113 Taranaki Street, 2021
Commonspace was a project born through an intention to offer a place to be in central Te Whanganui a Tara. A
'Living Room of the City' in the absence of the library and Readings cinema. A place to drop in, connect with
others, and engage in wonderful workshops hosted by young art practitioners.
The project was set out to conceptually explore a non-transactional, free space learning a lot about
accessibility, community learning, commonality, political voice of young people, revival of spirit, speculative
design, experiential art, relationship building, being a 'beacon of hope and humanity' in the middle of a busy
inner city. It was an opportunity to pause and connect with people in a welcoming, compassionate, accessible
environment. Balancing the need for stillness/ calm with action/change in this heightened time of global crisis
and meeting in the middle with humanizing connection, care, kōrero and listening.
A wonderful (somewhat surprising) thing was that over the duration of the project - the initial conceptualizing
and theoretical curiosities/aspirations actually organically came into fruition through practice. Through the
agency that participants felt as they entered the space, did the collective reality that we as a growing team were
investigating gently but vibrantly manifest.
This and the organic combination of all the diverse energies/offerings/spaces shared into this one common
space. Through the events, happenings, workshops, activations as well as the times of stillness as people used
it as a studio, library, lunch break spot or lounge.
Young spirits were let run free with love and joy, ecstasy and emotion, from strangers to friends to lovers to
ashes, like a phoenix rising from beneath, soaring through the breeze of the common streets.
We had ~1500 attendees, 21 kaitiaki, 191 events, and 58 event hosts over the three month residence.