People of Everywhere & Nowhere - An architectural investigation into the Chinese diaspora within Tāmaki Makaurau
The Chinese diaspora results from geopolitical, environmental, and economic factors, where a notable distribution of people of Chinese origin can be found in Auckland, New Zealand. This project is interested in how offspring of Chinese immigrants negotiate their double identity: their “Chineseness” on the one hand versus their New Zealandness/Kiwiness on the other. How do unique hybrid identities of this sort develop and contribute to the urban fabric of Auckland? The assimilation of Chinese communities came at great personal cost, not just in terms of laborious work, self-denial and delayed gratification, but also the constant awareness that their acceptance in New Zealand was hard-earned and conditional. The then largely invisible Chinese-New Zealand community has now become the largest Asian subgroup in New Zealand (28% as of 2018), yet limited architectures in Auckland engage with the abundant community. This thesis intends to bring architectural discourse to the importance of hybrid representations in Tamaki Makaurau, using the Chinese-New Zealander identity as a case study.