Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Through an Understanding of Luxury

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posted on 2024-02-12, 08:47 authored by Noah Wilkinson

There is a lack of richness in our suburbs and domestic architecture. I believe this is largely due to the nature of profit-oriented design in developer suburbs. This thesis seeks to improve the richness of our built domestic fabric through a personal understanding of the notions of luxury. The research aims to both understand the intangible qualities of architecture that allow us to luxuriate, and to explore through a series of visual experiments how we can create emotional and enriching spaces through design. In doing this, the research is also enabling me to discover and refine my own architectural values through the evaluation of these design explorations. The notion of luxury is explored through design-led research. A highly personal approach initially explores concepts pertaining to luxury through the creation and analysis of visual media. Tangible and intangible criteria is formed and then explored through three dimensional objects. The qualities associated with these visual explorations are tested through the design of a pavilion for luxuriating during a single act. This is then critically reflected upon, and the possibilities of these ideas are explored in the design of a two-person dwelling. The outcome of this thesis is a body of work that explores criteria for luxury and the distinctly personal act of luxuriating. The immensely personal evaluation of the criteria and outcomes allows me to explore my own values of design and luxury in depth - and this thesis could provide a flexible framework for another individual to do the same.


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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 (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

4 Experimental research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Skinner, Robin