The rise of a new pan-Pasifika identity suggests optimistically that New Zealand is becoming more Pasifika today. With significant importance to reflect the Pasifika identity into our built and urban environments in Aotearoa, there is much discussion surrounding how ‘Pasifika’ can be accurately interpreted through spatial practices. Cultural design frameworks are tools that designers and non-designers can adopt and apply into conceptual developments of architectural projects to accurately reflect Indigenous culture. Spatial Frameworks for Mātauranga Māori are constructed by the collaboration of iwi/hapū and designers to gain a better understanding about the unique contexts and characteristics of the people and place. These frameworks aid development and achieve better quality urban environments by creating spaces and places that are suitable to Māori. The frameworks are composed by a series of cultural principles that are derived from core values and concepts of the indigenous group. The principles guide culturally appropriate design processes and responses and are used a strategic foundation to generate spaces.
This thesis is grounded upon the experience of what it is like living in Aotearoa as a Pasifika person. This design-through-research project investigates how Pasifika principles can be integrated into the development of a Pasifika design framework to inform accurate spatial concepts for the Pasifika community in Aotearoa. The project assesses existing design frameworks for Mātauranga Māori to inform the approach for developing a new framework for Pasifika. This research aims to articulate existing Pasifika principles as outcome-orientated design guidelines that may be applied to reflect the identity of Pasifika. The research proposes a series of spatial guidelines for better-designed environments for Pasifika communities in Aotearoa. The proposition explores how cultural principles can help resolve spatial issues within our cities’ planning and design processes.