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.


 

Media:

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK2109/S00220/filling-an-essential-gap-for-the-citys-youth.htm


https://www.urbandreambrokerage.org.nz/blog/2021/10/7/commonspace-live-laugh-love-the-alert-levels-2



Commonspace

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