Nohonga Design Challenge, Auckland

Take one design competition, three passionate landscape architects and an experienced street furniture manufacturer and what do you get? The Mataora Seat – one of the successful entries in the 2022 Nohonga Design Challenge organised by Brick Bay, Britomart, Resene and the Auckland Branch of the Tuia Pito Ora New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA).

The Mataora Seat is an original design by landscape architects Charlotte Grieve, Joseph McCready and Erin Phillips from Thomas Consultants and Urban Effects was so pleased they chose us to help them bring their nohonga (a place to sit) to life!

Inspired by the theme of this year’s design challenge – Climate Resilience – the seat’s design references the circle of life and the journey of life through learning, discovery, change and adaptation; and reflects the structure of a hinaki traditionally used by Maori to harvest eels in the Waitemata Harbour.

Testimony to Urban Effects’ skill in creating bespoke pieces, the Mataora Seat was manufactured to its designer’s precise requirements from recycled timber and folded steel. In a playful touch which invites people to move and explore different ways to interact with the seat. A strong net is suspended in the seat’s inner circle and its interior has been painted in bright blue and yellow shades to reflect the journey from land to sea.

Through the fabrication process, the Urban Effects team worked closely with the seat’s designers using a ‘value engineering’ which led to refinements to the way the seat was constructed to deliver greater strength, performance and durability. The collaboration also saw the joint team arrive at the final material choices while staying true to the seat’s intent, meaning and function.

The Mataora Seat was installed at Britomart in Auckland for the Nohonga Challenge and now takes pride of place in Brick Bay.

You can read more about the seat’s design on the Thomas Consultants website.

Landscape ArchitectThomas Consultants