DSGN (Design Agency) is a research and design studio that works with civil society groups to comprehensively address issues that negatively affect marginal and immigrant communities. They initiate community engagement processes, research efforts, and propose actions, architectures and designs at various scales — from pamphlets to buildings to landscapes.

Their work is rooted in critical activism — a methodology that uses activism and critical discourse to open up possibilities for change in the processes by which architecture and cities are made. Critical activism also postulates that no product is ever final — designs, buildings, ecologies and urban systems demand broad and holistic community-based processes that can change over time with both constants and variables. (LINK)


“The demolition of central Christchurch continues, with more than 800 buildings already razed and many more still to come down. A total of 1350 buildings have been partly or fully demolished in the city centre since the September 2010 earthquake, including 307 buildings taken down by Civil Defence.”


For a range of tutorials and examples of parametric design using of Rhino and Grasshopper check out Modelab.

Through an open-ended and promiscuous design approach collaborations are manifest, intelligence is cross-pollinated, and new forms of thinking and doing are discovered…


The Herald Sun (AU) – Amazing map shows a century of earthquakes mapped at a glance
– Charts century’s worth of big earthquakes: 203,186 in total
– Includes last year’s 9.0 magnitude Japan earthquake
– If historical epicenters were inflatable lilos, you could walk from Santiago to Christchurch

Rebecca Macfie of the Listener wrote ‘Can Christchurch be revitalised?’ an article looking at recent success stories as well as the trials and tribulations of bringing life back to the city and getting businesses started again. (link)

Peter Beaven, 86, died peacefully in Blenheim on 4 June, 2012 after being diagnosed with cancer in late 2011. Beaven is one of the best-known figures in New Zealand’s architectural history. His architectural resume spans nearly half a century and includes many iconic and award-winning projects and buildings, particularly in the Canterbury region. In 2003, Beaven was awarded the highest honour in architecture, the New Zealand Institute of Architecture’s Gold Medal.

An excellent interview by John Walsh and published in ‘Architecture Now’ can be read here (link).