Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Drawing a line : thoughts and observations

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posted on 2024-06-21, 22:53 authored by Theodore Clifford

Our environment is changing. The climate has cracked the whenua. Globally and here in Aotearoa, people are retreating to safer grounds. Climate-induced crises compound the growing population, straining equality, manifesting urban sprawl, crushing infrastructure, and taking lives. I do not seek to solve these issues but explore opportunities for reciprocal inhabitation. The site, Te Matau-a-Māui (Hawke’s Bay), exposes regional, urban, and architectural opportunities.

As I explore the opportunities for Te Matau- a-Māui, what is the role of the sketch? What does it do?

Drawing a Line is design-led research that uses hand and digital drawing as the primary investigation tools. I explore what the sketch produces and what it invites me to pursue and question. Throughout this research, the sketch is a design generator, creating threads through the experiments that I reflect on for opportunities in urbanism and architecture.

Through drawing both with a pencil and digitally, and at a wide range of scales, I have begun to imagine the potential of a new Te Matau-a-Māui as a series of towns around the edge of the lowland plain, much of which was once wetland, connected by a piece of transport infrastructure. The proposal is a sketch of what Te Matau-a- Māui could become. By questioning the sketch, I found it can explore contentious grounds indeterminately, providing clarity and ambiguity. The sketch allows me to hold back and observe, giving time to question outputs.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

120404 Regional planning; 120406 Urban planning

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

4 Experimental research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Kebbell, Sam