Three best things about Festa

22:55, Oct 28 2013

The second annual Festival of Transitional Architecture wrapped Monday night. Here are my three favourite events and ideas: 

Three: Let's get earnest

Festa people are wonderfully and happily earnest.

Picture House, for example, was two-person movie theatre mounted on a trailer that visited the sites of former Christchurch cinemas.

It used to be a mobile billboard ,and project leaders Tessa Peach and Heather Hayward said it was interesting to utilise ''space that wouldn't previously have been occupied''.


Over at Nomadic Sauna, project leader Fabrico Fernandes said it wasn't enough to get people hot and sweaty, he wanted them challenged by being semi-dressed with strangers and emerging from the sauna in a demolished urban place.

Turn a corner at Festa and you got layered with ''sincere and intense conviction''.

Two: The temporary is permanent

The idea isn't that schools should still be using temporary classrooms 15 years out, but rather that pop-ups should be perpetually around us.

In Christchurch, there should always be the space, the mindset and the enablers at council and corporates to open the door to temporary projects.

A restaurant wants to spill onto the street for a week, let it be. Some NGO needs two hectares for a month, ask ''Would you prefer Latimer or Cranmer Square?''.

If somebody volunteers to garden your blank land, pay for plants and water. Gap Filler's Coralie Winn called it the merging of the transitional and the permanent.

One: Canterbury Tales

The parade (OK, procession) was always going to be the headline event and once it got underway on Sunday night, it was all fun festival with just the right amount of earnest.

Processions are obviously transitional but it was hard to find any architecture on parade.

Project leader George Parker tried selling me the idea that the giant puppets were ''architectural specimens'', but he got it right when finding the interaction between puppets and audience was the magical stuff.

If only buildings, developers and 100-day blueprints could manage the same.

I've had enough transitional architecture for a while. Next Saturday, the Avon-Otakaro Network brings us the second annual Spring River Festival

Photo courtesy of Festa.

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