Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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posted on 2021-11-15, 23:46 authored by McEwan, Zachary

Today we see a simplification in our landscapes; a globalisation of culture and landscape that has forced people into a state of disconnection with place. It has divided our world into culturally rich, and culturally absent worlds. Worlds where natural ecologies are seen as separate entities to the human cultures that live on the land. Our landscapes need to reconnect and adapt; not only to the ever increasingly culturally diverse world, but also to the site specific social and natural ecologies that exist.  Wainuiomata is no exemption to this condition. Its suburban landscape is divided from the natural ecologies that lay dormant on its peripheries. It is an austere environment, but one with a colourful and culturally diverse community that is unable to express itself.  This piece of research argues that landscape architecture has the ability to enable disadvantaged communities to rekindle a sense of connection with, and custodianship over their landscapes. It discusses ways of designing that can reform lost relationships between communities and the common ground they live upon.  The work brings forward how landscapes can be designed in ways that provide opportunities not only for communities to self build their landscape, but also how the architect can create frameworks that facilitate a process of engagement at different scales. It further explores how a respect for ecological environments can be instilled into the community through building relationships between ecological and social environments, as opposed to their current segregation.  Lastly, the thesis looks at how a landscape architect may design in a way that pushes beyond the final drawings. Doing this with an understanding that it is a curation of a process (one where communities can become a part of the making of a landscape) that will bring a sense of custodianship to its dwellers.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Landscape Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Title

An investigation into how landscape architects can re-connect communities with their common ground

Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


McIntosh, Jacqueline; Martinez-Almoyna Gual, Carles