Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Delirious New Zealand

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Version 2 2023-09-26, 23:58
Version 1 2021-12-07, 14:10
posted on 2023-09-26, 23:58 authored by Booth, Devon

Delirious New Zealand proposes an alternative parliament, one that uses walls and boundaries to navigate authority and architecture.  Walls are complex, they can range from a simple form of protection against elemental conditions, through to the reinforcement of borders between two countries with emphasis and polarising effect. Whilst variable, each instance is committed to division, and both are boundaries facilitated by architecture in the form of walls. Through design led research, three phases of investigation are developed across successive scales. Presented as 'Installing Boundaries', 'Housing Politics' and 'Political Infrastructure', each design outcome forms a larger body of work referred to as the design. Shape, Threshold, and Montage are the architectural principles that determine a given walls significance investigated at each scale. These three speculative propositions are not final outcomes for what an alternative parliament should be. Instead, Delirious New Zealand explores architectural boundaries as the material interface between those who govern and those governed.  Koolhaas’s observations of the Berlin Wall – pre-demise – and his publication ‘Delirious New York’ highlight the significance of the authority of an architect, and habitational authority in the realisation and reality of architecture. The significance of a given boundary wall must then consider two things. One, the architectural elements that make up the wall itself. Two, the context within which a wall operates - be that social, political, economic etc. This thesis not only examines the design outcomes as being ‘about architecture’ in the form of the design, but also uses this as a platform to discuss ‘concepts of architecture’ more broadly. Accordingly, the concept of authority and architecture is discussed throughout the production and presentation of the three scales of investigation. A final critique in the form of a design discussion concludes this thesis, at which point the final act of installing boundaries is undertaken.  ‘Delirious New Zealand’ considers parliament as a programmatic and contextual provocation for the design of architectural boundaries. In doing so, the segregated inhabitants are defined as the politicians and the people. Although political in programme, this thesis is not politically motivated nor intent on acting politically.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

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Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Smitheram, Jan