Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Aotearoa Architecture Interwoven Abroad

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posted on 2021-12-09, 09:16 authored by Gourlay, Carl

In an era of globalization and technological revolution, concurrent shifts in architectural styles are visually apparent. With endeavors to accommodate globalized cultural diversity, multi-cultural exploration in architecture capitalizes on new innovative construction methods. The architectural outcomes of these cross-cultural modernized, buildings often enough, neglect local culture and local heritage, where the architecture dominates its environment, where foreign customs replace local, and where ‘local identity’ is lost. I have experienced this in my own country, Aotearoa (New Zealand), a nation enriched with Māori culture that is progressively becoming more neglected within its own environment, where foreign influences are replacing, or have little consideration of local culture and the local context. This dishearteningly made me wonder on a global scale, whether different culture’s ‘local identities’ have been neglected and/or replaced by foreign cultures. Within this thought, I hypothetically situated my-self in a foreign context with the aim to establish my own nation’s culture. Now how do I do so without neglecting the local culture and removing a sense of their ‘local identity’? How do I establish a sense of Aotearoa Māori culture abroad, that sympathetically interweaves local and foreign customs with respect to the physical environment and surrounding context? This design-led research aims to establish a cross-cultural theory of architecture that is expressive of two cultures. Exploration of multi-cultural practice within the discipline of architecture will be explored to unify a dialogue between two nation’s traditional architectures, that does not neglect or remove the ‘local identity’ of the local culture.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Kawiti, Derek