Since 2011 the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland has been running design studios under the title of Future Christchurch. To date over 100 students have participated in seven design courses and two master thesis units. The work produced has become an essential part of Studio Christchurch in that it brings with it substantial background knowledge through the research driven approach. Future Christchurch has developed seven streams, each resulting in a publication.

Future Christchurch Volume 1 contains ten independent research topics with associated design proposals ranging from urban to architectural. Several of the initial ideas explored in this course were further developed, and in many ways this was the pandora’s box of the Future Christchurch courses. The projects are: Eco-Belt, Water, Infra-Structure & Geology, Heritage, Transport, Patterns, Economic Hubs, Micro-Urbanism and Den-City.

Tutors: Derek Kawiti, Camia Young
Students: Alexander Milojevic, Seth Munn, Mikhail Rodricks, Zhi Jian David Wong, Che Wei Jacky Lee, Praveen Karunasinghe, David Ma, Tina Martin, Thomas Denhardt, Jeremy Yoo, Sam O’Connor, Thomas Ward, Gong Rickey Wang, Gang Henry Feng, Logan Suhrer, Johnathan James Guest, Scott Alexander Riley Thorp, Duy Khang Phuong, Justin Baatjes, Yvonne Mak, Eric Nakijima, Jason Barnes, Richard Jones, Charlotte Laus, Jordon Tomas Saunders, Yun Kong Sung, Adrian Vincent Kumar


When looking at the history of architecture in Christchurch there are three primary factors that stand out as influential: the latest styles imported from abroad, available construction technologies, and accessibility of materials. The era we live in today is defined by innovation, where the use of materials is constantly being tested and explored for unique design potential. Aided by the use of computer technologies, designers can add further complexity and variation to push materials to new boundaries. Because materials are at the core of innovation, students started with investigating a locally available resource from which they then proposed an architectural design. The ten research topics include: soil, stone, concrete, wood, textiles, vegetation, water, wind, atmosphere, and solar.

Tutor: Camia Young
Teaching Assistant: Jordon Saunders
Students: Mona Ibrahim, Farah Saad, Jae Tommy Shin, Justin Baatjes, Timothy de Beer, Melissa Harrison, Elizabeth Campbell, Lucy Hayes-Stevenson, Fritha Hobbs, Cynthia Yuan, Sophia (Whoi-Seung) Kim, Natalie Tan, Daniel Yang, Angela Yoo, WooMin Lee, Hannah Steenson, Qianzi Chen, Vivian (Weian) Chen, Tessa (Yichen) Song, Jeffrey Jiang, Young Hun Kim, Lily Pan, Dalia Al-Timimi, Amanda Nakarmi, Jeremy Wymer, Chun Qin Zhang, Nan Wu, Owen Xing, Pei Wang

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Through a collaborative process, six thesis students propose a framework for the development and rebuild of Christchurch. They begin by researching the major local economies in order to identify potential catalysts for growth and inform urban strategies and architectural systems. The six economies include: innovation, transportation, green, education, housing and events. The collaborative process enables a synergy between each of the developed strategies, recognising that economies intimately coexist, rather than stand alone.

Advisors: Chris Barton, Camia Young
Thesis Students: Alexander Haryowiseno, Che Wei (Jacky) Lee, Zhi Jian (David) Wong, Praveen Karunasinghe, Biran He, Erica Austin


Like any city, Christchurch has unique assets inherent to its place, social fabric and history. A group of seven thesis students identify and develop projects that seek to build on these inherent properties. The topics are currently being developed but each project addresses how to improve the city through the rebuild by incorporating lessons from the past. The areas of study include energy efficiency, pedestrian friendly cities, educational centres, events, community housing, worker housing and urban agriculture.

Advisors: Chris Barton, Camia Young
Thesis Students: Sarah Al-anbuky, Rex Braganza, Mona Ibrahim, Joo Kim, Jin Kyung Janice Lee, Yin Wah Yvonne Mak, Wenzuo Zody Yi

Khang Phuong’s thesis integrates structural engineering and architecture to design innovative structural systems for Christchurch. This book operates as a catalog by combining Christchurch soil conditions, the zoning code, existing seismic technology and natural structures found in nature to inspire innovative design solutions. Six efficient structural typologies are designed that perform dynamically in an earthquakes by dissipating seismic forces and incurring minimal damage.

Advisor: Camia Young
Thesis Student: Khang Phuong

Engaging in the political debate shaping the future of Christchurch, the students developed a series of projects that either further fleshed out design proposals related to the CCDU’s Blueprint (release July 2012) or offered alternative proposals to it.

Tutor: Camia Young
Teaching Assistants: Erica Austin, Melissa Harrison
Students: Han Chen, Hew Kenn Chew, Samuel Wong, Adam Chin, Shirin Heidari, Hanin Rajeh, Sam Peters, Maddie Clarke, Yining Tan, April Broderick, Laurielle Shannon, Charlotte Farquharson, Taylor Chan, Louie Tong, Damien He, Amanda Nakarmi, Darryl Jacobson, Janina (Nina) Massee, Gemma Cookson, Chunqin Zhang, Tessa (Yichen) Song, Qianzi Chen, Jianxiang (Mickey) Ma, Matthew Ryu, Ziyi (Bill) Liu

In what has become a polarizing debate of either developing the city centre or developing the fringe land, the entire middle ground has been over looked. This studio we propose ways to infill and focus local development in under utilized areas within the existing urban boundary, but outside of the CBD. Six areas have been identified for intensified development: Sydenham, Halswell, Christchurch Airport, Linwood Avenue, Tower Junction and Ferrymead.

Tutor: Camia Young
Teaching Assistant: Kelvin Fung
Students: Nan Wu, Owen (Wei wei) Xing, Huizi Suki Jiang, Xiaoming Zhang, Lesley Lu Chen, Emma Suzanne Farmer, Ting-Hin (Desmond) Lam, Villa (Huilin) Yan, Zara (Cheng) Huang, Ying Yan Zhou, Lydia Ai-Un Liu, Roberto Onat Wallace, Dimitar Borislavov Penchev, Rod Ziqian Tian, Timothy James Hogarth

  1. WOW! Just looking at all the titles/projects produced for Future Christchurch makes me feel so good. It’s really awesome to see the theme is being pushed further and further every year! New students come and build upon the previous years…all amazing work. I am honored and proud to have been part of it 🙂 Keep it up everyone!

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