RCG ltd 17 Designworks 181 Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori – The Māori Language Commission

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Andy Florkowski
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Anzac Tasker, Jamie Howard, Nate Te Rei
  • Client
    Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori

The client brief was to:

• Create a space for kōrero that ‘reflects our mahi and culture’ - where te reo revitalisation and ideas can be freely exchanged.
• Create a space that will address the varying types of hui and number of users. The whare will primarily be utilised for whakatau, product launches and workshops (4-100ppl).
• Embrace a revised visual identity, and creatively embody this. The organisations emblem is that of Taura (rope), but they also have expressions of the Niho Taniwha within their graphic language.
• Work within the existing 1990’s fitout, with cosmetic interventions only (no alterations to services/tenancy parameters).

Our response to the client brief was:
• He wāhi pāoro o te Reo Māori. We created a space to “echo” the language & culture. The intervention was a backdrop to support mahi & korero - not compete with it.
• The ‘Tukutuku panel’ was used to inform how we dressed & arranged the environment. (Taura & Niho Taniwha are integral within tukutuku)
• Structurally: the tukutuku panel is turned on its axis & used as a framework for spatial arrangement, (+ furniture design). Seating & Hui configurations are responsive to kōrero; positioning is informed by the custom carpet framework.
• Adorningly: walls reflect tukutuku designs & are dressed in bespoke acoustic tiles. Patterns are drawn from the organisations Niho Taniwha expressions.

Our focus on the materials and detailing:
• Taura threads 2 floors together. It hangs from the boardroom ceiling & within the Waharoa. It will then rise from the floor above (reception). This reflects the ‘exchange’ as the weaving occurs on a tukutuku panel.
• The inset detailing & piping on the furniture also references taura. It accentuates the relationship with the custom carpet framework; as if the furniture has been woven into the bespoke carpet.
• 3 Custom Autex tiles were designed (in 3 colours), so they could be arranged into any of the many Niho Taniwha expressions.
• The ceilings were sprayed in Foundry to ensure the ceiling services & undulations are recessive.
• The palette reflects the refreshed visual identity.

Other innovative considerations included:
• Nate Te Rei was commissioned to undertake a series of door handles, carved in the traditional style of Te Ata Ata, which originates from Taranaki - which act as the gateway into the space. Inspired by the cutting of the rope before our waka sets sail - Whano, whano, haere mai te toki, Haumi ē! Hui ē! Taiki ē! The detailing depicts a chant that unites our voice, our vision & our common aspirations for the kaupapa ahead.
• The use of the entire space is designed around an authentic dialogue between the furniture and the custom tukutuku carpet structure – the space truly echoes the language and culture.
• The bespoke acoustic wall tiles were specifically designed to be flexible/repeatable – all the niho taniwha expressions can be created – & used across walls/furniture