Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Aesthetics of Making

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posted on 2021-09-26, 21:07 authored by Buttimore, Matt

As the architectural design process evolves and embraces new techniques and technologies and mass production is more readily available, the relationship between designer and craftsman has become more distant. As we look to produce more and more architecture every year on a larger production scale, the craft and detail of the architecture begin to fall at the wayside. As we lose this relationship, the culture and identity of a place are also lost as these technologies are not responding to specific site and cultural implications.

One such site where this is applicable is the small coastal town of Onemana in the Coromandel, a town of slightly more than 300 homes constructed as a single development in the 1980s. The rush to produce more homes and on a larger scale has meant the town’s architecture does not reflect the community culture or coastal identity of the place or the people who live there.

This thesis argues that there is an existing relationship between craftsperson and designer and explores how this relationship and detail design can generate and inform architectural design. Understanding this relationship will generate detail design that has a more powerful outcome on the spatial qualities of the architecture and generates my own detail design language. It also argues that there exists a relationship between detail design and the urban environment, which is not fully utilised in the industry.

The thesis proposes that this can be achieved by testing and evaluating this hypothesis across three scales and three types of urban context. The three test sites identified are a small scale private dwelling, a mid-scale cultural installation and a large scale town centre. Using the process of beginning with detail design, architectural installations will be implemented and evaluated before moving to the following location. As result the method will be proven to work across multiple scales and reflect a variety of cultural inputs.


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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

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Southcombe, Mark