CPIT students light up for transitional architecture festival

CPIT students light up for transitional architecture festival

Architectural studies students at CPIT have secured the symbolic heart of the city for their contribution to the Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA) on 26 and 27 October, constructing a Maori-themed, light-inspired ‘lost and found’ market in Cathedral Square.

A Ngāi Tahu group will perform and Black Betty’s will provide refreshments for the installation RefleXion, which is one of the stops for FESTA’s Canterbury Tales carnivalesque procession through the city.

Canterbury Tales’ giant puppets, conceived and led by Free Theatre Christchurch, parade through the city from the Bridge of Remembrance at 8.30pm and finish at Cathedral Square sometime before midnight. Students from The Studio at the University of Technology Sydney, the Architecture Department at Unitec, Landscape Architecture at Lincoln, University of Canterbury and Architectural Studies at CPIT are all participating in the event.


Clockwise from left: Architectural Studies students Christina Chen, Anne Voets and Kathryn Richards take a break from constructing the CPIT Canterbury Tales installation RefleXion for FESTA.

Last year Luxcity, a city reimagined in lights for the inaugural FESTA, attracted some 20,000 people into the formerly red-zoned central city. Kathryn Richards from CPIT’s team of five is hoping for a similar result this year.

“I went to Luxcity last year and it was absolutely incredible. I had never seen anything like that in person. I am excited about being part of FESTA – not only will it look good on our CVs but it is such an amazing opportunity,” Kathryn said.

The RefleXion design incorporates cardboard poles (from the company who supplied the Cardboard Cathedral) and a reflective netting covering. Local companies Thermakraft, Sonoco, Ruamoko Engineering, Firth, Red Cross and Black Betty have helped the team. The CPIT Foundation donated $2,500.

“It is fantastic to see CPIT students having their work displayed on such a grand stage and I am sure the students will gain a lot from developing a project from a simple idea through to a large scale project which will be viewed by thousands. One of the key goals of the CPIT Foundation is to give students of CPIT the opportunity to participate in real world and practical projects. The CPIT Foundation is delighted to be a key sponsor of this venture,” CPIT Foundation Chair Carl Pascoe said.

The team’ experience has extended well beyond design and construction; they also had to find the most cost effective and achievable way to bring the installation to life, they had to find the right technology and materials, consult with engineers and source materials through sponsorship.

During FESTA, CPIT’s Artbox (corner of St Asaph and Madras Streets) will host Something Super with talks, food, music, art and cinema on 25 October from 5.30 – 11.30pm. CPIT Architectural Studies students are also building an earth construction shed for Agropolis – a scalable transitional urban farm in Christchurch’s inner city open daily from 25 to 28 October. And CPIT’s Art and Design Manager Bruce Russell, from experimental band The Dead Cs, performs for Canterbury Tales with dancer Julia Milson and singer Emma Johnson.


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