Whole House: ReUse – not Refuse

The Whole House ReUse Project was founded and codirected by two women: Juliet Arnott and Kate McIntyre. With teams organised by Rekindle   almost 100 artists and craftspeople from throughout Aotearoa (and beyond) have turned a red-zone Christchurch building into 390 creative works ranging from a 4m x 2.5m studio-sleepout, and dining suites, to an elegant Maori flute, and tiny brooches.  (  http://www.rekindle.org.nz/pages/community )

We went to Christchurch particularly to hear artist Nic Moon and architectural designer Lyn Russell talk about the creation of their Cocoon.  This is far more than a studio or sleep-out. It is a beautifully crafted multi-purpose building with wings which can be lifted to enlarge it and provide for a variety of uses.  Nic and Lyn are planning to make their plans available to others wanting to construct a similar building.  Cocoons which can hatch into butterflies, indeed…

The whole exhibition at Canterbury Museum is a tribute to Kindle, and to the ingenuity of artists and craftspeople throughout Aotearoa (and beyond).


In stark contrast, we saw the demolition of a whole house in a few hours a day by a man with a digger, knowing that this pile of rubble will add to a mountain of wasted opportunity on the outskirts of Christchurch. Obscene, unnecessary waste.


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