Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Indigenous Narratives In Parametric Design. Reconnecting With Māori Identity Through The Development Of Sculptural Cartography As Architectural Interventions

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posted on 2021-12-08, 20:22 authored by Bartlett, Jeffrey

Re-connecting with Māori identity through parametric design has been investigated through this body of research by focussing on mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge). Ultimately asking: “There is a place for parametric design to help translate Māori narratives, values and procedures into architectural form”. The designer’s intent through this body of research was to re-enforce old ties with local iwi, re-learn one’s whakapapa (stories/narratives), and re-connect with one’s sense of self through embedding this knowledge into a coded design. The objective was to achieve a design output that is fundamentally built on mātauranga Māori and cultural practices of Ngāti Kahungunu (iwi in the Hawkes Bay that extends down the East coast of New Zealand’s North Island). When a design begins with such an intent, the generated output is unexpected, surprising and changes perception of what a particular structure is meant to be or do. The ideas touched upon in this research is merely a seed to what can be achieved when using parametric design to produce a culturally significant design. Finding one significant cultural aspect, in this case the power of loci, is one of the most important steps in building the design tikanga (protocols/scope) that will find its way into all aspects of the designs produced. This informed the reasoning for the parameters used, the range of variation and how one step progressed to the next.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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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


Moleta, Tane