Image credit: Austin Maynard Architects

Fast Forward Autumn 2019 Lecture Series Event as iCalendar

(Creative Events, Architecture and Planning)

28 May 2019


Venue: See below

Host: School of Architecture and Planning

Contact email: creative@auckland.ac.nz

Website: Register now

Full programme
(680.3 kB, PDF)

This lecture series is made possible by the generous support of GIB®.


Fast Forward is the bi-annual lecture series hosted by The School of Architecture and Planning. It aims to foster debate, discussion and development within the disciplines of architecture, urban design and urban planning. This semester we continue our focus on the question: How can we do medium density well?

With the 2016 Unitary Plan supporting an increase in the density and height of terraced housing and apartments, Auckland has decided to grow up. But how can we do it well while ensuring quality?

From March to May we offer a series of talks and discussions to support the public and profession in effecting decent medium density design for Auckland housing.

Head to our YouTube channel to catch up on previous Fast Forward talks.
Head to our YouTube channel to catch up on previous Fast Forward talks.

Programme of events:



Tue 12 Mar, 6.30pm
Engineering 401:401
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Architect Thom Gill will provide an update on the groundbreaking Grey Lynn project, Cohaus. Thom will share the progress of the 20-unit apartment project and explain how particular projects have been managed.

Greer O’Donnell of The Urban Advisory will also discuss their involvement with this and other co-housing schemes. Tim Gummer of Cohousing NZ will also be here to talk about further national co-housing projects and February’s CoHoHui Co-housing Symposium in Wellington.

Join us afterwards for drinks and nibbles as the conversations continue.



Grey Lynn Co-housing project, Cohaus
Grey Lynn Co-housing project, Cohaus




Tue 19 March, 6.30pm
Engineering 401:401
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Gerald Blunt is Principal Advisor Design Strategy at Wellington City Council. He project managed the Medium Density Housing Programme for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and instigated a new design review process at the Hobsonville Point development.

In this presentation, Blunt will discuss urban development issues and the potential of medium-density housing. He will also examine the development of high-quality housing and urban environments as New Zealand struggles with solutions to its housing crisis.

Gerald Blunt. Image credit: Stephen Olsen, Palaver Media
Gerald Blunt. Image credit: Stephen Olsen, Palaver Media




Tuesday 26 March, 6.30pm 
Engineering 401:401
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Iwi are increasingly finding their own solutions for housing their people.

In this talk, we will hear from three architectural practices that have worked on projects with local iwi and hapū: Stevens Lawson, Cheshire Architects and TOA.

These presentations will look at completed and in-progress projects as well as those on the drawing board, followed by a panel and audience discussion.

Arcitects discuss medium density design for mãori
Image credit: TOA Architects




Tuesday 2 April, 6.30pm
Engineering 401:401
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Andrew Eagles is an economist with over 15 years experience in the built environment industry and a wealth of knowledge in the areas of housing, market mechanisms and the construction supply chain. Now Chief Executive of the New Zealand Green Building Council, he will discuss the work of this not-for-profit organisation.

The New Zealand Green Buildings Council (NZGBC) aims to see New Zealanders living and working in healthy, efficient and productive buildings in a sustainable built environment. NZGBC conducts research and oversees the Homestar and Greenstar certification schemes as well as the NABERSNZ tool for establishing office performance.

Eagles will provide an overview of the NZGBC’s work, the new Greenstar Communities and Homefit tools, and discuss significant new developments.

Andrew Eagles
Andrew Eagles. Image credit: NZGBC




Tuesday 7 May, 6.30pm
Engineering 401:439
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Andrew Maynard is a partner producing 'well-conceived, playful and edgy' architecture in the Melbourne firm Austin Maynard Architects. He is also a founder and board member of Nightingale Housing: 'a social enterprise that supports, promotes and advocates for high-quality housing that is ecologically, socially and financially sustainable'.

Maynard was an investor in and designer of the first Nightingale project which, in addition to being community-oriented, was the first residential building in Australia to be 100% fossil fuel free and carbon neutral.

Andrew will discuss some of the challenges and opportunities offered by this type of project while staying true to the original Nightingale principles. His presentation will also focus on residential projects, ranging from stand-alone houses to medium density work.

Image credit: Austin Maynard Architects
Image credit: Austin Maynard Architects




Thursday 9 May, 6.30pm
Engineering 401:439
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Berlin-based architect Michael LaFond is one of the world’s leading thinkers on collective urban housing. He has decades of international experience as both an architect and a developer. LaFond argues that collective forms of land and property ownership hold the key to solving New Zealand’s abysmal housing situation - with skyrocketing rents, out of reach house prices, and off-the-scale building costs.

Drawing on evidence from overseas, LaFond makes a case for rethinking property development away from an extractive profit-driven exercise and towards the provision of public infrastructure and integrated communities. He argues for government, local councils and community groups to work together to develop collective ownership and management models for housing. In New Zealand, collective approaches through iwi Māori, such as papakainga, fit well with the paradigm shift LaFond says is necessary.

Michale LaFond, Co-housing Berlin
Image credit: michael-lafond.net, Co-housing Berlin




Tuesday 14 May, 6.30pm
Engineering 401:439
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Auckland is reining in suburban sprawl and intensifying residential development under the Unitary Plan. Much of this is guided by the Council’s Planning Committee.

The Planning Committee, 'guides the physical development and growth of Auckland and focuses on land use planning, housing and the appropriate provision of infrastructure and strategic projects'.

Chair, Councillor Chris Darby, will discuss the committee's work and vision. Elected from North Shore ward, this is his second term as an Auckland councillor.

Described as a passionate environmentalist who knows the place of enterprise, Cr Darby is focussed on public and active transport, quality urban design and placemaking, and climate change. Prior to elected office, Cr Darby was involved in property development, with a 2004 project receiving NZIA’s Supreme Award for residential architecture. He remains a keen enthusiast for architecture, especially within public places and buildings.

Chris Darby,  Auckland Councillor
Chris Darby, Auckland Councillor. Image credit: Auckland Council




Tuesday 21 May, 6.30pm
Engineering 401:439
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Overseas, public urban development authorities have been prominent in the development of new city fringe housing areas and inner city ‘brownfield’ sites. The closest we have to this in Auckland is the Hobsonville Point development located on former air force land.

Urban design agencies differ from private developments. They bear a stronger focus on the provision of affordable and social housing, as well as extra public spaces and a broader range of community facilities, such as schools.

In 2018 the government announced the creation of the Housing and Urban Development Authority (HUDA). This initiative could become an essential game-changer for cities struggling to cope with housing shortages. Significantly, HUDA will have the capacity to: acquire land under the Public Works Act, override the Resource Management Act, council plans and processes, and consent its own projects.

Join us for a panel and audience discussion around the new authority and its subsequent pros and cons:

  • How closely will HUDA work with councils, iwi and other stakeholders?
  • When working at ‘scale and pace’, will the needs of individuals and the environment be adequately considered? 
  • How will quality be ensured? And which sites are likely to be first up for redevelopment?




Tuesday 28 May, 6.30pm
Engineering 401:439
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Tiny houses may not be everyone’s idea of medium density but internationally they are becoming a very popular and affordable housing alternative, and a means of exploiting small and difficult sites such as household backyards.

With a tiny footprint, they cut down on construction costs and environmental impacts. What’s more, you can put them on wheels or on the back of a truck making them fully transportable. However, they often come with Building Code and council planning compliance issues.

Presenters with hands-on experience will discuss their adventures with tiny housing:

  • Piet Ubels and Alan Johnson of Build Up, who designed and built a prototype tiny house on council land intended as emergency housing
  •  Alan Syxomexune and Helen Jarvis who are building a dwelling on wheels in a grandmother’s side yard 
  • Tommy Honey who is the mastermind behind a social enterprise called SLIMBY – Shared Living in My Back Yard (an innovative housing solution where clients can lease a backyard for their tiny home).


Tiny house. Image credit: Alan Syxomexune and Helen JarvisTiny House, credit: Alan Syxomexune and Helen Jarvis
Tiny house. Image credit: Alan Syxomexune and Helen Jarvis

Honey will also provide an overview and critique of PrefabNZ’s recent SNUG competition that explored tiny housing.

*Drinks and nibbles will be provided after this talk as an opportunity for conversations to continue as we wind up Fast Forward for Autumn.