Cutting edge architecture showcases design

Last updated 05:00 19/11/2012
Victoria University School of Architecture programme director Mark Southcombe with his installation ‘‘Creature’’ at Puke Ariki.

CUTTING SHAPES: Victoria University School of Architecture programme director Mark Southcombe with his installation ‘‘Creature’’ at Puke Ariki.

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A strange new beast has made its home in Puke Ariki, weaving its way down the staircase and across the ceiling, its scaled form casting shadow across the gallery walls.

Creature, a digitally-fabricated installation created by a team from Victoria University of Wellington, is part of the exhibition Kiwi Prefab - Cottage to Cutting Edge which runs from December 1 till April 1 next year.

The exhibition, developed by Puke Ariki and Victoria University, will showcase New Zealand building innovation and examine today's architecturally designed prefabs and look at the potential of digital design.

Creature, a project 2 years in the making, is made from 240 sheets of corrugated plastic interlocked with 4800 zip ties.

The project was led by Victoria University School of Architecture senior lecturer Mark Southcombe with the help of students Jeremy Robinson and Xuanyi (Max) Nie.

"The project had been a fabulous collaboration between the three of us," Southcombe said.

He said the installation showed the potential of computer animated design linked to computer aided manufacture, and how this could revolutionise architecture in the future.

"The idea was to show that prefab is not just about boxes.

"Quite complex and more geological, anamorphic shapes can be created readily," he said.

The project was funded by a summer research scholarship paid for by the university and Puke Ariki, which enabled Southcombe to employ Robinson to translate the initial design for manufacture.

"Often with these projects you find that students have the greater competencies rather than the teachers. What I bring is an overall understanding of design and geometry, and how composition may be developed."

Kiwi Prefab -From Cottage to Cutting Edge will feature four prefab dwellings installed outside the museum, while inside works will include a growing prefab village, a folding whare and a jigsaw house.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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