The Garden and the River Te Māra me te Awa: Connecting the Energies of Hamilton Kirikiriroa Through the Redevelopment of Garden Place
This practice-based research inquiry proposes a spatial redevelopment of Garden Place, a public square in central Hamilton Kirikiriroa. The project considers the historical and cultural importance of Garden Place to create an urban public space that encourages curiosity and playfulness. Connections to the nearby Victoria on the River public space and the Waikato River itself are explored through the ideas of shared energy and material vibrancies.
The thesis unfolds through creative ‘fieldworks’ and the methodologies of ‘weeding’ and ‘playing’ as frameworks for intuitive making. Fieldworks analyse the key aspects and energies of Garden Place, Victoria on the River, and the Waikato River, engaging my practice in a conversation with the contexts/concepts surrounding the idea of ‘public space’. The process of ‘weeding out’ involves returning to things in a cyclical manner and generates an ensemble of drawings, models, materials, and objects. ‘Playing’ is a form of reusing, reinterpreting and re-arranging elements that allow me to become a ‘gardener’ of this space. These methods filter through the body of work to create a common thread of energy, playfulness, curiosity and liveliness.