the wider shift in architecture education. This paper discusses the cultural values-based approach developed for a design studio where Unitec’s Department of Landscape Architecture partnered with Panuku Development Auckland on the Kia Puāwai a Pukekohe town centre transformation project. Core to this partnership the students have explored current and new approaches to understanding how to engage with mana whenua and understand placemaking as key elements of community development and urban regeneration. This design studio acts as a platform which creates space to enable students to engage in real world challenges and projects and develop relationships with real clients. Creating real world learning opportunities on both sides of the partnership. This creates opportunities for students to design and address social and cultural issues. This process also allows students to immerse themselves in contributing to and shaping their own living environments. They cover problem definition and identification of latent opportunities; brief generation; site analysis; master-planning processes; ‘local’ scale design responses and relevant instrumental design theory. This case study provides a series of tools regarding diverse approaches to integrating inclusive studios which aims to inform better long- term outcomes to deliver and build capacity and capability in landscape architecture.

Keywords: Decolonising; design education; cultural literacy; mana whenua engagement.


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