The everyday collective laboratory: The old North Shore
Citation:Woodruffe, P. (2009). The everyday collective laboratory: The old North Shore. [Unpublished Unitec Research Committee Research Report].
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1773
The project’s aims were to identify areas and structures of special heritage character on the North Shore of Auckland City, research and document the history of the site(s) identified and establish contacts with the local community, especially the community groups that are involved in the preservation or heritage architecture and landscapes. The approach taken was one of gathering information and photographic images, both archival and commissioned, making contact with stakeholders and producing artworks based on these resources. The most important findings can be grouped into two categories; the first is the discovery that three heritage sites and four heritage buildings can be linked to create a heritage walking trail, that if created would protect the sites and lead to a restoration and design project of regional significance. The second is that any project that is based on an inclusive and consultative program with the local community has to be given a reasonably long timetable, and has to be designed to fit in with local meetings and events. This project is achieving something rather than has achieved something, as it is through necessity ongoing into 2011, but it is successfully establishing a methodology for collaborative inter-disciplinary projects designed to work within communities regarding disputed and neglected sites. It has proven the importance of using a mixture of advocacy and consultation as a precursor to design when working within communities on sensitive sites. The conclusion of this project required two stages, to complete it to the stage a final design project that demonstrated complete engagement with the local community, Iwi and stakeholders could take place. The first stage was a public exhibition of the research findings and the artwork based on it. The exhibition allowed the community to see the findings as a celebration of their environment and as a document of work they can contribute to. This document is being used to lobby for political will to protect, restore and design a solution to create the walkway through presentations to Local Boards and finally the Auckland Council. There is now a body of work advocating for the sites that is being to be placed into cyberspace as living resource for future researchers.