Tessa Forde, highly commended
Photo by Simon Wilson
Tessa Forde, from the University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning, was highly commended for ‘The House that Politics Built: Parliament Aotearoa’.
The scheme proposes a new Parliament building, located in downtown Auckland, a siting that exposes politicians to the gaze of passers-by in a precinct traversed by theatre-goers, casino gamblers, minimum wage workers and brothel users. Satire is employed as a design driver, but the intention is to design something that is beautiful as well as confronting. The proposal holds up a mirror to modern democratic politics, with its cult of personality, and its venality, scandal-mongering and opportunistic deal-making, all played out in a 24-hour news-cycle. Visibility and proximity, the project suggests, may be spurs to public activism, spurred, perhaps, by revulsion.
This is a clever, compelling and engaging conceptual dissection of the cultural and political state of the nation. The project is provocative, pointed and witty. As good satire does, it makes strong points; unusually, it does so by means of architecture. The project’s multiple elements combine and reinforce each other in a complete and holistic exercise. The components – drawings, models, mocked-up magazines, tourist trinkets, playing cards, t-shirts – are imaginatively conceived and excellently realised. All told, an impressive and sophisticated project.