Building on Māori culture in city architecture

08 May 2023

Year 12 Design and Visual Communication (DVC) students have been busy exploring Māori culture and architecture in the city, including paddling a waka down the Ōtākaro Avon River.

College Head of Technology Monique Ellis-Martin explains that the students are working on a concept to design a building for a waka tour business.

“We have been studying the role of the waka in early Māori culture, including the first journey to Aotearoa New Zealand and the importance of the waka in early trade,” she says.

“The boys have paddled a hand-crafted waka while exploring the city and learning a great deal about the early days of trade and transport in Christchurch. The boys have also been guided around the city, discovering more about the growing impact of Māori culture on Christchurch’s architecture, including visits to the new convention centre, Te Pae, the central library, Tūranga, and the early kai and trading space of Victoria Square.”

The DVC students can now reflect on those cultural experiences to enrich their own design projects and share the city’s bicultural heritage in their work.