Rethinking Myers Park as an Urban Open System

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Narratives are transformed into meanings and form an understanding of space through juxtaposition, contradiction, fragmentation, collage.

By criticising spatial overdetermination, this research advocates collective open-endedness and indeterminacy, rethinking contemporary urban parks as an open composite infrastructural system crucial for the whole ecosystem, including people’s social, physiological, and psychological well-being. Public space can foster forces that link and liberate people from an increasingly alienated and fragmented living condition driven by market forces that marginalise all non-consumerist practices and places. This research attempts to understand the urban park as an active realm capable of nurturing meaningful connections by providing a framework through which new conditions of users’ participation can be created.

Architectural design is a process of speculating and advocating possible future co-produced emancipatory public space. Drawing and mapping are used as design devices, rather than observational methods, to formulate enabling spatiality for rapidly changing and unpredictable events in the contemporary metropolitan. These events are then taken as a means to understand the space by transforming it into an architectural representation of how different people relate to the space and its use.

Psychogeographic Mapping
Searching for Situations
Concept Drawing

In this research, Myers Park is adopted as a site of experimentation, rethinking a “reform park” that, while originally conceived to improve the civic landscape through the regeneration of wasteland, is now blocked by an increasing number of high-rise buildings at the edge of the park, making the park less safe. This park, which may have once been an urban oasis, is now left with unattractive playground equipment for children and adults. Would it be possible to use the marginalised park as a revolutionary site to enhance the quality of life diminished by ever-accelerating consumerism?

Satellite Gardens & Facilities
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Master Plan

While the main footpath remains, the design proposal re-establishes a new main entrance to Queen Street, making the edge more visible and noticeable. New high-value public spaces can be created by incorporating an active spine. Different satellite gardens and facilities could be installed along the proposed footpath, allowing it to grow or change in the future.

The final design aims to empower the metropolitan by providing a new collectively created spectacular landscape that re-establishes intensely relational lived experiences and engages with the site – that of the negated Waihorotiu stream. The core of this study lies not in the design of a beautiful park; but rather in creating a public space that fosters social cohesion, collaborative social practice, desire embodiment, associative recreation and, most importantly, enjoyment: Myers Park as the central place of creative, curious and imaginative communities of cosmopolitan Aucklanders.

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A Folly for Birds
Greenhouse & Playground