An Intervening Opportunity – An Architecture in Solidarity With Non-human Others
Laverty, Ilycia Nicol
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An Intervening Opportunity: An architecture in solidarity with non-human others. As part of the Muddy Urbanism Lab, this thesis explores the potential of an architecture oriented to the more-than-human. It asks, “Is it possible through a hybrid architectural-landscape intervention to introduce a relationship where more-than-humans thrive alongside human activity”? Straddling the intertidal zone between whenua (land) and awa (river) at Wai ō te Whau (Waters of the Whau), this speculative design project develops a space for seedling production and re-planting the Whau tree, which once forested the river’s banks. It provides an architectural apparatus that collects data for agencies working on river health restoration and a place for learning and sharing kai (food). Crucially, in making the design, habitats are generated for endemic life forms, including oysters and migratory birds, providing a space for more-than-human to thrive alongside human activities. This design research follows the principles of regenerative architecture to develop a structure that slowly integrates into its estuarine and riverside environment while also referencing the history of Te Whau Awa as an essential space of mahinga kai (traditional food gathering).