Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Gardening Assemblages

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posted on 2022-07-28, 03:24 authored by Wright, Victoria

This thesis examines how architecture can encourage sustainable food consumption habits within the city. Urbanisation is continuously increasing the demand for food within cities while separating the users from its source. This disconnect creates the need for food packaging, which is disposed of as soon as we consume the food within, without further thought of the environmental harm the waste will cause. This thesis uses architecture to create a food-related experience that celebrates the objects of food and waste, through edible horticulture. The design aims to provoke human consideration towards sustainable consumption, through bodily interaction with the planting. A ‘design-as-research’ methodology is used to explore the proposition, through an iterative process with critical reflection upon each design outcome to refine the design. Alongside the design process, ‘research-for-design’ is also undertaken. A literature review and case study analysis provide a theoretical and pragmatic context for the relationship between humans and the objects of food and waste within the city architecture. The thesis then moves into three design stages, which increase in scale. The first exploration is an installation-scale, creating a 1:500 abstract city model integrating urban horticulture derived from waste found on-site. The mid-scale experiment introduces a programme of a vertical infill garden and urban eatery within a food-producing architecture to reconnect users with their food source. The final design experiment creates a gardening assemblage system of pavilions connecting to a biogas infrastructure, integrating food producing architecture with waste management. This thesis concludes that while architecture can create an experience to promote sustainable consumption, it comes down to our sense of social responsibility and policies to enforce sustainable movements, to eliminate the burden of our consumption on the environment.


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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)

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

960703 Environmental Education and Awareness; 850501 Biofuel (Biomass) Energy; 879899 Environmentally Sustainable Construction not elsewhere classified

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Smitheram, Jan