Warren and Mahoney Architects 77 Te Iwa o Matariki

  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Whare Timu, Jahmayne Robin-Middleton, Justin Crook, Dylan Majurey, Jessica Young, Ngata Tapsell, Phillip Mitchell, Eliot Blenkarne, Savanah Hunt, Matthew LeGrice
  • Client
    Warren and Mahoney

Matariki has relevance to all. It collectively reminds us to connect to each other and our world, offering seminal lessons as we search for ways to creatively solve the problems of our time. This multi-faceted project explores togetherness, a mahitahi across five studios, between disciplines and industries to showcase the strength of a united team.

With Matariki soon being recognised as a national holiday in Aotearoa, our kaupapa was to explore and share the meaning of Matariki within our close and extended whānau. The project seeks to highlight what Matariki means, how we can celebrate, where to participate in the traditions, and how we can embed the beauty of this celebration in our everyday lives. This was realised through a Matariki handbook; maramataka (moon phase dials); a series of illustrations and posters displayed around a number of event spaces; and a light installation hosted within our Pōneke Wellington Studio. These tangible outputs coincided with a number of experiences and events hosted across our five studios; including weaving workshops, taonga pūoro wānanga, guest presentations and sharing traditional kai.
We set out with a tikanga process that would enable us to bring the story of Matariki to our industry and community, crafted by our people. We held a series of collaborative workshops with representatives from Pōneke, Ōtautahi, Tāhuna, Tauranga Moana and Tāmaki Makaurau. These workshops framed six key principles that define what Matariki means to our whānau, woven into every aspect of our work and providing a framework for innovation. These principles included Te Taha Mātaurangi – knowledge; Te Taha Wairuatanga – spirituality; Te Kotahitanga – Unity; Hei Hoki Mahara – to reflect; Whanaungatanga – kinship; Ngā tauhere – connections; and Ā tōna wā – the future.

The installation is a physical expression of the Matariki star cluster, made up of the nine large stars and a number of smaller stars, each representative of every person in our Pōneke Wellington Studio. Bordering the realm of Papatūānuku Mother Earth, and the ascent to Te Ao Mārama the world of light, the installation speaks of lightness, creativity, and a desire for a better world. Auahatanga/Innovation is achieved through the use of 3D modelling software to design a unique form for the nine stars of Matariki – each representing the story of Hiwa-i-te-rangi, Pōhutakawa, Waipunarangi, Waitī, Waitā, Ururangi, Matariki, Tupu-ā-rangi, or Tupu-ā-nuku. These were then 3D-printed out of recycled plastic and integrated with an LED light system.

A similar ahuatanga is explored in print through a pattern referencing tukutuku and the night sky. The design is luminated through an array of subtle black cross stiches printed on a black paper stock - disappearing and coming to life with different light. This innovative print solution is further enabled by the presence of Ngā Whetū o Matariki (The Stars of Matariki) in white. The overall effect references purapura-whetū – representing the multitude of stars or the many people within a nation. This device is then repeated throughout the handbook to metaphorically stitch pages of information together.