Indian student at the core of Maori architecture

The Indian community could be proud of its representation at an architectural exhibition that would be up for public view from June 11 to 30 in Auckland, coinciding with the Maori New Year, which will be celebrated on June 12.

Akshay Shah, A Masters of Architecture student at Unitec is involved with ‘Matariki Paparewa, a design and construction project of the institute’s Te Hononga Maori Architecture Studio for the Fifth Auckland Triennial, which is being held from May to July 2013.

He said that two large structures will be constructed on Auckland’s waterfront to celebrate the local and specific history, identity and culture.

“Both structures refer to the imposing Hakari stages and Te Paparewa Teitei, constructed during the period covering 1830 and 1850, with the last known 400-yard long structure built in Remuera in 1844,” he said.

Multicultural scope

According to him, the project provides opportunities to extend the dialogue around the ways in which the 19 Tamaki iwi groups reposition themselves in terms of their Kaitiaki (stewardship) roles and reassert their identity in the physical environment.

“Matariki Paparewa looks towards the future in the context of a fast-growing multi-ethnic city. The freestanding Korowai performance space on Karanga Plaza, and the Paparewa, which engages and activates Silo Park’s gantry structure will contribute significantly to Maori and iwi cultural identity on Auckland’s waterfront,” he said.

Matariki Paparewa is one of five projects presented and developed within Auckland Art Gallery’s Lab, a joint venture of the AUT Architecture and Spatial Design faculties, University of Auckland and UNITEC.

Students, local academics, designers and architects are working collaboratively to develop a series of interdisciplinary design projects that will run for three weeks.

Auckland Triennial

On a related note, the Fifth Auckland Triennial, which began on May 10, will conclude on August 11 at the Auckland Art Gallery and eight other locations throughout Auckland, displaying the works of more than 30 New Zealand and international artists, collectives and architects.

Led by Hou Hanru, a popular creator, the triennial will showcase some of the most interesting and influential trends in contemporary art, creating a space that provides the possibility for encounters and dialogues between local and international artists, the people and the city to envisage possible futures.

“Through encounters and resultant dialogues, the group of artists will develop ideas and actions to engage their individual and collective talents and convictions – aesthetic, conceptual, social and political – with the view to effect possible changes in the conditions of local life. The triennial emphasises active and open structures that can encourage artists to directly engage with the local conditions and the public to produce site-specific projects, which are at once relevant to local needs whilst also contributing to significant international cultural debates,” the Triennial website said.

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