You, me, and that god damn lighthouse over there!
The ‘gaze’ has been traditionally established as the primary way tourists consume space. However, recent research proposes ‘the performance’ as an alternative mode of touring that doesn’t centre around just the visual, and looks to design for tourists to ‘perform; opposed to simply ‘gaze’. This thesis examines the relationship between tourists and existing tourism objects, focussing on the lighthouses of New Zealand as an architecture that has the potential for repurposing or developing for consumption as tourism. A ‘design through research’ methodology has been employed using ‘camp’ as a lens of exploration. Iterative design experiments that involve, physical modelling, drawing, collage, photography and digital modelling explore different conceptual opportunities for the lighthouse and with ultimate goal of creating a stage for tourists to perform upon. Developed through three distinct design phases, the first, looks at the lighthouse and transforms it into a theme park, adopting humour and a satirical approach to comment on mass-tourism and kitsch consumption, treating the lighthouse as a collective of activities that makes a single experience. The second takes an intimate approach to what makes a lighthouse. Here the camp lens is removed and the light is analysed through photographic strategies and model making. This seeks to find a real ‘authenticity’ to contribute to the final design phase, exploring ‘camp’ by its absence. The final phase, is ‘the stage complete’, an architecture that encloses the lighthouse, re-adapting camp design methods to explain that story and attract tourists with its camp aesthetics.