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Finalist – Ryan McCully

Ryan McCully.

Photo by David St George

Ryan McCully, from the Victoria University of Welling School of Architecture, was a finalist at the 2017 NZIA Central Innovation Student Design Awards for his project 'Christchurch Through the Looking Glass'.

Project description

This project posits that a city’s cultural heritage identity is not solely defined by its architectural artefacts, but by how people have experienced those artefacts over time and in relation to one another. In themselves, those experiences can also be considered to be essential artefacts. Using earthquake-devastated Christchurch as an example, this work seeks to preserve cultural memory through architectural drawing and narrative. Through the creation of a Christchurch ‘dreamscape’, essential heritage experiences are returned to the collective consciousness of the city’s inhabitants. 


The loss of collective memory of a place following a civic disaster is not an easy subject to handle. However, Ryan’s imaginative, fantastical and philosophical study, which lies somewhere between dream and reality, delves deeply into the potential for an alternative representation of heritage and memory among Christchurch’s fractured buildings.

2017 Student Architecture Awards