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MAKEing: A New Zealand tiny house as an exploration of research by making within architecture.

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posted on 20.09.2021, 23:40 by Parker-Price, Petra

Making within architecture encompasses many definitions and modes, but these are often at some distance from the production of buildings. IE architect’s ‘make’ drawings and models, but a builder makes a building. This thesis explores the benefits and liabilities of bridging between imagining and enacting architectural production thought the design and build of a ‘tiny house’. Via an analysis of craft, symbol, processes and experience, the research begins with the activities of ‘the hands’ in architectural production. From here the mode of micro-architecture – specifically, a client driven ‘tiny house’ - is investigated and implemented as an example of research-by-making. A theoretical and model-based concept for the design of the ‘tiny house’ was developed, from which research by-making could be conducted. The Build Phase, comprising the most significant aspect of this research, was then implemented, with commentary and reflection. Although this approach is not without its limitations as a proxy for practice based making, it facilitates a greater range of making considerations than conventional studio-based production. In this way this project makes and advances an alternative design-research while advocating for learning by making.


Advisor 1

Wood, Peter

Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture