Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Reinventing the Tent: An Exploration of Fabric Construction

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posted on 2022-07-27, 22:37 authored by Giller, Jennifer

The tent is not the shelter it once was. Once, many people found it the central focus of daily life. Now, passing through the passage of culture and time, it has become a mere shell of itself, stripped to the most basic provisions of amenity and comfort.

‘Reinventing the tent’ looks at the tent as we use it today, and asks why this lightweight structure, for all of the advances in textiles and tensile technology, has become no more than a shelter for temporary events.

A case is made for the architectural beauty of the tent, resulting in an exploration of its unique spatial essence, the fabric of its construction, and of its functional use. This then informs a range of tent designs, rich in expression and comfortable enough to once again call ‘home’.

For the important role that the tent once played in the livelihoods of many people, the results of this thesis hold great potential for the way that we use tents in the future, and to redefine perceptions of austere simplicity toward realisations of refined beauty.


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)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


McLeod, Warwick