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Finalist – Hannah Stephenson

Hannah Stephenson.

Photo by David St George

Hannah Stephenson, from Unitec Architecture Department, was a finalist at the 2017 NZIA Central Innovation Student Design Awards with her project 'Dirty Little Secret'.

Project description

Waste is a rarely discussed social taboo, especially for New Zealanders who take pride in the nation’s environmentally friendly image. Hidden in landfills, waste is rendered out of sight and out of mind. This satirical project proposes that a new waste solution – a Material Redistribution Leisure Centre – be writ large on the Auckland skyline. Located at the heart of Spaghetti Junction, the structure is a socially driven response to Auckland’s growing amounts of waste. It offers ideas about more transparent waste management solutions and illuminates the ridiculousness of current practices.


Hannah’s project was based on the premise that people – in this case, the citizens of Auckland – should confront the waste that our society produces. But the scheme doesn’t rub our faces in our rubbish. Rather, Hannah proposes a more playful encounter with our detritus. The process of waste collection and recycling sorting is turned into a visitor attraction; that way, we might be persuaded away from our careless, landfilling ways.

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